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Shaping Alaska

May Exhibit

First Friday, May 1

Opening 5-7pm / Artist Talk 6pm

For this invitational exhibit four Alaska artists were invited to create new work expressing how contrasting media and diverse experience redefine Alaska‘s vast landscape.

Sarah Beaty, ceramic sculpture

I live and work in Fort Yukon, Alaska. After completing my MFA I moved to Alaska in 2001, teaching Ceramics first at UAS in Juneau 2001-2002, and then at UAF in Fairbanks 2002-2003. I moved up to Fort Yukon, my husband’s home village, in 2003. After refurbishing an old log AC Co. shop into a studio and building my kiln, I began making work from Fort Yukon. I import dry clay, equipment, and other materials via barge from Nenana every summer. I fire my kiln with white spruce cast-off slabs from our sawmill. I create sculptures exploring cloud shapes drawn with curling strands of clay, and hollow modular shapes both hanging and sitting on pedestals. All of my work is ceramic: thrown, hand-built, or slip-cast porcelain and stoneware; and high-fired in a fast-fire style wood kiln.


John Hagen, photography

I am Aleut and Inupiat, and my family has been adopted into a Tlingit family. As an Alaska Native, I feel that is important to take visual ownership of our lands.  I recently returned to Alaska from studies in New Mexico where I studied New Media arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts. I seek to make a connection between the person viewing my work and the place I am showing them. I live in a place surrounded by mountains and grand stretches of water. It is far too easy to get stuck in a grandiose rut and only look at the big picture. You miss all of the small things. My work is about the small things. These works were taken along a one mile stretch of river outside of my home of Haines, Alaska, where I was born, raised, escaped from to have many adventures and returned to in order to settle down, camera in hand. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jessica Pena, drawing

As an artist I enjoy approaching my work as part historian party scientist, part storyteller and several parts curious. I combine artistic practice, self-observation and my own academic research and knowledge to come up with images that replace the general with the specific and explain life in terms that I have grown familiar with. In my recent work I explore the simultaneous intrigue and isolation that living in an Alaskan town carries for a resident. Some pieces such as “With Filling” are a more humorous application of the geological-type diagrams. My intention is to continue in this vein, using diagrams and blueprints as the conceptual departure point form my next body of work. Pena received her BFA in Drawing and Painting at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she now lives.

07_Fault Line

Nathan Shafer, augmented reality

Nathan Shafer is an artist, writer and educator from Anchorage, Alaska. Since 2000 he has been working with expanded media, constructing a wide range of socially interactive and technology based projects. He recently founded the Institute for Speculative Media, which develops new media curriculum, after-school programs, and provides access to mobile technology for kids in Alaska. From 2011 to 2013 he was an Art House Resident at Out North Contemporary Art House where he designed mixed reality projects in the Arctic including the Exit Glacier AR Terminus Project, which digitally reconstructed the former termini at Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park using mobile augmented reality.  Most recently he received an Anchorage Centennial Grant to develop a four part augmented storytelling project called Anchorage Narratives for the Anchorage Centennial in 2015. lemmingt-2

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