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Phillip John Charette


Baker City, OR 97814
United States

I am an Alaska Native Yup'ik artist specializing in sculpture, Yup'ik spirit masks, and Native musical instruments. While involved in art throughout my life, I began work as a full-time artist in 2001. Through a hands-on investigative and exploratory approach, my art expresses elements of traditional Yup'ik spirituality, cosmology, and power. My art is rooted in historic and traditional Yup’ik “ways of being” learned throughout my life. But, I utilize my own contemporary style, form, and perspectives in creating artwork. Spirits, Yup'ik cosmology, and spiritual beings are my primary subject matter.

As a mixed media artist I work with numerous materials which include clay, wood, driftwood, glass, metal, stone, glass beads, rawhide, porcelain, feathers, quills, shells, bones, paint, and found objects. A rare Yup’ik art form, pottery is a foundation for my work. Clay sculptures are low fired or raku fired in home made kilns. All teeth, bones, and spirits are hand made of high-fired porcelain. A flame worker, I make my own glass beads. Driftwood masks and sculptures are hand carved in a contemporary style. Traditional wood bending techniques are used in making spirit mask frames and Yup'ik drums. Native American style flutes are concert quality and made of hardwoods and low fired clays (including smoke fired, horse hair fired, and raku) . I am a flute player and have developed songs influenced by the arctic. My first flute CD is titled Arctic Voices.

My artistic goals are achieved though constant exploration and discovery of new methodologies, utilizing new materials, and in exploring new art forms. Future artistic goals include monumental work, working directly with bronze, large fused glass, metal sculpture, prints, and precious metal work. Finally, I hope to push the boundaries of traditional art bringing attention to new possibilities in the mixed media art world. And, I hope to expose and educate people about the spiritual world of Yup’ik art.


My grandfather John Hinz (known as Cunar) for his strong spiritual beliefs and other Yup'ik elders who helped me to see and understand Yup'ik spirituality. I have a long list of artist friends and family who have helped me understand the significance of what I do. This list includes, but is not limited to the following: Rick Bartow, Frank Janzen, Jim Lavadour, Star York, Jeff Brock, Lillian Pitt, Marvin Oliver, Darcy Nicolas(New Zealand), Marcus Amerman, Marty Hinz, Staci Golar, KC Cowan (Oregon Artbeat), Pamyua (my relatives are in this group), Lee Freed, Bill Brody, Ron Senungetuk, Ernie Frankson, Steven Wall and the Wall family, and many many more.

Informative Statement: 

I've been called a renaissance man by many. Even though I am Yup'ik, I've lived in many places among different cultures with different ways of being. I have one foot in my traditional world and the other foot in the modern world. I am comfortable being alone in rural Alaska yet can comfortably move through places like New York City. Among many things, I am an artist, musician, writer, outdoors man, performer, story teller, educator, and a scholar. Yet, I see myself as an every day kind of person connecting with people from all walks of life. In spite of my accomplishments, I move forward hungry to take in the cultures of the world. My only hope is that I have the time to express many of the perspectives I share with other traditional cultures.

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Contact Name: 
Phillip John Charette

Arctic Voices

Artist - Author: 
Phillip John Charette

1. Arctic Bird
2. Cherokee Love Song
3. Tarvarnauramken
4. Tundra Flutterby
5. Eagle Song
6. Amazing Grace
7. Tribute to Stella
8. Arctic Wolf
9. Long Cold Winter
10. Raven Finds a Meal