Robert Mills is a lifelong resident of Southeast Alaska. Specifically, he calls the Tlingit village of Kake his home. Robert is a Tlingit artist of the Tsaagweidi clan who works with both metal and wood. His art is deeply tied to the land of the Tlingit (the Lingit aani) and the Tlingit culture which grew out of thousands of years of interaction with this darkly-forested, fjord-riven land. Robert’s art both celebrates ancient Tlingit traditions and builds upon them.
Land and true human identity are synonymous to Robert. The Tlingit language itself is infused with this understanding and Robert is a steadfast supporter of the resuscitation of Tlingit language and the culture it formed. This is not only for the Tlingit cultures own sake, but also as a way to help all peoples ground themselves in a more authentic understanding of our own humanity. Robert’s art: decorative, functional and testimonial, is always grounded in this truth, this earth, this Tlingit aani.