Kenai Peninsula College: Around Campus

  • By Suzie Kendrick
  • Sunday, December 11, 2016 7:32pm
  • NewsSchools

KPC has received the gift of a lifetime of artwork by renowned Alaskan artist James Evenson. The collection of 20 original stone lithograph prints, an original framed watercolor and a lithograph poster were donated with support from Kashi Law Offices, Dr. Terese Kashi, Tauriainen Engineering and Testing, Sweeny’s Clothing, Soldotna Mini Storage and the Rotary Club of Soldotna. The donation was made through ARTSpace, Inc. with assistance by Bill Heath who provided extensive photography to document and catalogue the collection.

Evenson grew up in Chicago, Illinois. In a 2006 Peninsula Clarion article, he shared that he was the kid who could always draw. He began studying art at Oak Park High School, Grinnell College and the University of Iowa.

Evenson and his wife Nedra traveled to Alaska in 1955 and camped for the summer on the bluff behind the Kenai Russian Orthodox Church. They fell in love with Alaska and returned yearly to commercial fish in Cook Inlet. Evenson eventually left his teaching job in the Lower 48, homesteaded in Nikiski and took a job at Kenai Central High School teaching art and coaching. In 1970, Evenson learned the fine art of producing stone lithographs while on sabbatical in Malaga, Spain.

When he returned to Alaska, Evenson installed his own press and did all of his own printmaking, as well as painting in his Bishop Lake studio in Nikiski. His hand-printed lithographs and original pieces have been exhibited widely in Alaska, the midwest, Spain, Canada and Russia.

Evenson retired from teaching in 1975 and devoted his time to producing art, commercial drift fishing for salmon and volunteering in the community. He also taught as an adjunct art instructor at KPC for a number of years.

Kachemak Bay Campus whale skeleton articulations installed

KBC’s Semester by the Bay program brings natural science and marine biology college students from across the lower 48 for an academic, hands-on learning experience using the rich marine environment of Kachemak Bay as their laboratory. The single-semester program (every fall) is designed to meet the needs of students in a creative and adventurous way and many students return to take advantage of local state and federal internships.

In her capacity as a member Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Dr. Debbie Tobin, KBC biology professor and coordinator of the SBB program, has had students accompany her to sites of marine mammal strandings to investigate carcasses, including whales.

Tobin enlisted the help of Lee Post, a KBC adjunct biology professor with skeletal articulation experience, to work with SSB and local students to process three whale skeletons from the carcass stage to the ‘clean bone’ stage. Over the course of three semesters, three whales including a Cook Inlet beluga, a Stejneger’s beaked whale and an immature orca, have been processed.

After the tedious process of reassembling the bones and stabilizing the skeleton using water putty, metal rods and wire, each of the articulated skeletons have been installed and now hang from the ceiling of KBC’s Pioneer Hall.

Spring semester registration underway

Fall semester wrapped up last week and students are in the midst of final projects and exams. After this week, they can breathe easy for a while but it is important they remember to register for next semester before key courses fill and close. Currently, compared to the same period last year, registration is up more than 6.5 percent across the KPC system.

Registration for the upcoming spring semester is available from the KPC homepage by clicking on UAOnline. Spring semester classes begin on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017.


This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, Advancement Programs Manager at KPC.

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