Two Spirits Gallery

Located in the 4th Avenue Market Place in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, Two Spirits Gallery had been operated by Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) since 2005.  In March of 2011, Two Spirits Gallery re-opened as an Alaska Native-owned Social Enterprise. Two Spirits Gallery features the work from hundreds of Artists, representing all facets of traditional and contemporary Alaskan Art.


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The New Two Spirits Gallery debuts Tuesday

If you've been downtown for the Fur Rendezvous events, you may have stepped into the 4th Avenue Marketplace to discover 40 or more tables with arts and crafts being sold. The former Post Office Mall is continuing to evolve in its quest to provide a permanent downtown venue for Alaska Native Artists.
The Two Spirits Gallery and space for carvers to work was originally paid for by a grant through Cook Inlet Tribal Council, with checkered success. Recently the gallery was sold to Karen Tocktoo, who had been the retail manager. The studio space -- now the Two Spirits Carving Studio -- was sold to Robert Raphael, who can often be found at work there along with other artists that he's assisting.

Please join Two Spirits Gallery for its Grand Re-Opening Tuesday March 1st from 1-5pm. 

Among the attractions at the moment are the contemporary art that will be auctioned at the annual fundraiser for Koahnic Broadcast Corporation. KNBA will be broadcasting live from the opening reception.

When I stopped by last week, I found some remarkable work by Audrey Armstrong, Roger Wassillie and Sonya Kelliher-Combs among others and was told more is on the way. The work will be available for inspection through March 17.

In addition to the two new Native-owned businesses, other art-craft venues are gravitating to the place, including the relocated One People Gallery, a fur shop and Linda Warford's new gallery. The Craft Alaska arts and crafts fair, which opened on Friday, continues today and returns next Saturday, at the start of the Iditarod Race. There will be food and drink (as well as bathrooms) for the fans of mushing dogs and racing reindeer.

The 4th Avenue Marketplace has remained somewhat under the radar for tourists, despite the fact that it has largely been the only place downtown where visitors could regularly watch and interact with Native craftsmen. Advertising for the Alaska Experience Theatre has brought some out-of-towners this way. Tables set up on the sidewalk outside a year or two ago helped boost the bazaar image, but many vendors have lamented that tourists weren't in the mood to spend much money.

With luck that will change. Tocktoo noted that Anchorage will have extra cruise ships this year and, she hoped, some of those passengers will find their way to Fourth Avenue and D Street.

I hope so too.


Published: February 26th, 2011 11:01 PM
Last Modified: February 26th, 2011 11:33 PM

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