Donald Varnell

Donald Varnell, Ketchikan artist and carver, studied visual arts at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks under Aleut Master-Artist Alvin Amason. He has worked and apprenticed under Tlingit Master-Carver Nathan Jackson, as well as Haida Master-Carver Reggie Davidson. He is a proficient cedar bark weaver, having studied under Haida Master-Weavers Holly Churchill (his aunt) and Delores Churchill (his grandmother). Varnell creates works in a variety of mediums that are displayed in museums and private collections world wide. He has received several artist awards including the Rasmuson Foundation Mid-Career Fellowship and was the first Alaskan to receive the prestigious Joan Mitchell unlimited Fellowship. His work was included in the August  2015 Alaska Magazine featuring Alaska’s Master Carvers including Nathan Jackson, and Israel Shotridge. In October 2015, Varnell was selected for a residency by the Smithsonian Institute to study and critique their collection of Southeast Alaskan Native artifacts at the Anchorage Museum.