“Caught In Between,” Joel Isaak @ l’assiette de Pomegranate

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One part of my life comes from western culture big city life.  The other part of my life is small town rural subsistence native Alaska.  I feel that I am wholly each but neither at the same time.  I am supposed to produce and climb a ladder in a cutthroat world pushing to succeed while being drawn to live in coexistence with the land and resources that surround me.

I often get asked “Joel what are you?”  I usually respond with Danish just to see their reaction.  After all I am genetically more Danish and I grew up with many Norwegian traditions that I love.  But this is not the answer most are looking for.  I quickly fallow with “I am part Native Alaskan as well”, and go into an explanation of my family heritage.

I speak about my ethnicities as being “part” something for political correctness.  I don’t feel part anything.  I feel that I am wholly something else.  I have the skills and knowledge to survive in both rural and urban society successfully.

For this show I based the pottery on baskets from northern peoples of the world, with strong emphases on Alaskan grass, birch bark, and fish skin vessels.  I bring my own interpretation of these traditional objects and recreated them in clay.  They are no longer baskets or vessels and not traditional pottery.  They are like me, Caught In Between.


First Friday, April 1st, 2011- 5:00pm – 8:00pm


l’assiette de Pomegranate

414 2nd Avenue