Moses “Uksuq” Wassilie
Cultural Affiliation: Yup’ik
The artist was born in a sod house at Nunapitchuk in Southwest Alaska in 1946; mother was Lucy Jacob, traditional Yupik Dancer and subsistence trained woman and father was Wassilie B. Evan, subsistence Hunter & Fisherman and leader from Napaskiak. As a young boy, Moses spent his early youth living a traditional subsistence way of life in the Tundra country off the Johnson River system. He spent his elementary grade school years at the Moravian Children’s Home in Kwethluk, where he learned about Christianity and Western subsistence and way of life with schooling and was inspired by the late Muriel Hannah, a pastel portrait painter; Moses graduated from high school at Mt. Edgecumbe boarding school at Sitka in 1966, where he started painting portraits using charcoal on Sitka pulp mill paper. Other secondary schools include the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico to study painting and sculpture, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks to study carving and drawing and the University of Alaska Anchorage for a human services degree. The artist paints with pastel, acrylic and oil; also produces King Island style Inupiat drums, contemporary carvings and masks, and walrus ivory jewelry. Moses also was a documentary filmmaker and photographer for KYUK in Bethel and KUAC in Fairbanks as well as film actor and talent, and taught cultural sensitivity and education classes for public and private organizations in Alaska, including schools and museums. He performs with the Yupik/Cupik dance group, the Kicaput Singers and Dancers of Anchorage. Also a contemporary musician since 1958, he has been playing guitar and keyboard with many bands, including Sound Project, Tundra Country, Pilot Bread and the Matt Hammer Band. Since 2000, Moses has been creating artwork and playing piano and guitar and singing as part of Alaska Native Heritage Center’s artist in residence program on the Holland America Cruise ships during the Alaska summer sailing seasons in Southeast Alaska. Digital artwork and design was started in 2000, with logos and web-based artwork under his UpikArt business. In 60 years, his art has graced many homes, businesses and public institutions in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and the World!
Learn more about Moe’s work here: https://www.facebook.com/moe.wassilie