Kenai Fine Arts Center Celebrates the Holidays with Open House and Printmaking Demo

The Kenai Fine Arts Center will be ending the year with a slight change of pace from their monthly exhibitions. This Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. local artist James Adcox will have his personal printing press on hand for a live demonstration of the printmaking process.

He and fellow Kenai artist Chris Jenness will be selling new prints made on the spot, as well as showing the audience how printmaking works from start to finish. This demonstration is a continuation of November’s exhibition, which is titled “Fact and Fiction” and features paintings from both Adcox and Jenness, highlighting the contrast of the artists’ styles.

In addition to the printmaking demonstration by Adcox and Jenness, the Peninsula Art Guild will be hosting an open house for the community. This event is free and open to the public, and Art Guild member Shannon Olds will be providing cider, cookies and other refreshments. Local artists and craftspeople will also be selling holiday ornaments and other items in the gift gallery.

Typically, the Kenai Fine Arts Center changes the artwork on display every month, with the first Thursday of each month being the opening reception for the new exhibition. Because the Fine Arts Center closes for the second half of December, they have decided to extend November’s display through December 15.

Kenai Fine Arts Center Vice President Marion Nelson says that the idea for this demonstration and open house came about organically while discussing what to do for the month of December.

“It’s just the way it happened,” Nelson explains. “We have a different show every month, but this time we decided to make it a month-and-a-half-long display.” The Art Guild still wanted to have something to offer the community for their first Thursday event, so Adcox volunteered to bring in his printmaker, and Olds volunteered to cater the occasion and turn it into an open house.

When asked what prompted him to do this printmaking workshop, Adcox credits his wife for the idea.

“With Chris (Jenness) and I having such similar mediums: We both very much enjoy painting, and we both are printmakers,” Adcox explains. “My wife actually came up with the idea, ‘Why don’t you guys do something with printmaking?’ And we thought that could be a lot of fun.”

Adcox has offered printmaking courses before at the Kenai Community Library, where he also works in the children’s section. However, he had never done a workshop at the Fine Arts Center, and realized that the first Thursday of December would be a good opportunity to do so.

Adcox describes it as an opportunity to display two very different mediums side by side.

“The massive difference in the two mediums, for me, is evident.” Adcox says. “In the oil paintings, you have the latitude to do what you want. It’s just such a free medium. With printmaking it’s so much more technical… You become much more focused on the print turning out the way you want.”

Both Adcox and Jenness will be offering guidance and advice for anyone interested in getting into printmaking, or anyone already involved that would like to learn more. The subjects of Adcox’s prints vary from a band of mariachi skeletons, to an antique diver’s helmet, to a lone sandhill crane, and most are in black and white.

The printmaking demonstration and open house will take place on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Kenai Fine Arts Center, located in Old Town Kenai next to the Oilers Bingo Hall.

By Brian Mazurek

for the Peninsula Clarion

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