An art piece for everyone

An art piece for everyone

In the Kenai Fine Arts Center gallery, a classical oil painting rests near a rust-colored fabric collage. A small necklace made from a fiber material sits across from a large alabaster sculpture. A finely detailed puma drawn with white and color ink on a dark black background hangs on one end of the room. On the other end, a stainless steel sculpture nestles in the corner.

This year’s Biennial Juried Exhibit is not short of variety, or creativity.

Launched with a reception on March 1, the show features diverse styles and mediums, including fiber, watercolor, collage, canvas, textural wood, acrylic, oil painting and photographs.

The juried show alternates annually with a judged show, in which all pieces entered into the show are judged. Only about half the entries in the juried show were chosen for display and judging, Marion Nelson, vice president of the board for the Kenai Fine Arts Center, said.

Judge Mariano Gonzales, a professor of art at the University of Alaska Anchorage, traveled to Kenai to judge the show and select five juror’s choice pieces. In a departure from past years, in which the top winners have been ranked, Gonzales chose five equally ranked winners.

During the reception, Gonzales spoke of the pieces that were both accepted and not chosen for jury selection at the show, Nelson said.

Choosing pieces for the show aren’t just about the individual quality of each piece, but about creating a cohesive show for the public, Nelson said.

Artists featured in the show come from a variety of backgrounds — from professionals and hobbyists to art instructors and craftsmen.

Jason Ramirez, an employee at Odie’s Deli in Soldotna, received a juror’s choice award for his piece, “The favorite,” an acrylic painting revealing the inside layers of a sliced sandwich.

Another juror’s choice piece, a wall-sized canvas piece by Anna Widman called “debris line #1” uses earth tones and texture to create a rich landscape. Abigail’s Ulen’s acrylic painting, “Harbor Life,” makes use of paper and ink lettering to put a new twist on a traditional Alaska scenescape.

Juror’s choice pieces also transcended paint and canvas. Gonalez honored “Songbird House,” a vintage glass birdhouse with a copper frame created by Linda Vizenor.

Two of Nelson’s encaustic pieces were featured in the show, with one, dubbed “The Circus Came to Town,” selected as a juror’s choice.

Nelson said she created her pieces, which are made with hot beeswax, resin from a pine tree and pigment, by scraping down and building up material until she achieves just the right texture and shapes. When creating encaustic pieces, she uses a heat gun and torch to fuse the materials every few layers, and occasionally melts down the whole work and start over.

“That’s where I end up with a more successful piece. It’s responding to what I’ve already done, improving it, changing it,” Nelson said. “And ending up with something that has involved a lot of work, a lot of judgment calls, on the way to what is done.”

Beyond showing off pieces by juror’s choice awardees, the show features work by artists using a diverse range of mediums and techniques, including pottery, mixed wood, watercolors, fiber, collage, canvas, acrylic, oil painting and photographs.

Shannon Olds, a member of the Kenai Potters Guild, entered a ceramic sculpture she has dubbed the “Radical Rainbow Raven.” The piece, which is ensconced in a loose bed of porcelain flowers, took Olds about two months to create. She crafted the raven’s body out of a stoneware, and then applied layers of fine porcelain and paint to the bird’s feathers. Olds said she used the cold finish, instead of the more typical fired finish, in order to preserve the bright hues of purple, pink, green, and orange against the raven’s deep black feathers. The result is, indeed, a rainbow raven.

“He’s an unbiased bird,” she said. “He loves all colors.”

An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone
An art piece for everyone

More in News

In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, U.S. Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican, speaks during a ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska. The longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House is appearing in a new round of ads urging Alaskans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Ads featuring Young are being paid for by the Conquer COVID Coalition, Young spokesperson Zack Brown said by email Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Young urges vaccination in new ads

Young, 88, “believes the vaccines are safe, effective and can help save lives.”

A portable sign on the Sterling Highway advertises a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinaton booster clinic held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
What you need to know about boosters

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility explained

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell (center) presents Wildlife Trooper Laura Reid (left) with a Life-Saving Award for her efforts in rescuing a child from the Kenai River offshore of North Kenai Beach this summer, during a ceremony held by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Oct. 13, 2021. Reid and Kenai River dipnetter Antoine Aridou (far right) rescued the 12-year-old on July 29, 2021. (Photo provided by the Office of the Governor)
Governor recognizes dipnetter, trooper for summer rescue

Wildlife Trooper Laura Reid received a Life-Saving Award and Antoine Aridou received a Governor’s Commendation.

COVID-19 (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 3 more COVID deaths, more than 900 cases

The newly reported deaths push Alaska’s total to 594 COVID fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this July 1908 photograph provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear sits at anchor while on Bering Sea Patrol off Alaska. The wreckage of the storied vessel, that served in two World Wars and patrolled frigid Arctic waters for decades, has been found, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office via AP)
Coast Guard: Wreck found in Atlantic is storied cutter Bear

The ship performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades.

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Most Read