Carving Life

Walrus Ivory Carvings from the Bering Sea

October 18, 2017 - January 17, 2018

Sculpture made out of walrus ivory by Justin Tiulana titled King Island/ Anchorage Hunter.


The Carving Life exhibition showcases the art of Inuit carvers from St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea and other communities along the northwest coast of Alaska. This art, created and fashioned out of walrus ivory or bone, is part of the ongoing narrative of the Alaska Inuit. Their trajectory over millennia speaks of humanity fully engaged in a life rooted in their environment and all that it offered to ensure survival. The Inuit’s daily life, their belief system, their traditions and rituals were intimately bound to the land, the sea and the animals they hunted, all for the benefit of the community. Over time, the significant impact of contact with outsiders and eventual accession to statehood upended their existence. In addition, their culture changed markedly with exposure to expanded communication and transportation, formalized education, and other technological, environmental, and political realities.