Holly Mititquq Nordlum is an Iñupiaq (Inuit) artist who grew up in and outside the northern village of Kotzebue, Alaska. Nordlum works in a variety of media, using each to best cast light on Indigenous people. Her tattoo work and traditional markings revitalization effort is based on a 10,000-year Inuit history and is a machine-free process that facilitates healing, pride, and celebration from the traumas of colonization and individual experience. She organizes training, using traditional patterns in in-depth sessions to foster real change for people. In the end, creating community in the marks left behind. Nordlum’s public artwork education is about the still-surviving tribes of Alaska: their stories, histories, and cultures. Holly speaks publicly about the systems which continue to oppress her people and prevent their thriving.
In 2004, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alaska; in the last five years, she received a Time Warner Fellow with Sundance, an Art Matters grant and an Alaska Humanities Forum grant, an Alaska Native Visionary Award, a Rasmuson Artist Project Grant and an Artist Fellowship, NDN Collective Indigenous Artists Grant and was part of Smithsonian’s NMAI’s Artist Leadership Program.