polarartist.jpg                                Native Alaskan artists visited New York this week with a message not so much about art, nor a species that’s struggling as rising temperatures melt its habitat from under its paws.

“With so much attention on polar bears, where’s the concern about the people? What about fellow Americans?” said Alvin Amason, an artist and member of the coastal Alutiiq people, who lives in Anchorage.

Amason and other Alaskan artists hit New York to celebrate the opening of the Alaska House , a nonprofit cultural center that aims to teach people about the challenges and opportunities the state faces.

Not only are temperatures rising faster in the Alaska and the Arctic than in southern parts of the world, but residents in remote regions the 49th U.S. state are facing food and fuel costs that are surging faster too.

And the melting of coastal ice means they can no longer hunt on shore for walrus and other animals that provide them with ivory and bones for carvings.