PUBLISHED: 11:37 AM on Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Auke Bay students learn Tlingit art

  Mrs. Potter's Third Grade class in the canoe.
The artist-in-the-school program brought Doug Chilton, Yaanakch, into the classrooms at Auke Bay Elementary School this year. Chilton, a local Tlingit artist who designs, paints, and carves traditional Tlingit art, worked with students from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade sharing his talent and skill. Chilton carves primarily in silver and gold, but also carves totem poles, paddles and other forms. This year, Chilton and the Indian studies coordinator, Victoria Johnson, taught students - all 400 of them! - the fundamentals of traditional formline. Under Doug's watchful eye, the kids sanded yellow cedar paddles, applied a design, and painted them. Many of the older students even got to try their hand at carving! When the paddles were done, they climbed aboard a traditional style Tlingit canoe, and recreated a welcoming ceremony. The students were divided into moities, and one welcomed the other, with a song and offerings of fresh water.

  Students Malik Jones, Kaia Hamrick, Sophia Kaelke, and Laura Coleman from Mrs. Meiners class work with artist Doug Chilton.
It was a great opportunity for the children to learn a new art form in the context of a valuable social event. The school wants to express their gratitude to Doug and Victoria, for sharing their culture with all the children of the Auke Bay School community in such a meaningful way.