An exhibit of growth

Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2000

An exciting array of photography, drawings and mixed media by Dan Stevens are currently on display at the Kenai Peninsula College Art Gallery.

Stevens said in his artist's statement that the 47 works lining the gallery walls come in response to assignments. Completion of the works, and others not included, fulfilled his requirements for a bachelor of arts degree in the spring of 1999 from KPC and the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Captured smiles seem to illuminate the excitement of the trio in "Family Fun At Lizard," a selenium-toned silver print. It shows a comfortable setting with a family at play underneath a colorless waterfall that plunges over them.

Nature, a focus of many prints, silently speaks through the stillness of Stevens' work.

A group of slender trees depict the irregularities that nature offers in "Northland Totems," another selenium-toned silver print. The photograph takes the viewer into themselves with the tranquility it possesses.

"Ostrich Fern," also a selenium-toned silver print, presents another view of the wonder and beauty nature has to offer. The vibrancy and texture of the still plant almost is touchable, yet such a sight admired in a gallery is many times an ignored beauty in the wild.

"Pink Amaryllis," a hand-colored silver print, intermingles muted pinks and greens in a sharp, floral print. Viewers, at first glance, may see a simple flower, but a closer look will reveal a photograph with an artistic twist using oil colors. The light backdrop accents the colors of the delicate blooms.

Human images also play a role in the artistic variety of the exhibit.

"Ellen," an India ink pen and brush sketch, blends large brush strokes with gentle lines to create the profile of a woman on a discolored background. A mass of dark squiggles form the untamed mane of the woman, who's gentle facial features form a smile.

Another eye-catching work, in five parts, is "Jazz Izz '91," sepia-toned silver prints that seem to jump out at the viewer. Through the use of long exposures, the faceless, dancing forms are blurred across the darkness of the stage.

In the artist's statement, Stevens thanks those who gave him infinite patience, encouragement and emotional support.

"As for the future, two of their gifts, namely confidence and self-discipline, will see me through to carry out my own assignments through my own vision," he says.

The exhibit runs through April 7. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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