Challenge 3- Subsistence #ArtsEdMonthAK

Alaska Arts Education Month is here!  We’re celebrating throughout March with a different Creativity Challenge each week.  Get inspired by the week’s theme to explore music, dance, theater, cultural arts, media arts, and visual arts.  Share creations by you and your students with us on Facebook and Instagram by tagging #ArtsEdMonthAK + @akartsed to join the party!  

Our third Creativity Challenge for March 12th – March 18th is ………….. #Subsistence!

Subsistence is a term that has a variety of meanings, but each meaning has one fundamental commonality… supporting one’s own self. In Alaska, subsistence is a way of life that is deeply rooted in the culture of Native Alaskans who have been able to provide for their needs for thousands of years. As part of their needs, Native Alaskans have developed a rich culture including the arts. The arts sustain us all, so we are sharing a few ways to investigate Subsistence through the arts. All activities can be adapted for different ages and abilities.


Try one of our AAEC Art Bytes: Watch this Art Byte video featuring Dawn Biddison. Dawn will provide you with a variety of resources about Alaska Native Cultures and Art. Grades K-12.




Art: Marie Rexford, I Am InuitMarie Rexford with muktuk

Based on the photography of Alaskan Brian Adams, there are two different lessons based on grade level put together by the Anchorage Museum. In each grade level, students observe a portrait of Marie Rexford of Kaktovik, then discuss their observations with their classmates. In the second lesson, K-2 students create a self portrait that will be laid over a pastel landscape they also have designed.  High school students take photographic self-portraits of someone they admire at school or in their community. They will also write a short biography of their subject they photographed. Grades K-2 and 9-12.  Can be modified for all ages. 



Paper woven for Aleut basket painting Art project

Aleut Basket Paintings: In this Project ARTiculate lesson by Eloise Larson the class will learn how the Aleut and Alutiiq people of  Alaska used the art of weaving to support a wide variety of  needs they had in their everyday lives. Students will create a basic weave pattern and enrich with a motif or medallion.  Grades 4-6 




Form Line Designs by Alaskan Artist James Robert Schoppert:JAMES ROBERT SCHOPPERT BLUEBERRIES, 1986 Students will begin this project by examining the painting Blueberries, then discussing their observations through questions provided in the activity.  They will create two works of art inspired by the painting and their personal experiences with subsistence foods. Grades 9-12.





Create Your Own Fishing Dance:Leslie Kimiko Ward dancing Through three short videos, Leslie Kimiko-Ward provides instructions and examples for students in your class to create their own dance based on fishing in their community. You can take the activity one more step and include a mini-lesson on “fair use” and selecting no copyright music. Grades 3-6 .





We hope these ideas spark your creative thinking for this 3rd week of Alaska Arts Education Month.  Whether you create something from this list or from your own inspiration, remember to showcase your work on Facebook or Instagram with #ArtsEdMonthAK + @akartsed.  

Visit again for a new Creativity Challenge and more ideas next week! 

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