Wildlife art exhibit possible because of community support

Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2003

For the fourth year in a row, the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau, in conjunction with Kenai Peninsula College, has produced one of the largest art exhibitions in the state of Alaska, "Alaska 2003: A Celebration of Wildlife Art," which runs through Sept. 6 at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. It is the largest wildlife art exhibit ever in the state, and features the absolute best wildlife artists in the entire world, such as Robert Bateman, Guy Coheleach, Carl Brenders, Daniel Smith and Fred Machetanz, among 40 others.

A project of this scope could not be undertaken much less completed without the help of our generous corporate sponsors, our volunteers, the city of Kenai and our board of directors, all of whom we would like to take the opportunity to thank now:

Our King Salmon sponsors: ConocoPhillips and Era Aviation;

Silver Salmon sponsors: Homer Electric Association, Paul Gray's Exploring Alaska TV, Peninsula Oilers and Oilers Booster Club;

Red Salmon sponsors: Alaska Legacy Fish Camp LLC, Alaskan Widespread Fishing Adventures, The Damon Foundation, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Kenai River Council on the Arts, Kenai Wild, Key Bank, Peninsula Processing and Smokehouse, Premier Alaska Tours, Snug Harbor Seafoods and Talon Air;

Pink Salmon sponsors: Charlotte's Inc., Salamatof Native Association and Wells Fargo. Thanks to Susan Jordan and Fireweed Herb Garden for its generous donation of silk blue hydrangeas to brighten our entrance during our grand opening.

Our volunteers: Dennis Gease, Kay Bowman, Gary Freeburg, William Heath, Linda Swarner, Marty Hapeman, Allen Auxier, Louise Heite, Rebecca Cronkhite, Andrea Holdridge, and especially to our volunteer guest curator, Dr. David Wartinbee, without whom this exhibit would not have been possible.

We also thank the city of Kenai for providing such a beautiful building for the enjoyment of residents and visitors to our fair city, and the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors for its vision of providing world-class art in Kenai.

Our vendors that provided us with great service in preparation for the exhibit and during our grand opening: The Backdoor Sports Lounge, The Chase is Over Catering, The Cake Lady, K&H Graphics, Bill Zumwalt and James Price.

Our staff, which worked so hard for so many months in preparation: Jay Barrett, Alise Bowen, Diana McKenney and Dana Woodard.

A big thank-you to the 850 people who attended our gala grand opening celebration; your comments and enthusiasm for the exhibit made it all worthwhile. If you haven't seen the exhibition yet yourself, please come in.

And if you enjoy it, please tell your friends, relatives and summer visitors. It truly is a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Ricky Gease

Executive director

Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau

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