Siberian Yup'ik Artists John Jr & Arlene Waghiyi

John Jr and Arlene Waghiyi are Siberian Yup'ik artists from Savoonga.  The Waghiyis live a subsistence lifestyle, harvesting animals around St. Lawrence Island for nourishment and using some animal parts for art objects. John makes small earrings, rings and large sculptures and figurines from walrus ivory. He also makes sculptures from ancient whalebone and vertebrae, and drums made with walrus stomach material.

Arlene is one of only a few people who specializes in making baskets from walrus stomach. The process of preparing the stomach is time consuming and delicate. 

The Waghiyis spent a week in Juneau in 2019 for a special Artist Residency at Sealaska Heritage Institute