Sonya Kelliher-Combs was raised in the Northwest Alaska community of Nome, a small town with a population of less than 3,600 people. Through her mixed media painting and sculpture, Kelliher-Combs offers a chronicle of the ongoing struggle for self-definition and identity in the Alaskan context. Her combination of shared iconography with intensely personal imagery demonstrates the generative power that each vocabulary has over the other. Her work uses synthetic, organic, traditional, and modern materials to move beyond oppositions between Western/Native culture, self/other, and man/nature, in order to examine their interrelationships and interdependence while also questioning accepted notions of beauty.
Kelliher-Combs received her BFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and MFA from Arizona State University in 1998. Kelliher-Combs' work has been shown in numerous individual and group exhibitions in Alaska and the contiguous United States, including the national exhibition Changing Hands 2: Art without Reservation and the international exhibition Arts from the Arctic. In 2007, Kelliher-Combs was awarded the prestigious Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art and is a recipient of the 2005 Anchorage Mayors Arts Award. Her work is included in the collections of the Anchorage Museum, Alaska State Museum, University of Alaska Museum of the North, and the Eiteljorg Museum. Kelliher-Combs currently lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska.
For inquiries, please contact Mark Del Vecchio, Program Director of Ceramics & Design, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505)-954-5800