Polar Lab: A Shared North – An Arctic Identity

Organized by the Anchorage Museum 16. October 2015

As the Arctic increasingly enters the spotlight of global political, scientific and economic activity and innovation, artists across the Circumpolar North are reimagining "north" as a vital, connected identity-space.

Artists are often at the forefront of reevaluating and problematizing the imagination of a connected north through imagery and language. They are adept at conveying the observing and conveying the complexity of place and people, at moving away from the black-and-white, to a place where conversation occurs.

The Anchorage Museum's Curated Conversations program draws out this dialogue by gathering diverse voices for critical, cross-disciplinary discussions around issues relevant to northern places and peoples. This panel brings together Alaska Native artists, performers and writers to address the emergence of an Alaskan northern identity through art and literature, and to explore its connection to the global Arctic in relation to the context of science and research.


  • Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Alaska Native contemporary artist
  • Joan Kane, Alaska Native writer/poet
  • Allison Warden, Alaska Native performer/artist 
  • Da-ka-xeen Mehner, Alaska Native photographer/sculptor
  • Aaron Leggett, Curator


  • Julie Decker, Director, Anchorage Museum


  • Allison Warden, Iñupiaq performance artist and rapper