NEWS_SHI to sponsor Tsimshian David R. Boxley as artist-in-residence

NEWS_SHI to sponsor Tsimshian David R. Boxley as artist-in-residence

Posted By:
Kathy Dye
Kathy Dye
Published On: December 22nd, 2020

Award-winning artist, Northwest Coast art teacher to carve piece​

Nov. 14, 2019

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor the award-winning Tsimshian artist David R. Boxley as an artist-in-residence this month.

Boxley, who won Best of Show and Best of Formline for his piece, Txaamsem, in SHI’s 2016 Juried Art Show and Competition, will carve a piece during his residency at Sealaska Heritage.

Boxley is well known in the region as a teacher of formline design, the term used to describe the shapes and compositions unique to Northwest Coast art. At SHI’s 2016 awards ceremony for its juried art show, Boxley said formline is his passion.

“I have worked for a very long time to understand formline,” Boxley said. “I believe it is the most beautiful thing in the world.”

Boxley began learning formline design from his father, David A. Boxley, when he was 6 years old. He studied under him into his 20s and under Haida master artist Robert Davidson from 2009-2011. He has spent countless hours studying the old Northwest Coast art masterpieces in various museum collections around the world. He attended two years of art school in Seattle before leaving to focus on his traditional artwork. In 2014-2015 he helped his father, an internationally known artist, create the Shuká Hít house front at SHI’s Walter Soboleff Building. He also created one of three bronze house posts mounted outside of the building. Boxley’s style of design is based strongly on the works of the old masters. He has taught formline design in Seattle, Anchorage and Southeast Alaska.

Boxley will be in residence at the Delores Churchill Artist-in-Residence Studio off of the lobby from 9 am-4 pm, Nov. 18-22, at SHI, 105 S. Seward St. in Juneau. The public is welcome to stop by and visit.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

CONTACT: Amy Fletcher, SHI Media and Publications Director, 907.586.9116,

Caption: David R. Boxley standing with a bronze house post he created for the exterior of SHI’s Walter Soboleff Building. Credit: Photo by Brian Wallace, courtesy of Sealaska Heritage. For a high res version, contact


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