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Colorful Creations: Nome’s ‘Salmon on Parade’ inspires young artists

The ‘Salmon on Parade’ contest sponsored by Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) went on display around Nome last Friday (July, 28th). A total of 100 salmon cut-outs were reserved and distributed to Nome participants, on June 20th and were completed by July 24th. NSHC shipped 100 salmon cut outs to communities of the Bering Strait region, which were virtually submitted by July 24th.

Prizes are awarded for the best overall, best message, most creative, and most culturally inspired projects. There were no rules in decorating your salmon, besides signing your name and keeping your decoration family friendly. In 2019, NSHC hosted a ‘Seals on Parade” which showcased 87 hand decorated seal cut-outs across Nome. Winners were voted by the public, and cash prizes were awarded.

The decorated salmon showcase artwork from artists from across the region. One of the artists is seven-year-old Elizabeth Phan. Her salmon is decorated with swirls and bright colors, located on the corner of Front Street and East N St. Her project titled “Ocean Glamour” was inspired by one of Nome’s scenic spots.

“Since we live in front of the ocean, I thought oh, maybe I should do my fish as inspiration from the ocean.”

She says, she used several materials to decorate her salmon.

“I used acrylic paint, a swipe (technique), and glitter.”

The salmon on parades gives all ages an opportunity to creatively express themselves and display their artwork to the community. The salmon around town showcase the communities’ culture and diversity, fostering a sense of identity and pride among residents. Elizabeth says the most fun part of decorating her fish was doing it with her mom, Veronica Phan.

For young artists like Elizabeth, art initiatives provide opportunities to express themselves, promoting their personal growth and development. Integrating art into smaller communities can have positive effects on social and cultural aspects, enhancing the overall quality of life for its residents.

The 2023 ‘Salmon on Parade’ Map Worksheet was released on Tuesday (August 1st) by NSHC. The Map Worksheet announces a regional walking challenge following a route that leads down Front Street, to Bering Street, to Greg Kruschek Avenue. Copies of completed walking challenges can found and submitted in the lobby on NSHC, or by emailing pr@nshcorp.org to be entered to win a 60,000-mileage Alaska Airlines ticket.

Photo at top: Elizabeth’s decorated salmon on the corner of N St. and Front St.

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