|Raven Icon ©1998 by Bill Hudson|
12" x 16" Acrylic and gold leaf on panel
The icon painting above was created by Bill Hudson for the Alaska Folk Festival's 20th annual festival. He writes that had originally proposed "for the 20th anniversary, a Russian Orthodox style icon of the Mother Mary playing a Russian balalaika," but festival board members felt that might be too offensive to some viewers. So he came back with this Raven icon. He writes, "Although Raven is well known among Alaskan Natives as the Creator of the World — which in my mind certainly ranks him up there with the Mother Mary — no one complained that the new design was religiously offensive."
So the image isn't intended to be a religious icon, but rather to represent the Russian orthodox and Native American communities of Alaska collectively. But it got me to thinking, what would it look like to combine the icon format with Northwest Coast art style to produce biblical depictions of Christ, saints, stories, etc.? Hmmmmm...