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Tern Festival Featured Artist
Each year, the Yakutat Nature Society brings in an artist to participate in the Yakutat Tern Festival. Surrounded by towering mountains, crashing ocean, and deep green forests, Tern Fest artists have led classes and held presentations where they have showcased their appreciation for Yakutat's natural beauty. Whether it be with paints, sketches, or words, each artist has used their own unique style to inspire festival-goers, year after year.
Learn more about our Featured Artists, including the 2024 Tern Fest artist below! 


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Local yakutat artist--
Traditional beading

Chantil is a Tlingit from Yakutat who likes to gather and prepare traditional subsistence foods, go salmon trolling with her husband, participate in Tlingit traditions, spend time with family, and work on bead projects. She has lived in and worked in Yakutat her entire life and has been married to her husband Dean for 27 years. The style of beading she will be instructing is the 2 needle applique method taught to her by her grandmother when she was young. It consists of using a thread line with beads on it and a second thread line to tack the beads down to fill in the design. This method helps with large bead projects where there is a lot of space to fill in.

12th Annual Yakutat Tern Festival Featured Artist:
Dustin Newman Unignax

Artist, Kayak Builder, Story-teller, and Dancer


Dustin is Unangax and Deg Hit’s Athabascan. He grew up in King Cove, Alaska along the Alaska Peninsula. Dustin is the son of Rebecca Demoski and Harlen Newman his paternal grandparents Robert “Babe” Newman and Clara Smith and Maternal Grandparents Rudy Demoski and Agnes Gould. His art represents his culture and the environment that he grew up in. Dustin first started painting on bentwood visors and later started building kayaks under his mentor Marc Daniels.

Dustin will be sharing his art and culture with Tern Festival go-ers this year, through workshops for both kids and adults, bringing a unique and valued cross-cultural connection to Yakutat. 

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 Anchorage Unangax̂ Dancers debut new song honoring ancestors

“We always talk about how our ancestors are always with us,” Newman said. “But this is that visual and that vocal representation of that saying, ‘ancestors come to the space with us, dance with me, sing with me. We invite you into this space.’”

'We Deserve To Feel Safe:' Unangax̂ Activists Speak Up About MMIWG2S

"According to Stepetin, that lack of permanence means that cultural practices can be reawakened. For example, when she received traditional tattoo markings from Unangax̂ artist Dustin Newman, that was a chance to recover a sleeping tradition. And with each  transmission of ink, stories old and new were being weaved. "

Read on to learn more about the 2022 Tern Fest Featured artist


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Elders & Youth focused on language for virtual convention

Dustin Unignax Newman (Unangax/Deg Hit’an) lives in Anchorage and has family roots in the communities of King Cove and Anvik. He will serve as a “conference guide” for the upcoming virtual Elders & Youth Conference.
2022 Yakutat Tern Fest
Featured Artist
Marybeth Holleman
Writer and Poet

Marybeth Holleman is the author of The Heart of the Sound, co-author of Among Wolves, and co-editor of Crosscurrents North, among others. She’s held artist residencies at places including Ninfa, Mesa Refuge, Denali National Park, and Tracy Arm Ford’s Terror Wilderness.

Raised in North Carolina’s Smokies, she transplanted to Alaska's Chugach after falling head over heels for Prince William Sound just two years before the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Marybeth's first poetry collection, tender gravity, was released in August 2022.

During the 11th Annual Yakutat Tern Fest, Marybeth led a children's nature hike and art workshop on Saturday, June 4th. Working with Marybeth, the children learned about Matisse cutouts, and created their own art using shapes inspired by the natural elements they saw during their hike. Marybeth held a similar workshop for adults on Sunday, June 5th.

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