Last weekend I returned from a wonderful week in rural Alaska. Friends of Alaska Native Arts Foundation as well as reporters from Alaska Dispatch let me tag along as they followed the coastal leg of Iditarod 2012. While they were cheering on mushers at checkpoints I was interviewing artists in their homes in Unalakleet and Nome. It was an incredible opportunity to meet Alaskan Native makers to hear about how they balance artwork and crafting with subsistence living. From ivory carvings, to narrative paintings to parkas with giant fur ruffs the work was incredibly crafted and locally inspired. [Below] Lorena Paniptchuk from Unalakleet shows off a handmade fur parka while Sylvester Ayek hunts seal out on the frozen Bering Sea in Nome Alaska.