Our State insect is not the Mosquito! New Dragonfly Art Gallery is open in Soldotna
Chelline Larsen grew up in the house that sits behind Jersey Subs or the Thompson Corners complex in Soldotna, the new home of the Dragonfly Art Gallery. Larsen chose the name for the gallery in honor of the Alaskan State insect, “I personally think they are fascinating creatures, but also the Four Spot Skimmer dragon fly is our official State insect as voted in by children at every public school throughout Alaska in the school year 1993-94,” explains Larsen who opened the gallery with Adam Hoyt in October. “My mom moved into this house when I was about four years old in 1969, and she has owed it ever since, so I grew up here with my three siblings. I’d had a fantasy about having a gallery in here for a lot of years, so when Mom decided she wanted to sell it, we purchased it and renovated it for our gallery,” said Larsen. The remodel and complete renovation was done by Chelline’s business partner Adam Hoyt, “It turned out so nice and I like it here so well, I almost decided to move in,” commented Hoyt, the business manager for the Dragonfly gallery.
Chelline Larsen is a well know silk artist who got her start by taking a class years ago at Kenai Peninsula College, “I started doing surface design when I took a class from Celia Anderson at the college about 13 years ago and a friend of mine in the class started painting on silk and passed it on to me and I’ve been doing it ever since,” said Larsen. Chelline’s silk art wall hangings have been in galleries on the Peninsula and throughout Alaska for years. She has had showings at Kaladi Brothers and was featured at the 2001 Fish Odyssey Art Show at the Kenai Visitors & Convention Bureau. Today her pieces hang in prestigious places around the world. Governor Frank Murkowski recently presented one of Larsen’s original silk art pieces to the ambassador of Thailand.
“Silk art is not to be confused with silk screening, these are individual creations printed on white silk,” explained Hoyt. Larsen draws on her natural surroundings for her creativity, “I’ve always been inspired by nature and living in Alaska and that inspiration shows in my work, but I’m drawn to exploring other things as well,” says Larsen.
It has been a very busy season for Chelline keeping up with the demands for her work and outfitting the new Dragonfly Gallery, “We have 20 other artists work here at the Gallery that range from acrylic paintings by Karen & Tracy Kemp of Nikiski, to hand painted clocks, pottery, and a variety of glass art and custom jewelry,” said Larsen. The Dragonfly Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday 11:00am to 6:00pm, or call 260-4636 for more information.
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