Homer artist, poet win Governor’s Award for the Arts

Homer artist Ronald Senungetuk will receive the Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and Humanities at an awards ceremony Jan. 30 at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. Also to receive the Governor’s Award for the Humanities is Homer poet Eva Saulitis.

A professor emeritus of art and design of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Senungetuk has had a lifelong career as a visual artist, curator and Inupiaq scholar. Born in Wales, Alaska, Senungetuk grew up in a traditional Inupiaq culture. He received a bachelor of fine arts from the School for American Craftsman at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a degree from Statens Handverks og Kunstindustri Skole, Oslo, Norway, where he studied sculpture and metalsmithing under a Fulbright Scholarship. He founded and directed the University of Alaska Fairbanks Native Arts Center. He lives with his wife, the artist and jeweler Turid Senungetuk, in Homer. His work has been exhibited locally at the Pratt Museum and Bunnell Street Gallery.

Saulitis most recently wrote “Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss Among Vanishing Orcas.” She has worked as a biologist studying orca whales in Prince William Sound for 24 years.
On the faculty of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s low-residency master of fine arts writing program and the Kenai Peninsula Writers’ Conference, Saulitis also wrote the poetry collection, “Many Ways to Say It.”