Somer Hahm is a visual artist living and making work in Fairbanks, Alaska. With robust involvement in the Fairbanks art community, Somer has spent time teaching painting and drawing workshops for the Folk School of Fairbanks and Well Street Art Company, has created performance art with the Fairbanks Ladies of Wrestling, and enjoys her employment as Fairbanks Arts Associations Exhibition Technician, installing the rotating art exhibits at the Bear Gallery.
Somer’s recent body of work has been inspired by the wealth of the American Patchwork, and directly investigates the timeless beauty of quilt block designs. Motivated to create community involvement and interest in public art, Somer founded the Far North Quilt Trail Project in July of 2019. In 2020, Hahm was selected as a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award recipient and received grant funding from the Alaska Chapter of the Awesome Foundation for her artist led endeavor of creative place-making initiating Alaska’s first barn quilt trail in Fairbanks.
Becky is an avid spinner and fiber artist who has been raising angora goats for 30 years. She loves working with the fiber from the animals that she raises. Lock spinning is one of her favorite ways to spin because it preserves the natural beauty of the mohair locks.
Cole Harmon is a musher, trapper, skin sewer, parka maker, and traditional tanner who lives in the Goldstream Valley with his eight sled dogs. He has honed his skills creating items for long distance mushers, trappers, and freighters of the Interior and Southeast Alaska. Striving for quality in each item, Cole uses only the most simple hand tools without the aid of a fur sewing machine, preferring instead to hand stitch each item from start to finish.
Chase has made handles (knife, ulu, adze), jewelry (earrings, hairpins) and other objects (spoons, rice paddles, salad servers, pressure point tools, dog chew toys) out of antler, bone and teeth intermittently for 40 years. The materials are tough, durable, beautiful, and relatively easy to work.
elective studies were welding, drafting, woodworking and metals. He
developed skills in carpentry during a career in construction. The
need for specialized construction equipment led him to design and
build trailers, crane booms, man baskets and other steel fabrication.
In the early 1990s, Scott’s focus turned to woodworking, and he
developed his skills and style while continuing to work construction.
In the mid-90s Scott started Alaskan Woodworker, a business creating
varied wooden items, furniture, and canoes. His attention to detail
and refinement of design gained him recognition in the woodworking
community.Having a working knowledge in many creative directions, Scott was
often asked to help with design and construction. Often his solutions
combined wood, copper and steel. Artistic work in mixed media led him
to help other artists with framing, bases, and new ways to display
Scott had taken art classes over the years and in 2013 he decided to
focus toward a degree. He returned to UAF to study sculpture,
printmaking, drawing and painting. This study allowed him to
incorporate fine art into his woodworking, leading to new ideas and
Sandy built his first log cabin in 1966, and starting building full scribe cabins in 1970. Sandy is an expert in log building preservation and restoration and he worked on the oldest surviving log structure in Alaska – the Russian blockhouse that sits just outside The Museum of the North at UAF: https://news.uaf.edu/museum-completes-russian-blockhouse-preservation/.
Other recent projects he has been involved in are the Black Rapids Roadhouse in the Alaska Range, the Dunkle Street cabin in downtown Fairbanks, and the Russian Log Fort near UA Museum of the North.
David has been pursuing local living skills since he was a child. Though largely self-taught, he has also benefited from numerous apprenticeships both formal and informal, resulting in a diverse skill set tailored to life in the northern forests. In addition to his subsistence lifestyle, he has been a summercamp counselor, log-builder, fur trapper and hidetanner.
Jenna grew up in a family that built kayaks in the living room outside of Detroit, Michigan. She fell in love with Alaska in 2009 when she came here as an intern for the Northern Center. Ever since then, she has been hard at work exploring the arctic and interior by boat, ski, dogsled, bike, and foot. Jenna currently splits her time between working for the Tanana Valley Watershed Association in Fairbanks and building a primitive homestead on the Tanana River. She entertains five dogs, dabbles in herbalism, and strives to sleep outside more than inside. She is excited to share her connection to the bountiful Tanana River as the co-director of the Folk School’s “A Week on the River” program.
Willow Q. Jones
Willow Q. Jones was born and raised in Northwestern Alaska in a traditional Inupiaq community and later on a cattle ranch in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Willow was constantly surrounded by creative people who could easily pick up any tool and make something useful to living life. This skill has made it natural for her to delve deeply into broom making and carving wooden utensils for everyday use. Willow’s brooms and spoons stem from a deep commitment to beautiful and practical tools for the basic necessities of life. She holds a bachelors in art from University of Alaska Fairbanks. Willow first studied spoon carving with Tony Perelli over five years ago and also has been deeply informed and influenced by Emmet Van Driesche these past five years. Currently she cooks, builds, and produces food for her family of four, weaving brooms and carving in her spare moments when not occupied with her young family.
Len Kamerling is Curator of Film at the UA Museum of the North and Professor of English at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He is an award winning documentary filmmaker, a specialist in film preservation, and a prior member of the Board of Directors of The Folk School.
Toni’s love of making pots spans many years and a variety of different disciplines. She has taught pottery in Fairbanks (at the University of Alaska and her studio) and has shown her work throughout the community. The process of working with clay has been a journey of discovery, frustration and delight which she loves sharing with others.
Carol was a 35 year Alaska resident who loved to play music (ukulele and harmonica being her favorites) but was deathly intimidated by going to jams. After getting brave and attending a few jams, she would love to share her thoughts and get more people out enjoying the fabulous music scene in Fairbanks.
Lisa Kljaich, aka The Ukulele Fool, has been teaching music full-time since 1983, with teaching experiences from pre-school to Osher Lifelong Learning and everything in between. She has been teaching online for UAF since 2009. It has been wonderful to have students as elementary kids catch up with her again at UAF, and then teach their parents through The Folk School.
In 2019 she officially launched a career as a YouTuber, focusing on deliberately paced, detail-oriented ukulele instruction for beginners and advanced beginners. This has given her an international reach with students all over the globe – folks logging in the wee hours of the morning in Australia, to night owls staying up late in Central Europe to catch the same lesson.
Rachael Kvapil is a lifelong road cyclist who fell in love with fat biking in 2014. In 2016, she competed in the Icicle Bicycle multi-stage winter race and after a recreational ride with a top Alaskan fat biker, decided to train for several ultra-distance races including the White Mountains 100 and the Susitna 100. Despite participating in a number of competitions, Rachael is a commuter at heart and considers her form of winter training and racing as “aggressive tourism.” She seeks to create an inclusive riding environment for both recreation and competitive riders of all ages and all abilities.
Matt’s connection with trees has led to work in carpentry, cabinet-making, silviculture, and environmental education. His first woodworking project that he remembers really obsessing over was a clipboard. He has since built cabins, cabinets, and furniture. While most of the things he cares about have a clear link to trees, he does enjoy other things, including gardening, ski-joring, and fishing. Matt currently works in UAF Cooperative Extension’s agriculture program.
Ethan Lauesen is a visual artist, gallery technician, and framer based in Fairbanks, Alaska. They earned their BFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2019. The body of work they create focuses on the cultural aspects of gender and LGBTQIA+ identity and how they are perceived in communities, specifically Interior Alaska. The work they produce is more intimate as a response to cultural perceptions of themselves due to inter-sectional issues of race, gender, and sexuality and as a result the prints, paintings, and drawings created represent a personal narrative documenting cultural change.
Jennifer lives in Fairbanks but works in Bethel. While in Bethel, Jennifer has met many artitsts from the area and the surrounding villages. She has learned how to harvest grass from the banks of the Kuskokwim River and sew baskets. She has learned to tan and sew with fur. Her most unique skill acquired thus far is the working knowledge of tanning and sewing with fish skin and animal gut. Jennifer sews many items for friends, family, and customers. You may have seen her work most recently at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center First Friday art event in December, 2014.
My name is Emily Leon (Chagluak). My parents are Gabriel and Kathryn Chagluak. I grew up in the predominantly Yupik village of Toksook Bay, which is located on the southwestern coast of Alaska. I am married to the wonderful Alex Leon, and together we have two beautiful children, Andrew and Rachel.
Frozen Stitches began with the gift of a qaspeq to a dear friend of mine. Soon after, all the ladies in the office inquired about buying a qaspeq from me. The rest, as they say, “is history!”
Steve Levey has an MA in history from the University of Colorado. He taught high school history for ten years. Many of his students in Honors World History at West Valley High School took the World History AP test without AP-specific preparation. His class, World History: An Early College Survey Course, started as a whimsical dare from a colleague and a challenge to students. Over the years, all but one student passed the exam to merit college credit for their achievement in 10th grade.