New artwork in Dillingham showcases water as a source of life and culture

The Dillingham School District recently installed a mural called “Water is Our Way of Life.” WaterMural1

The mural highlights the important role water serves as a source of culture, food and recreation within the Bristol Bay community, where fishing is a key economic and cultural activity.

Icicle Seafoods contributed $1,800 toward the mural’s creation. It was part of a $10,000 grant from Icicle to the Dillingham School District to support marine and freshwater education to students.

Alaska Sea Grant provided oversight on how funding was used and additional support, including a teacher workshop in Dillingham.

“We just installed the mural right before school started. It is a collage made from photos of every child in the school making fish prints and photos collected from their families and community members,” said Joni Snellgrove, a kindergarten teacher in Dillingham, a hub community in the Bristol Bay region of western Alaska.

The lead artist was Brook Spurlock, a local second grade teacher, with input and contributions from many in the community.

Marilyn Sigman, Alaska Sea Grant’s marine education specialist, was involved with the project.

“This aligns with our mission to promote marine literacy throughout coastal Alaska,” she said.