Pratt seeks community input for future exhibits

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2007

The Pratt Museum is dedicated to the process of education by exploring the natural environment and human experience relative to the southern Kenai Peninsula, and they are currently opening a dialogue with the community about which direction the museum should go with its special exhibits in the near future.

"We do this every two years," said Gale Parsons, director of exhibits, in regard to the Pratt's Exhibits and Programs Committee invitation to artists, humanists and scientists to submit dynamic exhibit and program proposals for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

"It's an opportunity for anybody to raise an issue or bring up an idea," she said.

The Pratt's special exhibits change every few months, and throughout the year address a wide variety of themes, issues and artistic disciplines. The museum's current special exhibit is titled "Celebrating Quilts" and it displays the Pratt's entire quilt collection in an attempt to honor the community members who have created the stunning handcrafts, while simultaneously documenting the stories of their creators.

In regard to upcoming exhibits, Parsons said, "We have a climate change exhibit opening in April that will go through the year."

Material for this collaborative exhibit will be the result of scientists sharing information about the cause, effects and future outcomes of global warming, which will provide inspiration for artists through education workshops and presentations to create art work.

"So we're looking for programs around that concept, but really we're looking for any project that would be of interest to the greater Kenai community. We're also seeking artwork from groups more than individuals so artists can present proposals for different themes," Parsons said.

The area available to these exhibits is also quite large.

"It's a big space, 17 feet wide by 50 feet long and with high ceilings, so there's a lot of wall space and room for 3-D materials," she said.

Despite the wide spectrum of ideas the museum will accept, only a few will make the final cut.

"We only have a couple of slots open, so it's very competitive. Serious applicants should put some time in to make a professional proposal," she said.

Parsons added that while typically a few proposals will stand out from the rest, the museum gleans valuable information from nearly all of them.

"There are always a few really good, well presented ideas that come in, but its nice to learn what people think we should be doing, or what they would like to see more of," she said.

To be considered, proposals must include a proposal statement, a completed proposal form (available on the Pratt's Web site at and 10 images either slides or digital images on disc of the work proposed or of past work. Deadline for 2009 proposals is Jan. 10, 2008. Deadline for 2010 proposals is Feb. 10.

For more information on program proposals, contact Gale Parsons via the Internet at or by calling (907) 235-8635 ext. 36.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at

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