Last week I had the privilege to attend the Northern Art Network meetings held at the Anchorage Museum. The Northern Art Network is an association of museums and cultural institutions throughout the Circumpolar North.  The intent is to exchange ideas, resources, artists, artwork, and to hold an annual meeting in the Circumpolar North.  It was formed a year ago by Anchorage Museum and art centres in Scandinavia in Rovaniemi, Finland.



Members include:

  • Anchorage Museum
  • Rovaneimi Art Museum Korundi House of Culture
  • University of Lapland
  • Aline Art Museum
  • Oulu Art Museum
  • RiddoDuottarMuseat / The Sámi Museum
  • Culture House, Luleå
  • Kiiruna Art Museum
  • Havremagasinet - Bodens Länskonsthall
  • Sami Center for Contemporary Art
  • The Art Museum of Northern Norway
  • Archangelsk Art Museum
  • Murmansk Art Museum
  • Nuuk Art Museum
  • Qaqortoq Museum
  • Akureyri Art Museum
  • Archangelsk Art Museum
  • Murmansk Art Museum
  • Yukon Arts Centre



The meeting in Anchorage was jammed packed. We toured almost every exhibition within the building with their curators along with their extensive collections. From an incredible look at Captain Cook’s search for the Northwest Passage along with Alaska Native artist interventions, to plans to reimagine their most visited space, the Alaska Gallery, to their remarkable collaboration with the Smithsonian,  and creative use of space with an exhibition on Sea Ice in their atrium - it was truly inspiring to experience the Anchorage Museum. Beyond the Museum we visited the Alaska Aviation Museum and Alaska Native Heritage Center where we took in a dance demonstration and the chance to join in at the end!

A highlight for many of us was a series of artist talks by Alaskan artists: Allison Warden, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Da-ka-xeen Mehner, Holly Nordlum, Drew Michael, and Chad Taylor. Yukon artist, Joyce Majiski also traveled to the meetings and presented mainly on her latest body of work: North of Myth. I think this proved to be an exciting gathering for all of as it really demonstrated the connected themes and perspectives that we share as Northerners. Ultimately it feels like this is the heart of the Northern Art Network - the sharing of artists, artworks and ideas among the circumpolar.

The Yukon Arts Centre has committed to build as an extensive list as possible of circumpolar artist residencies in hopes that Yukon and Northern artists can exchange as well as artists from around the world can experience the North. We look forward to being an active member of the Northern Art Network and thank Anchorage Museum and their staff for their warm northern hospitality.



Mary Bradshaw - Gallery Director/Curator, Yukon Arts Centre