Who We Are
The Collaborative Arts Council includes the following members:
Maya Salganek | Film/Video Arts
Co-Chair of the Collaborative Arts Council
Assistant Professor, Digital Performance Media.
Maya is the founding Director of the Film Program at UAF and has been staff/ faculty for the Theatre department at UAF since 2001. She has worked as a producer for UAF partnered feature films (Chronic Town, 2007; Dear Lemon Lima, 2008; AlaskaLand, 2011; Mining for Ruby, 2013, We Breathe Again, 2016 ) As Director of Photography for The Messenger, 2012 and as a director/producer/editor for documentary and educational films (Honoring the Gift, 2007; Field Techniques for Sea Ice Research, 2009; RAHI 30th Anniversary, 2012).
Daryl Farmer has lived in New Mexico, Oregon, New Hampshire, Mississippi and Texas, among other places. He received a B.A. in physical education from Adams State College (Alamosa, Colorado) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Recent work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Laurel Review, Quarter After Eight and Isotope. His first book Bicycling beyond the Divide: Two Journeys into the West received a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writer’s Award and was a Colorado Book Award finalist. Before moving to Fairbanks, he taught writing at the University of Nebraska, Georgia Tech. and Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Da-ka-xeen Mehner | Assistant Professor, Native Arts
Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/N'ishga) uses the tools of family ancestry and personal history to build his art. Born in Fairbanks, Alaska to a Tlingit/N'ishga Mother and Hippy/American father his work stems from an examination of a multicultural heritage and social expectations and definitions. Da-ka-xeen was raised in two environments, one as an urban Native in Anchorage and the other as a rural Hippy in Fairbanks living without electricity, running water or phones, and heating the house with a wood stove. In particular his work has focused on the constructs of Native American identity, and an attempt to define the Self outside of these constructs. He uses the materials and tools of his family to express himself. From the steel and concrete of his Labor Union father, to the crook knife and cedar of his Alaska Native ancestors, Da-ka-xeen Mehner's artwork reflects his heritage. In an expanded view of "tradition," Da-ka-xeen also includes the inherited tools and skills of photography that were passed down to him from his maternal Uncles.
Da-ka-xeen received his A.A. from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and his B.F.A. from the University of New Mexico. From 1994-2000 Mehner served as the founder and director of Site 21/21, a contemporary art gallery in Albuquerque, NM, and was a founding member/owner of the (Fort) 105 Art Studios in downtown Albuquerque in 1998. Da-ka-xeen returned to Alaska in 2000 and earned his M.F.A in Native Arts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
His work in photography and sculpture has been exhibited from New York to California; Alaska to New Mexico. Collections include the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the University of Alaska Museum of the North (Fairbanks, AK), and the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum (Santa Fe, NM), and the Alaska State Museum (Juneau, AK). His work has been featured in the art magazines Sculpture and American Indian Art, and in numerous newspapers, art catalogs, and blogs. He is an Assistant Professor of Native Arts at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the director of the UAF Native Arts Center.
Gerri Brightwell | Director of Creative Writing
Director of Creative Writing
Chair, Committee for Collaboration in the Arts
I teach in the creative writing programme, specialising in fiction. My historical novel, The Dark Lantern, was published by Crown in 2008, and ColdCountry, a novel about Alaska, came out with Duckworth in 2003.
Winter Journeys, Songs for Orchestra and Chorus.
Lyrics: Gerri Brightwell
Music: James Michael Bicigo (U.A.F. Music Department).
Movements from the work have been performed by the Rostern Community College Choir with the Saskatoon Youth Symphony, the U.A.F. Summer Music Academy Concert Choir, and the U.A.F. Summer Music Academy, Academy Choir
Karen Gustafson | Assistant Professor of Music
Assistant Professor, Trumpet
Fine Arts 209
Dr. Karen Gustafson is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, where she teaches trumpet and conducts the Wind Symphony and Trumpet Ensemble. She is an internationally known trumpet performer and clinician having recently performed concerts and recitals in Italy, Canada, and across the United States. Other performance credits include the Bach Chamber Players of St. Paul, Minnesota Orchestra, Windsor Symphony, Phantom of the Opera Orchestra (Toronto), Enid Symphony, Niagara Symphony, and the Shaw Festival Orchestra. Dr. Gustafson serves as a guest artist in the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and has performed at the UNESCO World Forum on Music, the International Women's Brass Conference, the World Saxophone Congress, and the International Trumpet Guild Conference. She is heard on NPR's 'Intermissions' as well as PBS and CBC Radio Canada. She has been guest soloist with several bands and orchestras in the United States and Canada and has given solo recitals in Alaska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.
While an active performer, Gustafson has presented trumpet and band clinics at several universities and been on faculty at music festivals across the USA and Canada. She attended the Banff School of Fine Arts, Domaine Forget Music Academy, the Royal conservatory of Music (Toronto), and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Dr. Gustafson earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria, a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Minnesota. She has studied trumpet with Armando Ghittala, Louis Ranger, Ramon Parcells, Vincent Cichowicz, David Baldwin, and Gary Bordner, and wind band conducting with John Paynter, Jerry Luckhardt, and Craig Kirchoff.
Miho Aoki | Assistant Professor of Art
Miho Aoki - was born in Tokyo, Japan. She studied at the Advanced Computing Center or Arts and Design and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Ohio State University in 1998. She is currently teaching digital art at University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a joint faculty of the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center. Her art works have been exhibited at Well Street Art Gallery (Fairbanks, AK), MTS Gallery (Anchorage, AK), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Japan), University of Alaska Museum of the North and Aichi Prefecture Ceramics Museum (Japan). Her computer generated images received the Grand Prize of TORAY Digital Creation Awards 2007. Miho participated in multimedia performances and created computer generated graphics for collaborative projects. Recently, she has been involved in Another Language Performing Arts Company's long-distance, collaborative InterPlay performances. Her computer generated animation is shown on on PBS Alaska One and also in PBS NOVA (WGBH Boston) television broadcasts.
Vincent Cee | Assistant Professor of Music Education
Vincent Cee teaches undergraduate courses in music education, jazz, music technology and the core curriculum. He holds music education degrees from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (B.M.), Arizona State University (M.M.) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Ph.D.).
Prior to doctoral studies, Vincent taught general music, elementary orchestra and high school orchestra in Mesa, Arizona. In addition to teaching, he served as a clinician, adjudicator, presenter and guest conductor for various community and statewide musical events. He recently guest conducted the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Music in our Schools Month in March 2009, and served as an adjudicator at the Alaska Schools Athletic Association State Solo and Ensemble Festival in Anchorage in May 2009. Strongly committed to outreach, Vincent offers numerous clinics and sessions in Alaska public schools every year.
While working as a graduate teaching assistant, Vincent taught arts and music courses in the University of Massachusetts Amherst General Education curriculum. Additionally, he designed and developed online platforms for web-based arts courses. Vincent received a University of Massachusetts Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008.
Vincent’s research interests range from examining musical activity within institutions to issues in policy, curriculum and philosophy. Recently, he presented research at the International Society for Improvised Music (ISIM), The National Association for Music Education (MENC) Northwest Division Poster Session, and provided contributions to American String Teacher and the Music Educator’s Journal. In addition to research and teaching, Vincent maintains an active performance schedule with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, The Arctic Chamber Orchestra and numerous local jazz groups. Additionally, he recorded with Phoenix Symphony Flutist, Joe Corral on the CD release, Groovin’ Higher (Tempest Recording; 2004).
Vincent most recently joined the faculty of the UAF Alaska Summer Research Academy (ASRA) in the College of Natural Sciences and Math in 2009. He co-taught the Sounds of Science module, which included circuit bending, basic electronics, physics, acoustics and fun-based inquiry into how the world works through the phenomenon of sound. Students involved in the ASRA Sounds of Science created their own composition featuring circuit bent instruments and other sound collections using the KORG KP3 Kaoss Pad Dynamic Effect/Sampler and numerous other innovations in music and recording technology.
As a former Academic Decathlon Coach (Mesa, AZ) Vincent still finds himself reading and learning as much as possible in his spare time. He joyously serves as a volunteer for the Alaska Literacy Council.