Her latest project focuses on a group of artists from her backyard: earring makers of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Basile profiled nine different artists, photographing both the artist in portrait form and their work, while adding context from videoed interviews. While she generally focuses on more documentary-style photojournalism, Basile said she’s always had an interest in fashion and studio photography.
Funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum, she partnered with the Southwest Alaska Arts Group for the project, which will be exhibited Friday at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center in Bethel starting at 5 p.m. The show will include publication of a 24-page lookbook, featuring each artist and their work. We talked to Basile about the project, the explosion of earring creation among Indigenous artists in the state and how she balances assignments.
The following Q&A has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Anchorage Daily News: What was the evolution of this project?
Basile: I’ve been wanting to do a project on earring artists and earrings and I think in Bethel in particular, with the weather the way it is, there’s not a lot of room for creative fashion.