UAF International Programs & Initiatives ~ inspiring great people to do great things here and around the world.

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Feature of the Month: Junko Yanagida



Junko Yanagida was born and raised in Japan, moved to Hawaii, lived in the lower 48 (the mainland US) for a few years before moving to Alaska in 2010 and to UAF as a graduate student in fine arts and native arts studio program. She lived here for two years after which she got married to Vitaly Lednev, a television and newspaper commercial designer, also an ice sculptor. She came back to complete her degree in the spring of 2015. Her two week long thesis show, based on birch bark begins on March 19 in 2016.

Why Choosing UAF/Fairbanks?

She is very interested in indigenous culture. She has been studying the Australian Aborigines, the native Hawaiians, The Navajo and Utah Indian. Junko points “Alaska is home to indigenous people living under extreme weather conditions” UAF is the only university in the United States to offer a graduate program in native arts studio.

She added, “In the Japanese culture, viewing the northern lights as a child is considered to bring good luck and I wanted to experience the charming lights”, another reason Junko wanted to live in Alaska. “Don’t forget the Alaskan salmon!” she added in the end.

All these factors made her decide that UAF would be a terrific place to start her Alaskan journey.

Read More

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All photographs on this website are from UAF Marketing and Communication Department Todd Paris and Jean Robert Ancheta, unless indicated at the bottom of the page. All photographs protected by copyright.

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