Fairbanks, Alaska

Photo by Vincent Ledvina

Where in the West Should I Go? • 52 Places to Visit in 2022

Fairbanks, Alaska’s third largest city, is a hotspot for artwork that travels back through ancestral history to over 2,000 years ago. From ivory carvings created by Alaska Natives from the Iñupiaq culture to Aleut and Alutiiq headdresses, the city is packed with Alaska Native art history. 

The University of Alaska Museum of the North contains over 2.5 million artifacts and presents millions of years of history within its 10 collections. 

One exhibit reveals 2,000 years of Alaska art waiting in the Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery. The gallery is full of unique pieces of artwork that all express the artists’ experience of Alaska; one such treasure is an ancient ivory carving from the Okvik Eskimo culture.

Although the Museum of the North is most well-renowned, the city of Fairbanks as a whole is just as packed with stunning and fascinating works of art. There are many more galleries that exhibit Native art, and plenty of arts and crafts stores to purchase authentic indigenous crafts.

Indigenous art is so important to the city of Fairbanks that the University of Alaska Fairbanks offers multiple degrees in Native Arts – the only university in the state to do so.