Ukjese van Kampen
Artist and Aviator
Dr. Ukjese van Kampen is a Northern Tutchone artist and aviator. He works in a number of different art styles and in the early 1980s he started developing this unique method of using the Northwest Coast First Nations Art motif in his paintings of aircraft, ships, and vehicles.
His aviation career began with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets in 1974, which met right here in the RCAF Recreation Centre, now the Yukon Transportation Museum, Ukjese went on to becoming an Airborne Commando in the Canadian Airborne Regiment and later a Combat Engineer in the United States Marine Corps. Ukjese was not flying airplanes and helicopters in the military: he was parachuting and rappelling from them, preparing loads for air drops and LAPES, directing and/or hooking loads up to hovering helicopters in the desert, wilderness and on ships. In training he has been part of joint ground-air attacks and the target of ground attack aircraft.