Lawrence "Ulaaq" Ahvakana
(American | Inupiat, born 1946)
Native Alaskan artist Lawrence "Ulaaq" Ahvakana creates sculptural artworks representative of his Inupiat culture and symbols. He is inspired by the oral histories and legends passed down through his family. He spent his childhood in Barrow, Alaska, part of the Inuit Nation that spans from Siberia to Greenland.
Ahvakana states, “My first introduction to the Arts was watching my mother, who is a very competent skin sewer... The dances and songs of the Inupiaq tradition is the oral history of my people. It is the emotional interpretation of our respect and involvement within the environment of the North Slope of Alaska.“
Ahvakana received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture and Glass Arts from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1972. He is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. He now lives in Northwestern Washington.