Behind blue doors: What’s happening at the Kenai Fine Art Center

There is a lot in the works behind the blue doors of the Kenai Fine Arts Center over the next three months, including individual shows, a group show and the Annual Harvest Auction.


Through the end of July, the center will be displaying Arts Quilt Extra-Ordinaire. The exhibit is a collection of local artistry in a quilted medium.

“That piece with the hearts and that small wall hanging, those are my pieces in the show,” Ann-Lillian Schell, a local artist and volunteer at the Kenai Fine Arts Center said during her shift on Wednesday.

“Very often, I’ll have to sleep on a piece and see what the next step is,” Schell said. “Can you tell what those pink stars, what the constellation is?”

A fellow artist visiting the gallery, Robert Range, saw Orion’s Belt and quickly answered.

“Yes,” Schell said. “Orion rides high in the winter sky. That’s what we said to ourselves all the time in Fairbanks and Barrow.”

In addition to the pieces on display, Schell also donated a quilt to the art center’s Annual Harvest Auction, to be held on September 30. Range is also donating several pieces to the auction, including a decorated stool.

“I was just in here one day and they started carrying in all the chairs,” Range said. “I asked what was going and was told they were going to be painted and auctioned off and before I could get out of here, I had a stool.”

Range took his stool and decorated it with what he described as a ‘hippie style,’ using colorful permanent markers across the entire stool.

“Well, I was trying to be real precise and don’t like using a paintbrush,” Range said. “I like something solid, hard … like permanent markers.”

The arts center is still accepting donations for their Annual Harvest Auction.

“The donations have to be original work,” Karen Fogarty of the Kenai Fine Arts Center said. “And it has to be the artist’s work.”

Donated pieces will be on display starting the first of September and visitors will have the opportunity to silently bid on the auction throughout the month and the exhibit will end with a live auction on September 30.

“So we’ll have an opening on the first Thursday of September and all the work for the silent auction will be hung in the gallery,” Fogarty said. “So, people can come in and buy it out right or just start bidding on it…Other work that is selected for the out loud auction will be auctioned on the last Saturday of September.”

The Harvest Auction will also include refreshments and live music.

In between the Art Quilt Extra-Ordinaire exhibit and the Annual Harvest Auction exhibit, the gallery will host two exhibits by individual artists, Sonya Kelliher Combs and George Kirsch. Each exhibit will have an opening on the first Thursday of the month.

Combs work will hang throughout July, with an opening on July 6 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Kirsch’s exhibit will run throughout August with an opening from 5 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 3.

The Kenai Fine Art Center is located at 816 Cook Avenue in Old Town Kenai. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Reach Kat Sorensen at