Tommy Joseph is an imaginative Tlingit carver. With my camera I documented his carving a house pole for the Interior Department two years ago. Since then he has done a canoe and a library pole for Petersburg with characters from children’s literature. Yesterday the Sitka Sound Science Center dedicated a new Tommy Joseph pole. It celebrates the ecology of Sitka Sound. Near the top are trees representing the shoreline. Everything below that is from the marine environment.
I went to the dedication. The ceremony was inside the Science center because of the storm outside. Two of Sitka’s most dynamic women, Kathy Hope Erickson, the tribal chair, and Lisa Busch, the head of the Science Center made presentations. I love the interplay between these two friends which I tried to capture in the tryptic below.
Following the speeches I had to leave because I had a commitment to do live broadcasts from the Salvation Army toy and food drive. I missed the unveiling but Suzi took the pictures below.
Tommy carved a pole that has figures on all sides, there is no front or back, so the pole is mounted so it can rotate, showing each face to the mountains or the sea.
Suzi took some detail shots of the pole after the unveiling.
After my shift at the toy and food drive I went back to the Science Center to admire the pole, and take some shots of my own. The pole was standing tall and strong in the gale from a Pacific storm that will churn up the sound and replenish the nutrients that feed the life depicted on the sculpture.