Athabaskan Mask Maker and Carver Fairbanks, AK
2015 USA Fellow
This award is generously supported by the Rasmuson Foundation. _
I was born in Tanana, Alaska and spent my early years living in the Yukon River. My parents, Bill and Poldine Carlo, moved our family from the villages to Fairbanks in order to keep my eight siblings together rather than to send the older ones away to boarding school. While growing up, our family mined for gold and fished in the summers. In the late 1970’s I joined the Native Art Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where I studied under Ron Senungetuk, a revered Alaska Native carver. My first show was of carved masks made during my BFA program. After graduation I focused on panels and larger sculptures which provided greater opportunities to explore abstract forms in wood in combination with metal, paint and found objects. I have supported myself through commissions, major museum purchases, and from teaching traditional mask making in Alaska’s villages. Rural teaching has been most gratifying because I find inspiration in the students and their pride in their artwork.