Journal

Artist of the Week: Theresa Abbas

"We decided to start Alaska Coastal Seaweed as a means to provide healthy, local, sustainable foods and be on the water with my family living our Alaska life."

Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

This week’s featured artist is Alaskan harvester and maker, Theresa Abbas! Theresa brings the sea to our snack life in her roasted seaweed treats - using her outdoor lifestyle and our own backyard as her creative source. 

Who are you?

Theresa Abbas, mother of two, wife of one and friend to many.

What do you do?

Too much to list, but for my business Alaska Coastal Seaweed I harvest wild Alaskan seaweed, dry and process it into snacks and flakes.

I wanted to do something meaningful with and for my family.

I’ve been harvesting personal use seaweed since I moved to Juneau in 2004, but it was in 2010 when my family and I moved to a remote SE facility that we started to incorporate it into our daily lifestyle. It provided a food source and became part of our homeschool curriculum. I was processing and sending it back to family and friends. They requested more and their kids loved it. A healthy food that replaced many over processed snacks.

After moving back to Juneau we decided to start Alaska Coastal Seaweed as a means to provide healthy, local, sustainable foods and be on the water with my family living our Alaska life.

Who/what inspires you?

All thing nature.

What’s your favorite moment in the process?

Being in my kayak with my kids in a remote area of SE Alaska. Each of us quiet, in our own moment, in the middle of nowhere, taking it all in and becoming whole. Couldn’t be a more perfect moment.

What’s a trick of your trade, or a piece of advice for other artists in your medium?

Make your own path. What works for others may not work for you.

What’s next?

It’s a secret…..

Roasted Seaweed Snacks

Shop Theresa's roasted seaweed snacks here!

Artist of the Week: Sarah Campen

"The person who is drawn to multiple fields has something special to say about the combination of those things and the relationship between them."

Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

This week’s featured artist is Alaskan multimedia artist and organizer, Sarah Campen! Sarah's collaborative work amongst diverse voices/movement/words captivates our attention and uses co-creating as a metaphor for building community. Be a part of the co-creative community tonight as Sarah installs an interactive collaborative piece at Kindred Post during First Friday! Stop by between 4:30-7 to see what Poetry in Motion all about! 

Who are you?

My name is Sarah Campen. My parents are Brenda Campen of Sitka and Gary Campen of Pt. Townsend, WA. I grew up in Sitka and now make my home on Taas Daa (Lemesurier Island) in Icy Strait, near Hoonah and Gustavus.

What do you do?

My first love is dancing; I study people and things move in the world. I am a multi-media artist, which to me means acting as a translator. I love translating from one medium to another; taking one idea and viewing it through the prism of multiple art-forms. Dance and movement are usually at the core of my artwork, layered with other mediums I am drawn to: words, video, sculpture, textiles, audio.

I am also a community organizer, and making collaborative work is essential to me. I love seeing what happens when a community of people come together to add their voices, their movement, their words into something new. There is such power in building and making together. It is practicing a model of how we can build our communities.

Who/what inspires you?

Recently, I have been inspired by the idea that it is not necessary to choose one artistic medium and forego all others. It is true that someone who exclusively studies violin has better technical skill in that area than someone who studies violin and basketball and mathematics. But the person who is drawn to multiple fields has something special to say about the combination of those things and the relationship between them. The artist Austin Kleon encourages people to simply let all the topics they love talk to one another: let your vocation and your hobbies and your passions all percolate together. For someone like me who has so many interests, that was a revelation: that my artistic voice comes from the sum of my experiences and interests, the collective whole of myself, rather than only one piece.

What’s your favorite moment in the process?

I love that moment of pushing hard on a project, alone or with friends, usually late into the night. Getting to really focus and dive in, that's my favorite.

What’s a trick of your trade, or a piece of advice for other artists in your medium?

I often find myself overwhelmed by the hugeness of an idea or project. When things seem too large, it's like freefall, it feels impossible. I am learning to break things into small pieces, to put borders around each step. The writer Anne Lammott has a great piece of advice that I think of often: she keeps a 1"x1" picture frame on her desk to remind herself she only needs to write enough words to fill that square. Bit by bit by bit those squares grow into a manuscript. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I have started applying this philosophy to my own creative practice. A blank page or a block of time set aside to make art can be scary: How do you fill it? Where do you even start? How much is enough? I've started giving myself really specific prompts. This puts a frame around the task, and helps me get to where I want to go.

What’s next?

I am working on a podcast! It's called A Piece of Kake, and is interviews with Kake community members about food and history and family. That project is entering the editing phase, and will be available later this winter.

This winter I also am beginning a new Instagram choreography series showcasing movement in my everyday life. Look for me on insta: @scampen

Artist of the Week: Jamie Redmond

"The beginning portion of every new project is so precious. Just sit with it and play until you think you are ready to share, and then sit with it and play some more."

Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

This week’s featured artist is Jamie Redmond! She had us at hello with her hilarious Animal Tales; a fantastic collection of photography and fiction that finds you in all your feelings. Read more about her work, her inspiration, and more.

Who are you?

Jamie Redmond, a writer, and photographer out of Upstate NY. I am also a proud dog mom to 3 of the craziest furbabies in the world (okay, 2 are crazy and 1 is so normal he seems like he must be mad).

What do you do?

I create fun and quirky little visual stories called the Animal Tales. Ever since I was a kid I've been creating images and words together; for me, it's hard to create one without the other.

Sometimes life can be amazing and give us things to celebrate, and sometimes it's just hard; the Animal Tales were created as little pep talks wrapped in laughable life lessons that could be shared. I like to think of them as sending hugs or high-fives through the mail.

Who/what inspires you?

I am endlessly inspired by the wonders of nature, the antics of my menagerie of pets, and the lessons my parents taught me.

I lost both my parents in my 20s and in every Animal Tale I can see my mother's love of literacy (my earliest memories are of her teaching me to read) and my father's wicked gift for storytelling. It's a way for me to stay in touch with them and share their love.

What’s your favorite moment in the process?

I always get asked if I write the stories or create the images first. Honestly, it can go either way. But my favorite moment is when I come up with the exact story at the same time the shutter clicks. There is something so serendipitous about an image and story being perfectly made for each other.

What’s a trick of your trade, or a piece of advice for other artists in your medium?

Indulge in personal project, keep it to yourself, and don't rush it. I know it is hard, so much of our lives are on display and shared now. 

But in the beginning portion of every new project is so precious. Just sit with it and play until you think you are ready to share, and then sit with it and play some more. This really allows you time to develop confidence and follow your creative instincts without having to worry about making mistakes or work that 'isn't good enough.'

The Animal Tales weren't a project I could have created if I sat down and tired: I would have second-guessed them to death. I started the Animal Tales as a personal project to challenge myself artistically and to make myself laugh (all of the Animal Tales, but especially the early ones, were pep talks that I needed hear at that time). I worked on them for about a year before I started to share them. And I wouldn't trade that time for anything in the world.

What’s next?

More Animal Tales…seriously, I am always coming up with new ideas. But my focus for 2020 is going to be writing the longer stories behind the Animal Tales. You may not know this, but every character you see in the cards is always that same character, and each card is just a snapshot from their lives. So as I am adding to the card line, I am writing their life stories in the background. I'd like to do a book of about a dozen short story Animal Tales. Its something I've been working on privately for nearly a year now, and pretty soon I think I will be ready to begin sharing that new work.

TRex Time Card
World Domination Cat Lady Card
Animal Circus Card
See more of Jamie's work here!