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Sitka Art Blog

Rebecca Poulson

107 Jeff Davis Street

Sitka, Alaska 99835

Phone (907) 747-3448




M.F.A. Tyler School of Art, Temple University, 2000

Certificate in Boatbuilding International Boatbuilding Training Centre, Lowestoft, England 1989

B.A. Biology, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, 1986

Professional Experience

2018 Executive Director Sitka Maritime Heritage Society

1995 to present Self-employed printmaker, publisher The Outer Coast calendar of art and poetry

2017-2018 Director, public interpretation project Voices of Sheldon Jackson School and College

2017 Research, publication and public school curriculum “The Legacy of Sitka's First Ten Years Under the American Flag, 1867-1877” State of Alaska, Treaty of Cession Sesquicentennial

2012-present Producer, Sheldon Jackson School and College Oral History Project: recording and archiving video interviews, producing a written narrative and short documentary video, and upcoming book

2004-present managing over a dozen federally-funded historic preservation projects on Japonski Island marine ways (Sitka Naval Operating Base and U.S. Coastal Defenses NHL) and Sheldon Jackson School National Historic Landmark

2012-present Conducting video and audio interviews with more than 40 individuals, documenting the history of Sheldon Jackson School and College, as well as commercial fishing, boatbuilding, and other aspects of Sitka's history. Several have aired on public radio station KCAW

2015 Author, Designer “Sheldon Jackson School National Historic Landmark, Sitka Alaska,” history and architecture pamphlet, supported by federal Historic Preservation Fund

2001 – present Artist in the Schools and Instructor Sitka Fine Arts Camp, and (2000-2003) Adjunct Instructor, University of Alaska Southeast: Drawing, Printmaking, Graphic Novel, Watercolor

1983 to 1994 Commercial fisherman, longlining for halibut and blackcod, and trolling for salmon

1986 to 1995 Shipwright (repairing wood fishing boats), co-founder Sitka Shipwrights Cooperative

Community Service and Volunteer Activities

2016-2018 Alaska Historical Commission

2013-2018 Alaska Historical Society Board of Directors, President 2014-2016

2015 Writing and Directing radio play, A Fairy Tale

2015-2018 Painting and constructing sets for Sitka's Young Performers Theater productions Peter Pan and Wizard of Oz and other shows, designing and leading construction for sets for Alice In Wonderland and Seussical, and Sitka Community Theater productions of Sense and Sensibility and The Addams Family, and design, construction or painting sets for Sitka Fine Arts Camp Musical Theater Camp productions of Guys and Dolls, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast.

2015 The Merrill Project, raising money to donate collection of E. W. Merrill photographic plates to the Sitka National Historical Park

2014-2015 Leading 7th grade Literature Circle for Gifted and Talented students

2012 Organizer of panel on Sheldon Jackson School and College History, Alaska Historical Society Annual Meeting, Sitka, Alaska

2002-present Board Sitka Maritime Heritage Society, restoring WWII boat shop as maritime museum. As acting director of this all-volunteer organization (to 2011), won and administered historic preservation grants totaling nearly half a million dollars, organized maritime heritage events

2006 – present Volunteer teaching art in schools and with Sitka Fine Arts Camp Elementary Camp

2001-2005 As Board Member of the Greater Sitka Arts Council, produced community Art Parties


2017 Grant awards from Alaska Humanities Forum and the Rasmuson Foundation for Voices of Sheldon Jackson School and College multimedia public interpretation project

2016 Research Grant award, State of Alaska Treaty of Cession Sesquicentennial

2014 Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award

2013 Alaska Humanities Forum award for Sheldon Jackson School and College Oral History Project

2013 Alaska State Council on the Arts Career Opportunity Grant for Homer show

2011 Alaska State Council on the Arts Career Opportunity Grant (for APU Show)

2000 Temple University Project Completion Grant

1999 Technical Assistantship (scholarship, stipend), Tyler School of Art, Temple University

1998 Teaching Assistantship (scholarship, stipend), Tyler School of Art, Temple University

Recent Exhibitions

December 2017 International Wood Engraving Invitational 2017, Davidson Galleries, Seattle

December 2017 “Recent Watercolors,” Old Harbor Books, Sitka

2015-present Creating sets for nine plays and musicals, youth and community theater

November 2016 Director of live radio theater play with Sitka Community Theater

December 2015 Writer and director, live radio theater play A Fairy Tale

May 2014 The Past Inspiring the Present Sitka Historical Society and Museum, Sitka, Alaska

January 2014 A Wood Engravers Menagerie Zygote Press, Cleveland, Ohio

March 2013 The Mission interactive installation of video, audio, photos and documents, using all of Whitmore Hall (former boarding school dorm and offices), Sheldon Jackson Campus, Sitka

March, 2013 Solo show of wood engraving prints at Fireweed Gallery, Homer Alaska

Publications and Presentations

2010 to present: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Presentations at Alaska Historical Society conferences, 2010 Russian American History Conference (published in Over the Near Horizon: Proceedings of the 2010 Russian American Conference, NPS, 2012), 2015 and 2017 Sharing Our Knowledge Conference of Tlingit Clans, 2015 at Sheldon Jackson Museum (Alaska State Museums), and 2017 in Sesquicentennial Speakers Series. Nearly all my work has been on aspects of Sitka's 19th and early 20th Alaska Native history, primarily maritime and mission.

2014 "A Brief History of Sheldon Jackson School and College," other pieces and essays at Sitka Art Blog

2014 Surprises and Contradictions from the Oral History of Sheldon Jackson School and College, a short documentary film

2010 Presented “If These Wallls Could Talk: The Story of Building 43” at the Russian American Conference, Sitka. Published in Over the Near Horizon: Proceedings of the 2010 Russian American Conference, Sitka, 2012.

1996 “Survival of the Fittest,” history of West Coast trollers, feature article in WoodenBoat magazine, May 1996.

Permanent Collections

Rebecca Poulson's work is in the permanent collection of the Alaska State Museum and of the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.