Home Page of Ben Boyd

Through out my life my primary talents have been in the fields of Art, Dance and Music.  Upon coming to Alaska in 1975 I added to those talents by living a Traditional Native Subsistence way of life which expanded my talents to Dog Mushing, Hunting, Fishing, and Arctic Survival Skills. When I entered the University of Alaska in 1989 I culminated all the talents of my life to create Multimedia and Video Productions.

This composition is a montage of images from several photos.  Click on montage to enlarge.


When I first attended collage at Southwest Missouri State in 1962 I was a music and art major.  I aspired to be a music and art teacher in high school.  At that time there were many small rural schools who could only afford a half time music and half time art teacher.  I thought that I would fill both niches and have a full time job.  I was at that time making more money playing music professionally than I could have teaching. So I concentrated on playing professionally. Many years later when I started college here in Alaska learning multimedia and video production, I found my music and art background very useful. It enabled my to be able do all the components of production myself including producing musical scores, graphics, and digital animations.

Today, the art that I do is Computer Art to create images and animations for video and graphics for the web. One of the many ways I use Photoshop is to enhance and alter photos. You can see here how two men have been taken out of a photograph. This is harder to do than to place the men in the photo as the background behind where they were standing has to be clone painted to replace the area where they were standing. These historical photos were used in my production "Kantishna Hills Pioneers". I needed a photo of just the mine so I took the men out. The photos were also digitally enhanced by adding sharping, saturation, contrast, cleaning the white areas, and colorizing the photo with a brown tone. All of this gives better clearity on screen. You might also have noticed that the men are a different shade of brown tone which makes them stand out better from the background.


Ben Boyd & daughter Hoop DancingDance

Perhaps, my best talent is Indian Dancing.  When I was a child I was fortunate to have lived less than a 100 miles from where the Inter-Tribal dancing, that has spread all over North America today, was originated.  I was also fortunate that the Worlds Champion Dancer of all times, Elmer "Sugar" Brown, befriended me and taught me to dance.   I started dancing at age six and was a professional dancer at age thirteen.  There are two types of dance I specialize in, Fancy Dance and Hoop Dancing.  Both of them are considered the hardest to do forms of Inter-Tribal Dancing and are usually done by young men and women up to their mid thirties.  I am in my sixties and still do these dances like I did when I was a teenager. I am one of the oldest performing Hoop Dancers in North America. When I was sixty I started Hoop Dancing again, after a forty year break, so that my daughter could learn the dance.  Click on Thumbs to enlarge and click on blue picture to see Dance Video.



I started playing drums when I was six years old and switch to trombone and baritone horn at the age of ten. I had private music lessons in grade school and through out my secondary education while playing in school bands.  Just as I became a teenager Rock & Roll music started and I immediately started playing professionally at Teen Towns.  At age 15 I began playing in the summers on a show boat's dance cruise at the Ozarks and in winter with black Rhythm and Blues Bands in St. Louis that played at both white and black teen towns.  Upon starting college I started playing in night clubs and at concerts. I continued to do so while on tour all over the western USA, in LA and eventually here in Alaska. In 1964 I started recording in professional recording studios and played with two bands that had regional hit records.  While in LA  I worked in several recording studios and eventually became a co-producer.  In Alaska I was a music teacher for the Yukon Flats School District and flew to seven different Indian villages and taught music.  I started some of the first Indian Village Bands that traveled from village to village putting on their first R&R dances. I am at present still playing music professionally and do a "Hits from the Sixties Show". I use computer technology to play and pre-record all of the instermental parts and also the vocial back-up parts which allows me to be a "One Man Band" when performing. For a MPEG3 sample recording click here.

See - Resume Work Experience - Professional Musician


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Multitalented Multimedia

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