Cultural Background: Tlingit, Yukon
“The works that I’m most known for are paintings of West Coast Tlingit people in masks, button blankets and woven hats, many of them dancing,” says Jean. “I also love to paint images of moccasins, mukluks, mitts, jackets and snowshoes, all the things I saw being created by my relatives as I was growing up.” Jean’s heritage is Tlingit and she spent years of her life in the Yukon. She now thinks back and realizes how inspired and encouraged she has been by the creativity that was all around her during childhood.
“I have a picture of my great-grandfather making snowshoes,” says Jean. “I am certain that he didn’t think of himself as an artist, nor did most of my relatives. They were just making functional things that we needed to get by in the northern environment. Now I appreciate the great skill, love and artistry that were put into everything they made.”