Dennis Swarner and Janie Odgers examine an antler carving inlaid with ebony at the premier.
Hundreds of community members, art supporters, and visitors turned out for the spring premier of the summer art show “Sticks & Stones Alaskan Structure” at the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center (KVCC) last week. “It was one of our best attended events ever, and I just love this show,” exclaimed Marion Nelson a KVCC board member. The exhibit showcases a diversity of artistic talents and expressions from 55 contemporary artists on the theme in a wide variety of media. “The artwork created on this theme ranges from the deeply personal to the somewhat whimsical,” said Natasha Ala, KVCC programs & exhibits manager.
Don Mohr is the guest curator of the exhibit and says, “I am proud to have played some small part in making this exhibit happen. And I am proud to be associated with these wonderful artists who have taken the theme beyond what I imagined. There is great work here from Alaska’s most innovative artists.” Kenai Peninsula College digital arts assistant professor Jayne Jones was at the premier and commented, “Sticks and Stones is a very impressive show this year and I believe it’s one of the most impressive shows for this annual exhibition that I’ve seen since I’ve been in Alaska. It was an inspirational title.” Jones will be the curator for next years exhibit and added, “I’m looking forward to coming up with a theme for next year’s show that will equally inspire the artists we invite to participate. We have artists for all over Alaska that participate in this show and it’s a wonderful mix of different talent throughout Alaska.”
In responding to the curators theme artist Hal Gage wrote, “It is remarkable that the most complex animal on the planet (humans) should have evolved with the most delicate and vulnerable of protective coatings. I suspect that this evolutionary curiosity goes hand-in-hand with our intellectual evolution to use the raw materials around us to make shelters to protect our otherwise vulnerable bodies. The mind in the body, the body in the shelter...worlds within worlds.”
Stick & Stones Alaskan Structure will be on display at the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center through September 9th in addition to the Center’s collection of Native Alaskan, colonial, Russian and early American artifacts. In the exhibit program Kenai Mayor Pat Porter wrote, “This fantastic show would not have been possible without the dedication and vision of the artists, organizers, sponsors, and volunteers. I hope everyone will enjoy it and remember to bring your visitors this summer to view the talents of the people who live in this great state.”
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