Petersburg Pilot -

Decolonizing Alaska


Brian Varela / Petersburg Pilot

Donald Varnell, right, and his grandmother Delores Churchill sit on the bench he created. The bench is made out of cedar wood, cedar bark and aluminum. Churchill boiled and polished the deer toes that hang underneath the bench. Two other artists, Ray Troll and Nathan Jackson, also contributed to the project. The bench toured the country as part of the Decolonizing Alaska art exhibit that has been traveling the country and stopped in Petersburg in November. The Clausen Museum purchased the bench for $35,000, but the cost was covered by a fundraiser that was held specifically for the purpose of buying it. The bench was installed upstairs in the borough building during the Little Norway Festival where it will sit for the foreseeable future. A support beam is being constructed that will go in the center of the bench to help support the weight of anyone sitting on it.

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