In April, the Island Institute will travel with four artists through nine communities on the ferry system, exploring the impacts and implications of climate change on culture, lifestyle, heritage, and economies in Southeast Alaska.



As the climate changes rapidly as the result of unsustainable human activity, a re-evaluation of the relationship of people to the broader natural world is necessary.


Many Alaskans depend on their ability to observe and understand changes in natural patterns and their ability to maintain sustainable relationships with natural systems. Because of this knowledge and understanding, Alaskans are in a valuable position to inform the way that people across the country think about the relationship between climate and culture.


Taking a long history of sustainable subsistence practices in Southeast Alaska as a model, this work also recognizes the deep cultural and environmental wisdom of Southeast Alaska's first people.


April 1, KCAW-Sitka, by Robert Woolsey: Tidelines offers artists a ‘nomadic’ climate change residency

April 5th, KRBD-Ketchikan, by Maria Dudzak: Impacts of climate change on culture explored

April 6th, KSTK-Wrangell, by Katarina SostaricTraveling artists, Wrangell residents share observations of climate change

April 7th, Alaska Floats My Boat, by Alaska Beachcomber: The Tidelines Ferry Tour

April 7th, KRBD-Ketchikan: Arts Council Report (feat. live performance by Allison Warden)


Follow along on social media at #tidelinesjourney



Sitka, March 30 - Apr 3
April 1 - 5-9pm, Ice Cream Social and artists perform at 304 Baranof St
April 2 - Artist Workshops at 304 Baranof St

Wrangell, April 4-6
April 4th - Community Conversation from 4-6pm at Elks Lodge
April 5th - Artists perform from 6:30-8:30pm at Chief Shakes Tribal House

Ketchikan, April 6-8
April 6th - Artists perform at Saxman Tribal House from 7-9pm
April 7th - Community Conversation at Alaska Fish House Restaurant and Bar from 6:30-8:30pm

Kake, April 9-10
April 10th - Community Conversation (with spaghetti!) at Salvation Army from 2-4pm

Petersburg, April 11-12
April 11 - Artists perform at Holy Cross House from 6:30-8:30pm
April 12 - Community Conversation at Public Library from 6:30pm to 8pm

Juneau, April 14-18
April 14 - Science & Storytelling Long Table Conversation at JAHC from 7-8:30pm
April 17th - Artists perform from 7pm to 9pm at JAHC from 7-9pm

Kodiak, April 21-23
April 22 - Earth Day Artist Presentations and Community Conversation at Kodiak College, room 106, 6:30-9pm. Facebook event here.

Homer, April 24-27
April 25 - Artists perform at Bunnell St Art Center, 7-9pm
April 26 - Community Conversation at Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, 6:30-8pm

Anchorage, April 27-29

This trip was made possible by

- by Rasmuson Foundation through the Harper Arts Touring Fund, administered, under contract, by the Alaska State Council of the Arts.

- by Alaska Conservation Foundation, through their support of the Island Institute through an Organizational Capacity grant in 2015 

- by an anonymous individual donor through the Juneau Community Foundation

- by a network of individual donors

- by everybody who is joining us for the events, spreading the word, or following along at home

Thank you. 

Four artists will share their climate themed artwork in each community.

Allison Warden

Anchorage / Kaktovik, AK
April, 2016

Allison Warden is an Iñupiaq interdisciplinary artist born in Fairbanks, Alaska with close ties to Kaktovik, Alaska.  She is also known by her rap persona, AKU-MATU.  Her most recent show, “Let Glow” debuted at the Bunnell Street Art Center as part of an artistic residency in March 2014. “Let Glow” is an interactive interdisciplinary piece that explores a man’s process towards love and the push to drill for oil on the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd. In 2015, she received a State of Alaska Governor’s Award in the Arts and Humanities. In 2013, she received a Connie Boochever fellowship in performance art from the Alaska State Council of the Arts and a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award for performance art in 2012.

Her one-woman show, “Calling All Polar Bears” debuted at Pangea Theatre with Intermedia Arts in 2011 as part of a National Performance Network (NPN) residency. “Calling All Polar Bears” brings the audience virtually to the village of Kaktovik, where they hear about the impacts of climate change in the Arctic and the push for resource extraction from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It has since toured to Berlin,Germany London, England, and the communities of Anchorage and Homer in Alaska. In 2009, she created an interactive interdisciplinary piece at MTS Gallery in Anchorage, Alaska titled, “virtual subsistence”. It incorporated video projection, the smell of polar bear cooking and a herd of caribou being hunted in the gallery to look at land issues and subsistence rights in Alaska.

Her current project, “Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik (the place of the future/ancient)” will debut as a solo show at the Anchorage Museum in October of 2016. The show is an interdisciplinary installation of an Iñupiaq ceremonial house that exists in the space between the hyper-future and the super-ancient. During the two month run of the exhibit, Warden will be physically in the gallery installation for a total of 390 hours. She is in the process of recreating artifacts from the Museum using futuristic materials, and artifacts from the Museum’s collection will also be incorporated in the space. She currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska.

Michelle Kuen Suet Fung

Hong Kong / Canada
April, 2016

Owing to her multi-faceted background and international outlook, Fung draws inspirations from a wide range of sources and popular sub-cultures, including fairy tales, children’s picture books, the Japanese Otaku, fifteenth-century European etching, as well as traditional Chinese painting. Animals and their relationships with humans, explored from various intellectual and philosophical angles whether emotional, sustenance, or environmental, is a long recurring thread in her works.

Her works have been exhibited in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea and China. Her work Plastic, plastic, every where! received the Grotto Award, Hong Kong Baptist University (2015.) Her most recent work Polluta, Floating Artist Colony in the Sky (2015) was part of a juried international programme City as Metaphors with Hong Kong Baptist University, Zurich University of the Arts and Hamburg City University. Her exhibition I Don’t Know if You Know How Much I Love You (2012) was the inaugural solo show at hi art store, a gallery project of Beijing art tycoon Wu Jing. Her works have been featured in the media numerous times, and are in international private collections, and The Canada Council Art Bank.

Having lived in Vancouver for almost two decades, the artist returned to her place of birth Hong Kong to pursue her art career in the summer of 2011.

Chantal Bilodeau

Bloomingdale, NJ
April, 2016

Chantal Bilodeau is a New York playwright and translator originally from Montreal. She is the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle – an organization created to support the writing, development and production of eight plays that examine the impact of climate change on the eight countries of the Arctic – and the founder of the international network Artists And Climate Change.  

Awards include the Woodward International Playwriting Prize as well as First Prize in the Earth Matters on Stage Ecodrama Festival and the Uprising National Playwriting Competition. She is the recipient of a Jerome Travel & Study Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, two Compton Foundation grants, and a U.S. Department of State Federal Assistance Award.

Productions include Sila (Underground Railway Theater, 2014), Hunger (Bated Breath Theatre Company, 2011), The Motherline (New York International Fringe Festival, 2009), Pleasure & Pain (Magic Theatre; Foro La Gruta, Teatro La Capilla and Festival de Teatro Nuevo León in Mexico City, 2007), and the English translations of Holy Land by Mohamed Kacimi (3rd Kulture Kids, 2014), Bintou by Koffi Kwahulé (The Movement Theatre Company, 2010) and Abraham Lincoln Goes to the Theatre by Larry Tremblay (Alberta Theatre Projects, 2010). Her work has been read and developed at theaters and universities across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Italy and Norway. 

Her translations include over a dozen plays by contemporary playwrights Sébastien David (Québec), Mohamed Kacimi (Algeria), Koffi Kwahulé (Côte d’Ivoire), Étienne Lepage (Quebec), Larry Tremblay (Quebec) and others. 

She has written about the intersection of arts and climate change for American Theatre Magazine,HowlRound, the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences, and the World Policy Institute, and presented at the annual conference of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Iowa State University, Rice University, Tufts University, and York University. She is a co-organizer of the international Climate Change Theatre Action.

Nina Elder

Albuquerque, NM
April, 2017

Nina Elder is an artist, adventurer, and arts administrator. She grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico where she cultivated love for the land and curiosity about its use. After earning an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, Nina returned to northern New Mexico where she co-founded an off-the-grid artist residency program called PLAND: Practice Liberating Art through Necessary Dislocation followed by several years as the Residency Program Director at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Nina’s work is exhibited and collected nationally, and has been included in publications such as Art in America, VICE Magazine, and New American Paintings.Nina examines historic land use and its cycles of production, consumption, and waste. Mines, bombing ranges, and junk heaps are source material for her landscape paintings and representational drawings that explore the line between land and landscape, beauty and banality. She has backpacked into mines, travelled to Arctic Cold War military sites, and obtained government clearance to tour the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. She has drawn with radioactive charcoal, ore from mines, and dam silt. Her personal experience of research is reflected through performative, narrative presentations that are equal parts travel log, artist talk, personal story-sharing, and scientific inquiry, as well as a call for greater curiosity and engagement with the world.

Nina is part of the 2017 Tidelines Journey.

"A component of this exploration will focus on the ethics and morals of our role, as travelers, artists, consumers, and citizens, within the cacophony of climate change. With a search for quietude and pristine nature rendered nearly impossible, even in the far flung wildernesses of Alaska, this exploration of noise in the natural environment has vast potential to amplify participants' understanding of the contemporary state of sound and silence."


Dew Line VI by Nina Elder


Nina Elder - Rot Pile

Billy Joe Miller

Albuquerque, NM
April, 2017

As metaphorical expressions inspired by nature, Billy Joe Miller's work elicits possibilities of transformation and discovery. His practice often results in structures, shapes, light and sounds that frame and create contemplative, site-responsive spaces. Operating at an architectural scale, his projects are immersive and multi-sensory. He often situates his mixed-media works in publicly accessible locations not typically used for presenting art. By placing his work in and responding to specific environments, he opens up his audience to a vivid consideration of a particular place. Utilizing a variety of organic, geometric, and architectural forms (e.g. ovals, arches, windows, and doorways) to frame space, Miller’s work transcends and transforms it in order to open up new territories and perspectives.

Throughout his early life Miller was influenced by cultural and religious practices. Later he worked as a nursing assistant for people in hospice. Through these experiences, he developed an interest in storytelling, and similar rituals created around mortality. He began to experiment with collaborative dance, performance, and costuming as ways to creatively re-envision spiritual expression.

Considering the present state of trauma to the natural environment and the global political landscape, I am inspired to collaborate with vulnerable communities to make installations, interventions and inclusive art spaces. My work is a byproduct of the relationships formed, be it to a specific community, to a found material, to a place, or opportunity.


Billy Joe Miller - Writha

I continued working with the International District community with my piece Writha in the show At Home in the World at 516 Arts (a local non-profit art space/venue in Albuquerque). The project explored belonging and place, examining how we relate to each other, ourselves and our countries as globalization forces us to rethink issues of nationality, citizenship and migration. I sat and ate with 7 different families, couples or individuals from my neighborhood, speaking with them about their experiences of home, including immigration and cultural practices. We then collected locally found materials and made artworks inspired by our experiences of home. 

Billy Joe Miller - Morning

Morning Glory by Billy Joe Miller, Nina Dubois, residents of Albuquerque's International District and Artful Life, 2014. 

In 2014 I was chosen along with four other local artists to work on a project titled The Stories of Route 66’s International District. For seven months we met weekly, engaging with International District residents and working with them on collaborative projects, creative place making, community development and the transformation of their neighborhood spaces including an art garden a theatrical performance, and a public sculpture. I was asked to lead the sculpture project, Morning Glory. With a lot of help my friend Nina Dubois and I developed and executed a design based on a long process of collaboration with the ensemble that included the ensemble sharing ideas, drawings and dreams for the neighborhood. I’m still in awe of the piece and how it came to be.


Billy Joe is part of the 2017 Tidelines Journey.