The annual summer art show preview and reception was held at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center (KCCVC) Thursday, June 2nd. Guests not only got to see the new showing of local artists, but vote for their favorite piece. Earlier this year the call went out to local artists for works that depicted life on the Kenai, “The call was for work that explored the concept of what it means to live, work and play in Kenai, Alaska,” said Pamela Parker, program coordinator for the KCCVC. “Living on the Kenai Peninsula is like living nowhere else in the world and the response from the artists depict everything from the sweeping mountain views to humorous photos, to riveting renderings of our areas history,” she said.
Entries were slow at the beginning according to COO Johna Beech, “About three weeks ago it really picked up and gained momentum and now we have some 35 pieces on display all from our local artists that are Keen on Kenai and know of the life experience it is to live here,” she said. The show includes local humor as captured through the lens of the Rev. Rick Cupp, “It was pure luck actually. I was walking down the beach and saw the No Fires North sign and I thought now there is authority as Mt. Redoubt smoldered in the background,” Cupp told the Dispatch in an interview at the reception. Sue Biggs has a photo in the show of a statuesque bull moose, “He actually never moved but kept his eye on me the whole time. I’m happy to be able to share with our visitors some of these wonderful wildlife shots that I’ve been able to capture, I do portraits and that bull posed like he knew what I wanted,” said Biggs. Another show standout is a painting of Mt. Redoubt by Christy Weber who was also at the reception, “It’s a mixed medium with acrylic, stucco and tar gel on canvas. It’s my first time to exhibit and I like all the works that are here,” she said. The Fan Favorite winner was a photo entitled “Kenai River Angler” by Tom Collopy and Mary Frische of Wild North Photography. The “Keen on Kenai” exhibit will be on display all summer at the Kenai Visitors & Cultural Center.