Loon Spirit Wall Sculpture by John Nasoalook Tetpon, Inupiaq
Loon Spirit Wall Sculpture by John Nasoalook Tetpon, Inupiaq bass wood, pigment, feathers 33" high x 27" wide x 8" deep
John Nasoalook Tetpon was taught the art of whalebone and walrus ivory carving by his father. He currently resides in Anchorage, where he creates Native spirit masks under his Inupiaq name, Nasoalook. John was born in Shaktoolik, a small village along the Bering Sea Coast near Nome.He grew up in a traditional household, speaking Inupiaq, but was forced to quickly learn English when he went to school.At age six John went to his first day of school and had his mouth washed with soap for speaking his native language--Inupiaq was not allowed.John now lives on the coast of Northern Washington and visits Alaska during the summer months.
John Tetpon’s current carving repertoire includes work in ivory, wood, fossilized whalebone, and occasionally, soapstone. He has been an artist for about 40 years. Over the last five years John has been teaching his son, Mark, the craft of carving. Mark was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Today they are working together to create traditional Inupiaq masks and figures.