From left to right, artists Asia Freeman, Michael Walsh and Rika Mouw on July 9, 2019, drape a Sean Derry’s public art sculpture in Homer, Alaska, as part of a statewide art intervention to protest Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of a $2.8 million state appropriation to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. They also supported a general override of Dunleavy’s vetoes that will affect funding for the University of Alaska, public radio and other programs. Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for art project associated with the remodeling of Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska. The protest was not sanctioned by the college. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

From left to right, artists Asia Freeman, Michael Walsh and Rika Mouw on July 9, 2019, drape a Sean Derry’s public art sculpture in Homer, Alaska, as part of a statewide art intervention to protest Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of a $2.8 million state appropriation to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. They also supported a general override of Dunleavy’s vetoes that will affect funding for the University of Alaska, public radio and other programs. Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for art project associated with the remodeling of Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska. The protest was not sanctioned by the college. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Homer artists protest Dunleavy veto

About 10 people draped in black a sculpture by artist Sean Derry in front of the Kachemak Bay Campus

As part of statewide protests by an ad-hoc group of artists and arts supporters against a veto by Gov. Mike Dunleavy of $2.8 million to the Alaska State Council on the Arts, about 10 people on Tuesday afternoon in Homer draped in black a sculpture by artist Sean Derry in front of the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage.

In an action reminiscent of the more playful shrouding of public buildings by the artist Christo, protesters covered Derry’s sculpture of a table and chairs in black cloth and then wrapped it with orange twine. The group held signs by the sculpture supporting the state arts council, public radio and state services for the needy. They also laid down on the sidewalk around the art. Joined by several more people, the group walked up Pioneer Avenue to WKFL Park in Homer, where they held signs in front of some women who draped their heads in black cloth.

Artist and teacher Asia Freeman, executive director of Bunnell Street Arts Center, said except for its location, the protest was not associated with the Kachemak Bay Campus or sanctioned by university staff. The group chose the site because Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for the arts public art project administered by the Alaska State Council on the Arts. The college also has several other public art works commissioned as part of construction and remodeling of old or new buildings, including a sculpture by Homer artist Brad Hughes. Derry was raised in Homer and now lives in Pennsylvania.

“Although I have taught for UAA for 20 years and I am gravely concerned about its future, as well as the future of arts and culture and many other services in Alaska, I am going to proceed as an independent, unsanctioned action that is not part of KBC,” she said in an email.

Other art interventions planned or held from Tuesday to Thursday, July 9-11 included the draping of art work on Tuesday at the Museum of the North, Fairbanks, and at locations of public art in Anchorage at C Street and Tudor Road, the state courthouse downtown and at the UAA Alaska Airlines Center.

“The action is attempting to convey a sense of loss — the imagining of a state (Alaska) without art,” the ad-hoc group wrote in a press release. “The group hopes to highlight the relevance of art as an economic driver, the role it plays in shaping the state’s cultural identity and its overall contribution to the quality of life in Alaska.”

The group said the immediate impact of cuts to the Alaska State Council on the Arts would be the loss of jobs and about $2.2 million in revenue to the state. The actual state contribution to ASCA is $700,000, used to leverage grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rasmuson Foundation and other agencies.

“Local effects will be the loss of programs supporting local arts organizations, which in turn fuel businesses and industries such as tourism in the community, as well as impacting local artists who practice as small businesses,” the press release said.

“Funding to art in the state has been cut not because of its excess but because of its power,” said artist Sheryl Maree Reily in the press release.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

People draped in black hold signs on July 9, 2019, by Sean Derry’s public art sculpture in Homer, Alaska, as part of a statewide art intervention to protest Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of a $2.8 million state appropriation to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. They also supported a general override of Dunleavy’s vetoes that will affect funding for the University of Alaska, public radio and other programs. Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for art project associated with the remodeling of Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska. The protest was not sanctioned by the college. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

People draped in black hold signs on July 9, 2019, by Sean Derry’s public art sculpture in Homer, Alaska, as part of a statewide art intervention to protest Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of a $2.8 million state appropriation to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. They also supported a general override of Dunleavy’s vetoes that will affect funding for the University of Alaska, public radio and other programs. Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for art project associated with the remodeling of Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska. The protest was not sanctioned by the college. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Arts supporters draped in black holds sings on July 9, 2019, by Sean Derry’s public art sculpture in Homer, Alaska, as part of a statewide art intervention to protest Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of a $2.8 million state appropriation to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. They also supported a general override of Dunleavy’s vetoes that will affect funding for the University of Alaska, public radio and other programs. Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for art project associated with the remodeling of Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska. The protest was not sanctioned by the college. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Arts supporters draped in black holds sings on July 9, 2019, by Sean Derry’s public art sculpture in Homer, Alaska, as part of a statewide art intervention to protest Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of a $2.8 million state appropriation to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. They also supported a general override of Dunleavy’s vetoes that will affect funding for the University of Alaska, public radio and other programs. Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for art project associated with the remodeling of Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska. The protest was not sanctioned by the college. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

People draped in black lie down on July 9, 2019, by Sean Derry’s public art sculpture in Homer, Alaska, as part of a statewide art intervention to protest Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of a $700,000 state appropriation to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. They also supported a general override of Dunleavy’s vetoes that will affect funding for the University of Alaska, public radio and other programs. Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for art project associated with the remodeling of Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska. The protest was not sanctioned by the college. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

People draped in black lie down on July 9, 2019, by Sean Derry’s public art sculpture in Homer, Alaska, as part of a statewide art intervention to protest Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of a $700,000 state appropriation to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. They also supported a general override of Dunleavy’s vetoes that will affect funding for the University of Alaska, public radio and other programs. Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for art project associated with the remodeling of Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska. The protest was not sanctioned by the college. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Homer artists protest Dunleavy veto

People draped in black lie down on July 9, 2019, by Sean Derry’s public art sculpture in Homer, Alaska, as part of a statewide art intervention to protest Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of a $700,000 state appropriation to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. They also supported a general override of Dunleavy’s vetoes that will affect funding for the University of Alaska, public radio and other programs. Derry’s sculpture was commissioned as a 1% for art project associated with the remodeling of Pioneer Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus, Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska. The protest was not sanctioned by the college. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

More in News

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, right, slices and serves fresh watermelon during North Peninsula Recreation Service Area’s Family Fun in the Midnight Sun at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center in Nikiski, Alaska, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
North Peninsula Rec holds annual summer celebration

Attractions at this year’s event included carnival games, food trucks, field games, face painting, live music and demonstrations

The Blood Bank of Alaska’s new Kenai Peninsula center is seen in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, June 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Blood Bank relaunches permanent center on Kenai Peninsula

The new location joins others in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Wasilla

Nathan Nelson directs a kite flying dozens of feet up in the sky above Millennium Square in Kenai, Alaska, during the Kenai Kite Festival on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sun, wind, friends and kites

Kiters both experienced and novice gather for Kenai festival

Marchers walk from the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex to Soldotna Creek Park as part of Soldotna Pride in the Park on Saturday, June 3, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Pride in the Park, other Pride celebrations set for Saturday

The event starts with the Two-Spirit March, which meets at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex at 11:30 a.m.

Signs direct visitors at Seward City Hall on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward OKs around $362,000 in purchases for Electric Department material

A pair of resolutions were included and passed within the consent agenda

Sockeye salmon are gathered together at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnets for commercial setnet fishers given emergency approval by CFEC

Up to three 12-hour periods of commercial dipnetting “may” be allowed each week from June 20 to July 31

Council member Dave Carey speaks during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna explores its water and sewer expansion fees

The fees are a single charge to people who are newly or differently demanding or utilizing the services of the city’s water and sewer system

Sockeye salmon caught in a set gillnet are dragged up onto the beach at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Disaster determination received for 2023 east side setnet fishery

Disasters have been recognized for 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023

Design Project Manager Steve Noble and Public Involvement Lead Stephanie Queen appear to discuss the Sterling Safety Corridor Improvements project during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sterling Safety Corridor project to get ‘reintroduction’ at community meetings this month

The corridor begins near Whistle Hill in Soldotna and ends shortly after Swanson River Road in Sterling

Most Read