“It’s awesome!” and “Wow!” were two of the most common responses at Triumvirate North’s open house June 17th. The purpose of the event was the unveiling of Nikiski’s first outdoor wall mural created by artist James Adcox. “We call it History Runs Deep! Kind of a play on words with the river and water as a theme but also reading the painting left to right as kind of a time line of historical events on the Kenai, the title evolved as we put the mural together,” said Adcox. According to Adcox the mural was the vision of Joe Rizzo and Chris Jeness, “They contacted me and explained their ideas and what they were looking for. I had been looking at other artists at the time like Diego Rivera who really fill their scenes when they do a murals, they totally fill it and this was something new for me as a muralist to actually have several scenes integrated into one picture, typically I would do a mural that is one very large image. So this took a lot of design work involved in the process, a lot of erasing and pencil design to finalize the drawing to scale and have it all blend one scene into the other and was definitely challenging for me as an artist but I enjoyed that challenge and it made the project a lot of fun,” he said.
Chris Jeness said purpose of the mural was to show appreciation for where we live and honor those who were here before us, “We’ve been given so much in this community and our hope is that folks coming here or driving by will be reminded of that and bring appreciation into their day,” he said. The mural stands twelve feet high and is twenty four feet wide and according to Adcox there was a lot of climbing up and down the scaffolding to keep the right perspective, “Much different than a normal painting, for murals I do my design work then grid the design, grid my large scale panels and then digest it looking at a one inch by one inch square that represents a two foot by two foot square on the panel and with that in mind I can get my proportions correct, but I did get a lot of exercise climbing up and down and backing up and looking to see if the colors and so forth are working,” he explained.
Prints of “History Runs Deep” are available for a donation of $75.00 to the Triumvirate North project which Chris Jeness describes as a work in progress of what was once a large equipment repair shop, “We’ve come a long way with the help of our friends and now we’re in the home stretch. Donations go to support the establishment of Triumvirate North, a performing arts facility supporting communities from Nikiski to Sterling and beyond. Triumvirate Theatre is the operating arm of the Alaska Children’s Institute of the Performing Arts, a 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to providing arts to children on the Kenai Peninsula,” said Jeness. To purchase a copy of the print or to donate to the organization you may call Chris Jeness at 907-690-2018.