A wood-carved whale hangs in the Nikiski Senior Center on Sept. 23, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Nikiski Senior Center)

A wood-carved whale hangs in the Nikiski Senior Center on Sept. 23, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Nikiski Senior Center)

Whale of a job

Nikiski Senior Center gets addition to dining room.

The Nikiski Senior Center was graced with a new dining room centerpiece from a longtime member last week — a 125-pound whale carved out of spruce.

Sasha Fallon, the executive director of the center, said the piece was made by Tommey Garber, who had always envisioned a whale swimming among salmon in the rafters of the building.

“It’s just beautiful,” Fallon said about the wood carving. “It’s just a blessing to receive.”

Garber said he started carving wood when he was 18 years old.

For this project in particular, Garber cut the tree down on his property. From there, he said his process included drawing and cutting out the pattern before shaping and sanding it.

It went up in the building last Thursday, and Fallon said the center has already received a myriad of positive comments about the art from visitors and members.

“They are speechless,” she said. “It’s so beautiful and just a focal piece in our dining area.”

The artist plans to add on to the display after the spring as well, Fallon said.

Garber said he plans on carving seven salmon to complement the whale and complete his artistic vision for the space. The salmon will be carved from juniper from eastern Oregon.

“Everybody seems to love it,” Garber said.

Fallon said once the salmon are ready, which will likely be sometime next spring, the senior center will host a formal gallery opening.

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

David Hall hangs a wood-carved whale in the Nikiski Senior Center on Sept. 23, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Nikiski Senior Center)

David Hall hangs a wood-carved whale in the Nikiski Senior Center on Sept. 23, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Nikiski Senior Center)

More in Life

The 10 participants in season 9 of “Alone,” premiering on May 26, 2022, on the History Channel. Terry Burns of Homer is the third from left, back. Another Alaskan in the series, Jacques Tourcotte of Juneau, is the fourth from left, back. (Photo by Brendan George Ko/History Channel)
Homer man goes it ‘Alone’

Burns brings lifetime of wilderness experience to survival series

Thes chocolate chip cookie require no equipment, no pre-planning, and are done from start to finish in one hour. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Forever home chocolate chip cookies

This past week I moved into my first forever home

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: This purge won’t be a movie sequel

What’s forthcoming is a very rare occurrence and, in my case, uncommon as bifocals on a Shih Tzu puppy

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