Join us at the Wells School Gym for an artist talk with Melissa J. Shaginoff on Thursday, July 12 at 7pm. Support for this talk is provided in part by the Canada Council For the Arts, BC Arts Council and the Hamber Foundation and is part of the Toni Onley Artists' Project at Island Mountain Arts.
Melissa Shaginoff grew up on the southern coast of Alaska in the small fishing town of Kenai. Growing up on the peninsula, Shaginoff learned the artistry and cultural practices of her cousins the Dena’ina people. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. After working for a brief time in social work Shaginoff returned to her creative roots and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the Institute of American Indian Arts and Alaska Native Cultures. While Shaginoff primarily considers herself a painter, creating installative two-dimension work, she also creates designs of beadwork embellishment in printing shawls and fabricating jewelry reminiscent of her upbringing in Kenai. She recently participated in the Sheldon Jackson Museum Native Artist Residency in Sitka, Alaska. Shaginoff is also apart of the currently touring exhibition Decolonizing Alaska. Her work is collected by the Palmer Museum of History and Art, and the Pratt Museum. She is of Athabascan and Paiute descent.
It is innately human to create meaning in our perceptions of the world. We determine the importance of things based on the proximity to our existence. These perceptions made meaningful define our memory and contextualize our experiences. My work examines that process of selecting. The choice we make in defining what is important in our daily investigations and inquires. It is a fluid choice suspended between instinctual tendency and conscious decision. I address this fluidity through my personal combination of penchant and research. In my work I often find myself perceiving patterns and connections in seemingly random or meaningless information and yet I am, without explanation, drawn in that direction. This work is most often leant towards a repetitive creation of culturally significant objects. Working in various media I address the idea of unconscious recognition from experiential research thus creating immersive installations of connective and referential exploration.