Clarissa Rizal


Renowned northwest coast artist and local Pagosa Springs resident Clarissa Rizal died Wednesday, Dec. 7, after a most courageous battle with cancer. She was 60.

Born in Juneau, Alaska, in 1956, Clarissa was a highly respected cultural leader and a multi-talented artist who contributed to the revival and perpetuation of Chilkat and Ravenstail ceremonial blanket weaving. She educated scores of students in Chilkat, Ravenstail and button robe techniques. Clarissa was also a painter, printmaker, fashion designer, collage artist, sculptor, illustrator, musician and landscaper. Earlier this year, she was the recipient of the 2016 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. Rizal’s weavings received Best in Show at the Heard Museum Indian Art Fair, the Santa Fe Artists Market, the Anchorage Museum All Alaska Juried Art Show and the Sealaska Heritage Invitational Art Exhibit.

She leaves behind children Kahlil Hudson and his wife, Mikiko Ellis, along with their daughter, Violet; Lily Hope and husband Ishmael Hope and their children Elizabeth, Louis, Mary and Ella; Ursala Hudson and husband Chris Haas and their daughters, Amelie and Simone. She is also survived by her siblings, Richard, Tim, Irene and Deanna Lampe.

A potluck to honor and celebrate Clarissa will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. at a friend’s residence. Please visit Clarissa’s blog,, for venue address and further event details. A large celebration of life in Juneau, Alaska, will take place in the summer of 2017.