Alaska Growth Capital has been supporting local Alaskan Native artist Leon Kinneeveauk for years. If you have ever toured our office, you may recognize his art covering AGC’s walls and if you were on our mailing list, you would have received a Christmas Card featuring his work. Not only is Leon’s work renowned throughout Alaska, Leon is a prime example of an outstanding community member and AGC is happy to have supported him throughout the years.
In the spring of 2018, Leon Kinneeveauk purchased Arctic Treasures, becoming downtown Anchorage’s only native-owned business. Arctic Treasures Art Gallery features authentic Alaska Native Art from across the state, including Leon’s home, the North Slope region. This accomplishment came after years of mastering his crafts (i.e. ivory carving, jewelry, wall hangings, scrimshaw, and painting) and seeking opportunities that allowed him to advance professionally as an artist.
As a true social entrepreneur and innovator, Leon has expanded the impact of Arctic Treasures, benefiting community artists in many ways. Due to Leon’s history, opportunities were limited; however, Leon sought possibility as an artist in residence at Arctic Treasures. Not only was Leon able to sustain himself financially, but he also learned the Art Galleries business and contributed to its improvements 3 years. This was a rare, life-changing opportunity that Leon knew could benefit additional native artists in the community; allowing individuals to get back on their feet while pursuing their art.
Identifying the opportunity to give back, Leon created a workshop where artists can work in a safe sober environment to create art with an emphasis on culture and sobriety. Leon also provides access to clothing, meals, showers and local resources when and where possible. Currently, Arctic Treasures is home to 14 artists in residence.
To further his impact, Leon began an active outreach campaign to artists on the North Slope to increase the purchase and sale of art from the region both in the Gallery and via an online platform. Because of the positive impact on North Slope artists and the region’s economy at large, Leon became eligible for a North Slope Marketplace award through Alaska Growth Capital. Demonstrating a strong community impact on the North Slope, Leon was awarded $13,500 through the Marketplace for website development and North Slope Art Purchases.
He has created an innovative business model that benefits artists locally and on the North Slope and we highly suggest supporting his business located on 4th avenue.