“Thor Evenson Retrospective,” is the new summer art show at the Kenai Fine Arts Center downtown Kenai between the Bingo Hall and Keen Eye Joe’s and is an exhibit anyone wanting to see lines that connect life on the Kenai won’t want to miss and may want to return with cash in hand. Thor is the son of legendary homesteader and artist Jim and Nedra Evenson who moved to Alaska over half a century ago, “We came up in May of 1955,” Thor told the Dispatch, “Dad was teaching at Cornell College in Iowa and was always reading about Alaska, so Mom said well you’re always reading about it let’s go, so we did. We ended up in Kenai because Stan Thompson’s sister rode up with us and we came to Kenai to drop her off and we ended up staying in their beach house,” he said. Opening on the evening before the 4th of July the well-attended show featured 150 original pieces by Evenson that included a drift boat model he made in 1962, “It took a year and a half to do from balsa wood and are planked just like the real boat and are museum quality models that I did like in my junior year in high school and that’s actually the boat that we fished that dad bought in Seldovia in the fall of 1955,” he said. Evenson captures the actual feeling and motion of being on drift boat, totally exhausted in rough seas with a painting of his mother on board the boat. Many of his works are available in prints as well as the originals that are for sale.
In the rear Fine Arts Center is an accompanying photographic show of an amazing young artist Ivy Howland whose photographic art captures her love of horses, “I do love horses and have been riding since I was six years old,” Ivy told the Dispatch. Then at 14 years of age she was diagnosed with brain cancer, “Actually I was relieved when we got the diagnosis. I spent a year undiagnosed when my hands stopped working and I couldn’t read after being an A student, I couldn’t even hold a pencil or keep my back straight and had to lie down all the time and was always fatigued and couldn’t think straight or keep any food down, so when they found out what it was I was relieved because they could start treating the cancer and before that I just didn’t know my symptoms had anything to do with my brain,” she said.
Ivy’s mother Danette was beaming at her daughters show opening and had a little different feeling about the diagnosis, “I was horrified! It was very scary, yet I had hope and enough insight to believe that the brain could repair and that Ivy is an amazingly strong young woman and serious fighter, so yes I could imagine being here one day by her side as she displays her art,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be an artist and always will. I plan on going for it making print available to anyone who likes them,” said Ivy.
The works of Ivy Howland will also be on display at the Kenai Fine Arts Center through the month of July.