Bunnell Street Arts Center is pleased to announce a transition to a bold, new shared leadership model. Founding Artistic/Executive Director, Asia Freeman moves deeper into curatorial and artistic leadership as Artistic Director. Adele Person, formerly Assistant Director, takes on the role and responsibilities of Executive Director. The move enhances organizational sustainability and brings the complementary strengths of each leader to bear. Innovation continues to characterize Bunnell’s leadership as it reconfigures internal dimensions from a traditional pyramid-shaped leadership structure toward a horizontal co-leadership model.
The roles of Artistic and Executive Directors overlap and spark creative brainstorming, collaboration, and communication. Freeman and Person explored and practiced new roles in 2017. Freeman focuses on artistic vision, programming, grant writing, networking and advocacy. Person provides organizational and financial oversight, manages staff and office, facilitates the Board of Directors, and integrates the implementation of the ambitious artistic vision set forth by the Artistic Director. With enthusiasm and respect for Bunnell’s spirit of experiment and excellence, together Freeman and Person strengthen the artistic and organizational capacity of this innovative arts organization.
Bunnell was created in 1991 by and for artists. Years ago, beginning in the 1930’s, homesteaders told stories around the coal stove in what was then a spacious hardware store in Old Town, Homer. This place has seen American, European, and Russian immigration and colonization. The place we now call Homer lies in the traditional lands of Dena’ina and Alutiiq people. We honor these people and the living culture that call this home. With equal parts historical acknowledgement and creative imagination, locals and visitors, indigenous and immigrant, seek creative forums in this historic center.
Bunnell is a statewide leader of artistic presentation and education with innovative and non-traditional programs designed to shape and strengthen Alaska’s cultural economy. Bunnell presents visual art exhibitions, artist residencies, artists in schools, workshops, performances, concerts, film screenings, readings, artist talks and more. Bunnell engages Alaska’s diverse and widespread artistic community by cultivating and exploring new ways to survive and thrive as creative visionaries living in geographically distinct landscapes.
Adele manages Bunnell Street Arts Center’s general operations. Bringing significant improvements in Bunnell’s organizational capacity since joining the Arts Center in 2008, Adele became Assistant Director in 2010. Adele has a BA in Philosophy from Rice University (’00) where she worked as a gallery docent and trainer for the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston for 3 years. She was selected as inventory manager for the Donald Judd Estate as it transitioned to a foundation in 2000. Self-employed for many years, she brings a broad and diverse skill set to her work for Bunnell. A seasonal resident of Halibut Cove, she is also President of the Halibut Cove Community Organization. She serves on Homer’s Public Art Committee.
Asia was raised in Homer and co-founded Bunnell. In 2000 she became Executive/Artistic Director of Bunnell Street Arts Center. Asia curates, speaks and writes about art in Alaska. An active artist, Asia has exhibited in multiple solo and group formats annually since 1991. Her artwork is in Alaskan museums, private collections world-wide, and Icebreakers: Alaska’s Most Innovative Artists by Julie Decker. Asia received a BA from Yale and an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has teaches for the University of Alaska and serves on the Boards of National Performance Network and Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation.
Brianna Allen road-tripped from Livermore Falls, Maine to Homer, Alaska to paint portraits of locals in 2008. She received her Bachelors in Studio Art and Entrepreneurial Studies, and her Bachelors in Fine Arts with a concentration in Painting from the University of Southern Maine in 2007. Brianna has been a Bunnell staff member since 2012, working with community partners in creative placemaking initiatives, organizing large-scale events, and since 2018 leading in communications and development for Bunnell. She is a painter, who has a big love for performance and baking.
Brianna Lee moved to Homer in 2008 to pursue a more sustainable and creative lifestyle. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota. She spent her first years in Homer painting and managing a local bakery while simultaneously showing her work inside local cafes. She has taught young children art classes and facilitated an after school art program. She is a mother, farmer and nature enthusiast. Brianna assists in managing Bunnell’s gallery, monthly exhibits and online platforms.
An avid traveler, Carly came to Alaska almost 15 years ago to spend a season working, exploring, and soaking in the wilderness. In the classic turn of events, she was unable to leave, and fell in love in particular with the mountain rimmed waters of Kachemak Bay and Homer. Carly studied classical ballet for 14 years, and has incorporated myriad forms of dance into her daily life ever since. She is a photographer, massage therapist, nutritional counselor, and yoga instructor, and has also worked in bookkeeping and office administration for the past decade. Carly works as an Office Assistant for the Bunnell.
Argent Kvasnikoff, President
Argent Kvasnikoff is a visual artist from Ninilchik, Alaska and the current Board President of the Bunnell Street Arts Center in Homer. He is a member of the Ninilchik Village Tribe and is also the planning director of the tribe’s developing cultural institution, the Q’eschił Heritage Center. Kvasnikoff was born in Homer and studied linguistic anthropology and art history, and has experience working for civil and tribal governance organizations. His works address humanist themes illuminated by his indigenous culture and a comparative analysis of contemporary thought and process. Most of his work consists of two-dimensional ink painting and mixed media, but also includes several sculptural installations including the Homer Public Library’s Tuggeht Janju Tets’ and the upcoming Bishop’s Beach installation Tuyanitun: Tuggeht. He has had multiple solo exhibitions in various galleries in Alaska and has also shown at invitational events in the greater United States.
Rika Mouw, Vice-President
Rika is a 22 year member, volunteer and supporter of Bunnell Street Art Center. She has served on the board since 1999, having been board president for 5 years followed by a several year hiatus. She recently stepped back on the board and serves on the executive committee. Rika is an artist and a passionate arts & culture advocate. She believes the arts reflect the highest human endeavor and that they are the strength of the Homer community. Her passion for Bunnell includes the exhibition program, creative place making and its dynamic artist residency program.
Carla Klinker Cope, Secretary
Carla Klinker Cope is an artist living and working in Homer Alaska, where she is also raising a family with her husband Daniel. Her paintings and sculptures are driven by the push and pull between light and dark. Carla has been a board member at Bunnell since 2011.
Judith Kramer, Treasurer
Myesha Callahan Freet
Susan moved 5,000 miles to come to Homer to work and be involved in the arts. She had previously served for 10 years on the board of the Agassiz Neighborhood Council in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a non profit which ran an art-centered after-school program that also planned, funded, designed and built the Maud Morgan Art Center that serves both adults and children.
Christina moved to Homer, AK from Brooklyn, NY in 2011, after the beauty of the landscape turned a summer-long stay into a lifelong home. Serving on a number of boards including the Bunnell Street Art Center and Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum allowed her to understand the importance of the nonprofit sector and its ability to impact communities now and in the future. Christina began working full-time in nonprofit at the Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation in Juneau in 2014. Now the Communications Manager at The Alaska Community Foundation, Christina supports the vital work being done to better Alaska. Christina studied fine art and art history at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Reed College in Portland, OR. When not working at ACF Christina has a full-time art practice creating fine art for galleries across the state.
Bunnell’s Advisory Council provides advocacy, education and guidance for Bunnell’s current Board and advice to Bunnell’s Executive Director. The Advisory Council also provides non-governing representation at Bunnell’s Board meetings.
Carol Swartz / Co-Chair
Carol Swartz is a co-founder of Bunnell and served on the board since Bunnell’s inception until 2015. She is the Executive Director of the Kachemak Bay Campus of the University of Alaska and a Homer Foundation Board Member.
Jo Michalski / Co-Chair
Jo Michalski is a retired Anchorage entrepreneur with a strong interest in philanthropy and the arts. She has been the President of the League of Women Voters, President of the YWCA board of directors, a charter member of the Alaska Junior Theater, and a board member of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. She is a former board member of both the Alaska Community Foundation and the University of Alaska Foundation. Jo is a former Bunnell board member and celebrates the Bunnell as the premier presenter of contemporary Alaskan art in our state!
Melissa Shaginoff is part of the Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay’dini’aa Na Kayax (the log over the river or Chickaloon Village). She grew up on the southern coast of Alaska where she learned the lifeways of her cousins the Dena’ina peoples. Shaginoff is currently the Curator of Contemporary Indigenous Art and Culture at the Anchorage Museum. She has participated in the Sheldon Jackson Museum Artist Residency in Sitka, Alaska as well as the Island Mountain Arts Toni Onley Artist Project in Wells, British Columbia. Shaginoff has work collected by the Institute of American Indian Arts, the Palmer Museum and the Pratt Museum. Shaginoff joined Bunnell’s advisory broad because she believes that arts communities are grown from cultural innovation, visibility and equity. She is deeply honored and grateful to serve on board dedicated to exceptional art in all forms.