Art Guild welcomes self-taught artist as new executive director

Originally from Fairbanks, Rydlinski was looking for a place “off the grid”

Alex Rydlinski holds one of his pieces in an Instagram photo from July 18, 2020. (Alex Rydlinski via Instagram)

Alex Rydlinski holds one of his pieces in an Instagram photo from July 18, 2020. (Alex Rydlinski via Instagram)

Alex Rydlinski — Peninsula Art Guild’s new executive director — moved to the central peninsula so he could escape to the woods, away from other people, and paint all the time.

“I was looking for a place that’s sort of off the grid,” Rydlinski said. “But I was glad, also, that there was an art gallery.”

Originally from Fairbanks, Rydlinski ventured out to Texas in the early 2000s with his band and then landed a job as a graphic designer.

Before returning to Alaska, Rydlinski, who specializes in oil painting and etch-style printmaking, took a three-month renaissance workshop in Norway with figurative painter Odd Nerdrum in 2017.

“It’s bizarre, it’s like stepping out of time,” Rydlinski said about the workshop. “You’re just living with this guy as he goes about his work.”

Rydlinski said Nerdrum tended to focus on the abstract components of his compositions.

“His whole practice is all about ideas,” Rydlinski said. “So we didn’t talk that much about painting; it’s more about philosophy and storytelling.”

Beyond his workshop with Nerdrum, Rydlinski said most everything about art he has taught himself by studying masterworks in books and museums.

As part of the local art scene, Rydlinski said he is interested in teaching more people about etching and printmaking.

“I haven’t done any classes formally, but I definitely love getting together with people and sharing knowledge,” he said.

Since becoming executive director this spring, Rydlinski has taken on a number of the Art Guild’s projects, including updating both the interior of the building and the guild’s website.

The gift gallery is currently undergoing remodeling, which Rydlinski said he hopes will be finished by the time of the first summer pottery show in July. Also being renovated is the historic Kenai jail in the back of the center, which will allow for a larger workshop space.

“It’s important to have a place like this for people to show work, so I’m happy to be involved,” Rydlinski said.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

Alex Rydlinski paints on a canvas in an Instagram photo from October 30, 2019. (Alex Rydlinski via Instagram)

Alex Rydlinski paints on a canvas in an Instagram photo from October 30, 2019. (Alex Rydlinski via Instagram)

Alex Rydlinski is photographed for his interview with Voyage Dallas in Texas in May 2018. (Photo provided)

Alex Rydlinski is photographed for his interview with Voyage Dallas in Texas in May 2018. (Photo provided)

More in Life

File
Being content with what you don’t know

How’s your negative capability doing?

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Local Tlingit beader Jill Kaasteen Meserve is making waves as her work becomes more widely known, both in Juneau and the Lower 48.
Old styles in new ways: Beader talks art and octopus bags

She’s been selected for both a local collection and a major Indigenous art market

A copy of “The Fragile Earth” rests on a typewriter on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Seeking transformation in the face of catastrophe

Potent words on climate change resonate across decades

Gochujang dressing spices up tofu, lettuce, veggies and sprouts. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Healthy life starts with healthy food

Gochujang salad dressing turns veggies and tofu into an exciting meal

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Spring Fever

“OK, Boomer” is supposed to be the current put down by the “woke generation”

A headstone for J.E. Hill is photographhed in Anchorage, Alaska. (Findagrave.com)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 2

“Bob,” he said, “that crazy fool is shooting at us.”

File
Minister’s Message: Has spring sprung in your life?

Christ also offers us an eternal springtime of love, hope and life

Eggs Benedict are served with hollandaise on a bed of arugula and prosciutto. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Honoring motherhood, in joy and in sorrow

Many who have suffered this loss believe they must bear it in silence for the sake of propriety

Page from Seward daily gateway. (Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, Juneau, A.K.)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 1

Night Falls on the Daylight Kid—Part One By Clark Fair

Most Read