Photo credit: Joaqlin Estus / KNBA
Joseph Senungetuk is an Alaskan Native Artist (Inupiaq) originally from Wales, Alaska. He now lives in Anchorage with his wife, Martha, who is also an artist and educator. Joseph attended the San Francisco Arts Institute in California, which helped shape his view on the culture shifts and differences between Alaskan Natives and those living in big cities in the lower 48. He has also taught art at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Alaska and Sheldon Jackson Junior College and is an Elder in Residence at Alaska Pacific University for the university's art program. Joseph is also the author of an auto-biography titled "Give or Take a Century: An Eskimo Chronicle". His artworks have appeared in the "Green March Moons" by Mary Tallmountain, "Favorite Eskimo Tales Re-Told" edited by Ethel Ross Oliver and was a regular columnist for The Anchorage Gazette and Anchorage Daily News between 1989 and 1994.
Joe is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in a variety of mediums including illustration, wood carving, mask making, sculpture and writing. However, he specializes in wood carvings and mask making.
Education and art have always gone hand in hand. Joe and his wife have spent their lives using their experiences, knowledge, creativity and art practices to educate and reach out to Alaskan Native youth and non-native youth alike. Joe has used his positions as Executive Board Member for the Visual Arts Center for Alaska, Institute of Alaska Native Art, Spirit Days Committee (a Native Dance and Celebration Planning Committee), Anchorage Museum Association and as a Senior Member of the University of Alaska Chancellor's Select Task Force on Native Higher Education to help shape policy and put forth and implement ideas for best practices and pedagogy to benefit Alaskan Native Youth and Alaskan Artists. In recent years, Joe has been an Artist-in-Residence at Alaska Pacific University and has held workshops in wood carving for young and old alike.
Joe hopes his legacy is that his art will inspire future generations of Alaskan artists and Alaskan Native Youth to express themselves and speak through creativity. Joe's belief is that art is a way to bring the past into the present and that it helps shape the future.