The U.S. Postal Service has tapped a Tlingit artist based in Juneau to create a Northwest Coast art stamp for distribution in 2021.
The design of the stamp, titled “Raven Story” by Rico Lanáat’ Worl, was unveiled this week by the Postal Service as part of its Forever Stamps series.
The Postal Service had planned to unveil the stamp with Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) at Celebration 2020, but the event was cancelled because of the pandemic. SHI is working with the agency to hold a release ceremony next year.
The Postal Service has featured Northwest Coast art stamps in the past; in 1996, it released a stamp featuring Worl’s clan uncle, Nathan Jackson, performing a Raven dance. However, this is thought to be the first time such a design has been illustrated by a Tlingit artist.
Antonio Alcalá, who served as art director on the project, reached out to Worl about creating the stamp after seeing his work for sale at the National Museum of the American Indian gift store in Washington DC.
“It was a huge honor to be invited to participate. I also felt the weight of needing to represent well since I was showcasing as a Tlingit artist on a national platform,” Worl said. “I hope that as a designer I can represent on a national scale the modernity of Native people — that we’re engaged in modern culture while still carrying forward our traditional heritage.”