2019 Workshops

Choose 1 workshop for the week. Workshops run Monday, July 29 - Friday, August 2, 2019

201707245422 (2) (1).jpg

Fish Skin Baskets with Audrey Armstrong

Sewing fish skin to make garments, shoes, bags, and vessels is a traditional Alaskan art form that, until recently, was nearly forgotten. Fish skin is very strong and can be used to make beautiful, waterproof bags and baskets. Learn the process for preparing and sewing fish skin and make a beautiful vase or basket. The workshop will begin with creating a pattern for your basket. Once the fish skin is sewn and dried, embellish your basket with leather, beads, and shells. The workshop will include a field trip to the Sheldon Jackson Museum which has over 50 fish skin pieces in the collection. Basic familiarity with sewing is encouraged.


Photography at the Intersection of Science and Art with José Francisco Salgado

Whether produced as part of a scientific imaging process, as the artistic expression of a creative process, or as  both,  photography lets us perceive physical processes that lie beyond the light sensitivity of our eyes and the timescale at which our brain operates. Astronomer and visual artist Dr. José Francisco Salgado has been developing photographic techniques to capture natural scenes, physical phenomena, and the process of science-making itself. The workshop will focus on the techniques he has perfected including time-lapse, infrared, high-speed flash, and more.


Explore the World by Listening with Richard Nelson 

Explore the joys of listening, the rewards of learning from other cultures, the gift of focused curiosity, and the value of deeply experiencing earth’s infinitely varied places. Each morning we’ll seek another way of learning about the world--through the insights of Alaska Native traditions, through the hunter’s eye, through focused attention to natural and human music, through heightened appreciation for the gifts of wildness. We will consider the sound of water, the magic of ice, the subtlety of deer, the voices of birds, the marvel of language, the power of bears, the mystery of salmon, the wisdom of elders, and the possibility that the world is listening back. Bringing a camera, recorder (as on a phone), journal, and above all your inborn senses. The goal is to learn and think anew about the world, while we hang out together, laugh, get wet, grow tired, lavish ourselves in the beauty of this place...and above all, listen. Moderate Activity level: Includes walking on trails with uneven surfaces.


Art of Ecology with Kathy Hocker & Kitty LaBounty

Science and art intertwine in this workshop presented by botanist Kitty LaBounty and science illustrator Kathy Hocker. The forests and wetlands of Sitka are our field sites, where Kitty will guide us in discovering the diverse and fascinating ecological interactions that shape this place. As we explore, we’ll use field sketching and book arts to seek a deeper understanding of the living landscape and share what we find. This workshop is appropriate for naturalists and artists of any skill level.

Festival Registration: $650 + tax, Includes: 5 day workshop, interdisciplinary seminars, concert & lecture series, 3 lunches, & the closing banquet.

2 Graduate level Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are available from UAS Sitka for each workshop. Cost: $60. Contact jennifer(at)fineartscamp.org for more information by July 15th, 2019.


2019 Excursions


Every afternoon features options to get out and explore Sitka. Excursion sign ups will be at Sweetland Hall and the evening Concert & Lecture Series.


Sitka Sound is home to the greatest variety of wildlife in Southeast Alaska from sea otters to whales, sea lions, porpoises, harbor seals, brown bears, blacktail deer, puffins, bald eagles and more! Scattered with over 200 islands, Sitka Sound is full of history and culture as well as wildlife. View the geology of the islands, scout for humpback whales, and laugh at the antics of a sea otter. Dress warmly and bring a rainproof jacket to wear on the observation deck. Binoculars, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are provided on this 2 hour tour of the waters and islands of Sitka Sound. Captained by Allen Marine Tours of Alaska, a multi-year winner of Shore Excursion of the Year, the waterjet-driven tour vessel is designed to navigate Southeast Alaska’s narrow island passages, allowing for wildlife viewing at close range. The vessel features a warm cabin with comfortable seating, large windows, galley and restrooms.  There is an expansive topside observation deck for unparalleled photo opportunities and to fully experience your quest with all your senses. The tour is on Wednesday, July 31st, boarding at Crescent Harbor at 1pm, returning at 4pm.

Sitka Sound Wildlife Tour $100 + tax, requires sign up at registration, available until full.


Hikes, visits to the Alaska Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bear, Sheldon Jackson Museum, Sitka National Historic Park, The Russian Bishop’s House, Seafood shopping at North Pacific Seafoods, Hatchery Tour at Sitka Sound Science Center, and more.

Excursion fees will be charged directly to participant accounts to cover admission and transportation after sign up.



Artists Tryptich.jpg


The Uncommon Music Festival is dedicated to breaking the boundaries of standard concert repertoire with performances of early music, contemporary music, and under-performed repertoire from any age, bringing together young artists and curious audiences in an intimate setting. Each night, musicians will present solo and chamber pieces featuring vocalists, guitar and piano. Open rehearsals are a great time to listen and learn more about the music-making process as well as ask questions. In keeping with their dedication to new music, musicians will perform the work by the winner of their composition competition.  More information can be found at www.uncommonmusicfest.org.


“I’m deeply grateful for the Sitka Fine Arts Camp’s wonderfully meaty Arts and Science Festival. I participated both of the first two years, drawn by the conjunction of arts and science. Year one, I never imagined being able to create a salmon skin basket in the five short days, with Athabaskan elder Audrey Armstrong’s careful guidance in her fish skin sewing workshop. Year two I was in more familiar territory with a writing workshop, but under the direction of thúy lë, a particularly insightful teacher, I found myself creating work that had been out of reach and now was not. And while the workshops were the heart of the Festival for me, the evening faculty talks offered more fresh perspectives that broadened and deepened the whole experience. Not to mention the stunningly beautiful setting that Sitka, Alaska offers and the opportunities to surround myself with that wild country. I came away feeling vibrantly alive and awake and curious, refreshed and grateful. I would attend again in a heartbeat.”

-Carolyn Servid