Not everyone who lives on the central Kenai Peninsula realizes that KPC has another campus in Homer, in addition to the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna. The Kachemak Bay Campus (KBC) of Kenai Peninsula College -- an extended campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage -- serves the 14,000-plus residents who live on the southern Kenai Peninsula.
Due to limited space, the campus is housed in two different locations, the west and east campuses. Enrollment, administrative and registration offices, classrooms, student services, the bookstore, library, study area, distance education, career center and the computer lab are all at the east campus at 533 E. Pioneer Ave. Classrooms, the Learning Center, Adult Basic Education-GED Program, science lab, peer tutoring services, testing and student activities are at the west campus at 360 W. Pioneer Ave.
Currently, the east campus, which is in the middle of town, is undergoing renovations that will increase parking and expand the square footage of the facility. A new student commons with outdoor deck overlooking Kachemak Bay is being built as part of the 9,400-square-foot addition.
According to KBC director Carol Swartz, the construction project is in its fourth month and much progress has been made. The projected completion of the current phase of construction is February.
On your next trip to Homer, be sure and check out the progress being made at Kenai Peninsula College's Kachemak Bay Campus.
One of the goals Celia Anderson had when she accepted the position of full-time art professor at KPC's Kenai River Campus was to get more student art displayed on campus. For the most part, student art displays had been limited to a student art show in the G.L. Freeburg Art Gallery once or twice a year.
Anderson had her eye on a gallery "system" that allowed for great flexibility in the display of paintings and drawings. The system is comprised of a track that runs along the top edge of a wall, with vertical hangers that come from the top track, down the wall, that are adjustable to a variety of heights depending on the size of the piece to be displayed. The system is completed by frames, with matting of various sizes, which hang onto the vertical members of the gallery system. The metal frames are designed to allow for the artwork to be removed and replaced with a new piece with minimal effort, so that the display never gets "old," and students can retrieve their work for their portfolios.
Anderson's vision now is a reality at the Kenai River Campus, with the gallery system on two walls in the campus commons and on one wall of the KPC Library. The commons is adorned with a variety of drawings and paintings, all student work generated in art classes taken at KPC. The library exhibit sets the stage for a cozy reading and studying area, made more beautiful by the exquisite drawings on display.
Being in an art class at KPC has always meant that students work to produce pieces that meet the requirements of the assignment; now it also includes taking the piece public. Student artists now have the opportunity to see their work displayed and appreciated by the entire campus community.
Drop by the campus and check out the constantly evolving student art displays and don't miss the chance to see the large-scale watercolor paintings by Anchorage artist Garry Mealor, currently showing in the gallery.
Art is happening every day at KPC; don't miss it!
Collins comes calling
It has become one of the most prestigious writer's conferences held anywhere in the western United States, and the 2005 Kachemak Bay Writer's Conference, scheduled June 10-14 in Homer, is about to get even more renowned.
Carol Swartz, Kachemak Bay Campus director and primary conference organizer, has announced that she just received confirmation that recent U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, will serve as the 2005 conference's keynote presenter.
According to his biography, "Billy Collins is an American phenomenon. No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal. His last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry. His readings are usually standing room only, and his audience -- enhanced tremendously by his appearances on National Public Radio -- includes people of all backgrounds and age groups."
Collins has published seven collections of poetry, including Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Picnic, Lightning, Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems, and Nine Horses.
Collins has received numerous accolades for his work in poetry including fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
In addition, he has been awarded the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, and the Levinson Prize -- all awarded by Poetry magazine. Collins served as a writer-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence College, and as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library. He is a distinguished professor of English at Lehman College, City University of New York, where he has taught for the past 30 years.
In June 2001, Collins was appointed United States Poet Laureate (2001-03), and in January 2004, was named New York State Poet Laureate 2004-06.
Alaska writers can look forward to hearing Collins give the keynote address at the 2005 Kachemak Bay Writer's Conference. Details regarding the conference are still being formulated. Keep reading this column for more information as it becomes available.
This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.
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