On June 5, 2012, I was overwhelmed to be awarded the 2012 Rasmuson Distinguished Artist Award, which recognizes "artists with stature and a history of creative excellence and accomplishments in the arts with $25,000 in unrestricted funds." I am the ninth Alaskan artist to receive this award, and am deeply honored to join the great group of artists who have received the fellowship since its inception.
At the June 5 ceremony in Anchorage, the Rasmuson Foundation also announced 26 $5,000 Artist Project Grants and 10 $12,000 Mid-Career/Mature Artist Fellowships to Alaskan artists. It was an extraordinary pleasure to be in a roomful of terrific Alaskan artists who work in many disciplines, and to be able to congratulate everyone in the room.
I am so grateful to those who nominated and selected me for this award, and to the Rasmuson Foundation itself, which has over the last decade changed vastly for the better the ground on which all Alaskan artists work. In December 2003, the Rasmuson Foundation Board of Directors launched a multi-year initiative to make a significant investment into the arts and cultural resources of the state. Designed with the help of artists and arts organizations from around the state, the initiative prioritized support to practicing artists themselves as a key strategy to ensure Alaska enjoys a vibrant art and culture community.
This is the ninth year of the Individual Artist Awards program, and as of today, the program has awarded 267 grants totaling $1.9 million dollars directly to Alaska artists. The purpose of the awards is to allow artists to seek a variety of creative opportunities, including providing them with the time necessary to focus on creative work.
In conjunction with the award ceremony, the Foundation commissioned Juneau videographer Pat Race to produce a short (6 1/2 minute) video about me and my work. I have embedded it for viewing below, and it is also available for viewing on YouTube. It was a great treat for Dorli and me to spend two days in Fairbanks with Pat and his assistant Lou Logan as they worked on filming for this mini-documentary. I am so grateful to them for their terrific work, as well as to the friends who made time to speak with them. Pat and Lou shot many hours of video over the two days, and Pat did an amazing job of selecting and condensing selections from that footage to produce this short film. I hope you will enjoy it.
I highly recommend Pat's firm, Alaska Robotics, to anyone who wants to produce any product of this sort, and I hope to find a way to collaborate with him in the future. I only wish that every artist in the room last Tuesday could have a similar video made about them and their work.