Jennifer Angaiak Wood

Awarded 2020

My name is Jennifer Angaiak Wood, and I am Yup’ik, Irish, and Italian. My parents are Andy and Marie Angaiak of Fairbanks, AK, and my grandparents are Mike and Susie Angaiak of Tununak, AK, and Kip and Pat Morey of Menlo Park, CA. I was born and raised in Fairbanks, AK. The Yup’ik side of my family is from Tununak, AK, and I spent summers there with my family when I was growing up. The experiences I had there greatly inform my artistic expression, and my main focus is on carving masks from that region. No one in my family is a carver, so I have learned about the Yup’ik mask carving tradition mostly through books. I was also able to participate in a program through the Anchorage Museum to study some of the Yup’ik items held in its archives. My first carving teacher was Ron Manook, my high school Alaska Native Arts teacher. He passed away in 1999, so I have been mostly self-taught since then, though I have been able to work with some artists in the Seattle area since moving here in 2015, and they have shown me how to use adzes and traditional bent knives. I now live in Indianola, WA, with my husband and two kids, and work out of my home studio.

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