By Melanie Brown
As the flow of ocean currents ensures the continued legacy of salmon on their journey home, the flow of Native art continues through the work of Anna Hoover and her journey through the art world. Her father, the late and renowned artist John Hoover, had work exhibited around the world, including pieces in museum collections and private galleries. John Hoover found his way to woodcarving by building a fishing boat, which led him to begin sculpting. He lived the rest of his life engaged in both fishing and art, and now Anna continues the legacy as both a fisherwoman and a contemporary Native artist, with an emphasis on multimedia work.
Anna has spent every summer of her life near the Egegik river of Bristol Bay, engaging in a life of fishing and Native art. She grew up encouraged to experiment and create in her father’s workshop as a child, but it wasn’t until college at the University of Washington that Anna began taking art classes.
Anna’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States, in both solo and group shows, and her creative and cultural work has taken her around the world to share experiences with indigenous peoples in Northern Japan, Far Eastern Russia, Hawai'i and New Zealand. Anna also has two Masters degrees from the University of Washington, where she studied both documentary filmmaking and Native American art history. Over the past few years, she has made a number of short films presenting the Native art world to a broader audience.
Anna’s current work is a multimedia project and exhibit called fashion STATEMENT: Native Artists Against Pebble Mine. Anna conceived and curated the project, bringing together 13 talented artists to design their vision of the proposed Pebble Mine, located at the headwaters of Bristol Bay. All of their designs were turned into wearable art as T-shirts, with the proceeds going toward the long-term goal of establishing a Native Art Center in Bristol Bay.
fashion STATEMENT: Native Artists Against Pebble Mine had its premier at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Anchorage, Alaska, this summer, just after Anna returned from fishing in Bristol Bay. It is currently showing in Port Townsend, Washington at the Ancestral Spirits Gallery through September. On November 10th, the exhibit will open at the Burke Museum in Seattle.
To view and purchase T-shirts designed by the internationally acclaimed artists in the show, visit: www.nativeartistsagainstpebblemine.com