Alaska Artists: Norman Jackson

lonely caribou in Alakan Nature

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Norman G. Jackson is of the Tongass Tlingit of southeast Alaska and was born in Ketchikan, Alaska. His lineage is from his mother who is of the Tongass Tlingit Kaats Hit Bear House of southeast Alaska. His father is Kaagwaantaan Tlingit of Klukwan, Alaska.

Norman studied at the Kitanmax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in Hazelton, B.C. and received advance training in design and carving. He also received training in metal engraving from the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan. He is a recognized Master Artist in metal engraving by the Alaska State Council on the Arts Master Apprentice Grant and has received numerous honors for his excellence in wood carving.

According to Jackson "My style is Tlingit style. It's bold and round. I try to keep it to the traditional level of Tlingit art. It is spiritual, and it has to fit together with the history and the dance. The dance has its connection with the art. If the public understood the art, then everybody would understand our people. That's why I learned that you have to share the art."

Norman Jackson studied at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art and received advanced training in carving. He also received training in metal engraving from the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan. Norman Jackson is recognized as a master artist in metal engraving by the Alaska State Council on the Arts Master Artist and Apprentice Grant, and he has received numerous honors for his excellence in woodcarving.

Norman Jackson has apprenticed with master artists Dempsey Bob and Phil Janze and has been invited to pass on his knowledge by participating in several symposia on professional carving. Norman’s work is held in major collections and was represented in “A Treasured Heritage,” a travelling exhibition put together by the Institute of Alaska Native Artists. Norman Jackson's work has appeared in exhibits in the US and abroad, including "Manawa—Pacific Heartbeat”. It was is a celebration of two extraordinary art-making cultures reaching out across the Pacific Ocean to exhibit together.. The similarities between the two groups, the Māori from New Zealand and the First Nations artists of the Pacific Northwest coast, are many and often quite astonishing. Along with stories of historical interaction, the parallel histories of these powerful societies have, in the present day, made this artistic collaboration a natural fit.

In the 1960s, the Māori and the Northwest Coast peoples were among the many aboriginal cultures around the world who began to see the vital importance of better understanding their history and documenting their own traditional culture. Spurred on by the interest and energy of the younger generation, the elders offered stories that shared the wisdom of the past and tied the present to that time. Building the foundations for the future often meant filling voids left by the devastating effects of foreign disease that had diminished the original populations and dealing with the aftermath of earlier government policies that forced assimilation and denied the established indigenous social structure. The rebuilding began by investigating history and restoring ceremonies, which returned a sense of pride and identity to the people of these first nations.

A natural extension of this rebuilding process was to visit other aboriginal nations to study their efforts in preserving language and culture and to learn from their overall successes. The Māori and the Pacific Northwest coast peoples found a natural affinity and allegiance with each other and immediately began to forge long-term bonds, which now include close friendships, travel to participate in ceremonies and shared exhibitions of their art.

Johnny AculiakEdwin Tappan Adney| George Twok Aden AhgupukAlvin Eli Amason| Saradell Ard|   Belmore Browne| Vincent ColyerJules Bernard DahlagerLockwood De Forest| Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh| William Franklin Draper| | Henry Wood Elliott| John Fehringer| Claire Fejes| Louis Agassiz Fuertes| Magnus Colcord Heurlin| Norman Jackson| Rockwell Kent| Sydney Mortimer Laurence| Fred Machetanz| Marvin Mangus| Milo Minock| James Kivetoruk Moses| Rie MunozJoseph Henry Sharp| James Everett Stuart| John Webber| Kesler Woodward|


Norman Jackson wood mask carving

Norman Jackson Alaskan wood carving

Alaska's Tribes:

Below is a full list of the different Alaska Native cultures. Within each culture are many different tribes.

Learn more about Alaskan tribes

Aleut Athabascan Eyak
Haida Inuit Tlingit
Tsimshian Yupik