Like her sister, Ursala Hudson (Tlingit; born Santa Fe, NM, 1987; resides Pagosa Springs, CO) is of Caucasian, Filipino, and Alaska Native descent. Drawing from decades of experience in graphic design, Hudson crafts woven Tlingit couture with innovative designs that break from traditional Chilkat and Ravenstail styles of weaving. Her intricate garments subvert conventional thinking, blurring the lines between custom and high fashion and elevating the strength, beauty, and resilience of the women who wear them. Combining tradition and modernity, her ensembles tell the present-day, evolving story of her people and the land of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Although she was raised immersed in the art business and practice of her mother, renowned weaver Clarissa Rizal, it took Hudson twenty-nine years to complete her first weaving—just months prior to her mother’s passing in 2016. Her sister, Lily Hope, has mentored Hudson through relearning the process. After completing her first full ensemble in the spring of 2021, Hudson was granted a LIFT fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, won Best of Show at the Washington State History Museum’s IN THE SPIRIT exhibition, and is a 2022 fellow of the First Peoples Fund’s Artist in Business Leadership Program. She has won numerous awards at the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s biennial Juried Art Shows and was a recipient of a Bill Holm Research Residency grant. Her work walked the runway during the Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival 2022, the 2022 Adäka fashion show in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, and the 2022 SWAIA Gala haute couture fashion show in Santa Fe. Her work has been included in multiple recent exhibitions, including the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe and a duo show with her sister at Stonington Gallery in Seattle in 2022.
Ursala Hudson, Lightning at Dawn, bodice: merino wool, silk, leather, plastic boning, tencel. Bag: merino wool, leather. Hat: vintage wool hat, merino wool, silk, feather, mother-of-pearl button