Glenda McKay

Ronald and Susan Dubin Fellowship

2013

“Shaman Talks” (2006) by Glenda McKay“Shaman Talks” (2006) by Glenda McKayWhale bone, polar bear fur, garnets, fossilized ivory, seal skin, beaver fur, porcupine quill, mammoth ivory, beads, and whale baleen. Photograph by Jennifer Day
“Shaman Talks” (2006) by Glenda McKay
Detail of “Shaman Talks” (2006) by Glenda McKayDetail of “Shaman Talks” (2006) by Glenda McKayWhale bone, polar bear fur, garnets, walrus ivory, seal skin, beaver fur, porcupine quill, mammoth ivory, beads, and whale baleen. Photograph by Jason S. OrdazGlenda McKayGlenda McKay2013 Ronald and Susan Dubin Fellow. Photograph by Jason S. Ordaz
Detail of “Shaman Talks” (2006) by Glenda McKayGlenda McKay

Glenda McKay is Ingalik-Athabascan. She was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and was taught the skills she uses in doll making at an early age by her mother, grandmother, and aunts. Knowing how to embroider and bead; trap, snare, and tan hides; and gather fruit, roots, bark, and plants has served her well. McKay has a much-earned reputation for personally gathering all the materials for her creations and she is known for her intricate attention to detail. While at SAR, she proposes to use traditional materials to create a doll scene called “Basket Maker.”

Her dolls take between three and nine months to create. McKay is proud of her Ingalik-Athabascan heritage and the dolls depict actual ceremonies of the lives, culture, and history of her ancestors. She is a passionate and articulate advocate for her culture.

Since 2006, McKay has shown professionally at major juried competitions, winning twenty-three ribbons in the past six years. Her work is in permanent museum collections, galleries, and private collections.



Glenda McKay speaks about her artwork and creative process.