Honorable Mention
Title of Art Piece: Don’t Leave Me Behind
Category: Multicultural Art – 2024
Student/Artist’s Name: Kayla Swazer
School: West Anchorage HS
Grade: 10th
Artist Statement: This artwork is an Eyak woman showing sadness and emotion with her tears, to show how she feels about people not knowing her culture, or forgetting. She is wearing her traditional clothing with a beaded headpiece along with beaded earrings.I created this piece by using ibisPaint X. I used a lot of contrast and shading throughout the hair and the face, to show how she’s looking at an angle, and how dynamic it is.I was inspired by my past summer job. I used to work at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and we had to give tours and talk about the culture and traditions on Alaskan Natives and my piece was focused on the smallest population of Alaskan Natives which was the Eyak. The whole point of this piece is to describe and show emotion on how awful it would be if people would forget about certain culture and plus spread the word about the Eyak culture slowly becoming extinct. It’s gotten so bad that the last fluent Eyak speaker passed away in 2008 and we have yet to repair and rebuild the language. So during this piece I tried to show a bit of frustration and sadness throughout the drawing.

My goal on this piece was to spread the word about the Eyak tribe, and how we can still get to know the culture itself, and to not let it go extinct mostly just to spread awareness. I’ve witnessed throughout elders and other tribes about the knowledge of the Eyak which was very little, I want to know more about them how they danced, what they wore, and how they survived this long.

Artwork Dimensions: 2399 high x 2270 wide
Original Image