New art show opening at Kenai River Campus

Local photographer Joe Kashi is the next featured artist in the G.L. Freeburg Gallery located in the Brockel Building at the Kenai River Campus. Kashi’s show, Fleeting Images, opens on Sept. 16 and runs through Oct. 10. The gallery is open from 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. on Fridays.

The thought-provoking exhibition centers around images Kashi captured during a spring 2013 trip to Dachau concentration camp in Germany.

On April 29, 1945, Dachau was liberated by the United States 7th Army Infantry Unit. At the time of liberation, there were approximately 27,400 prisoners who remained alive in the main camp. In total, over 188,000 prisoners had passed through Dachau and its sub-camps. It has been estimated that nearly 50,000 of those prisoners met their death in Dachau.

Kashi was accompanied on the journey by Fred Kehl, a fellow longtime Soldotna Rotarian member. Kehl had a special connection to the notorious camp.

“He is now in his late 80’s. Fred was one of the U.S. soldiers who liberated Dachau and he will be present at the show’s opening reception to talk a bit about it and receive a replica brass and walnut copy of the plaque that now hangs at the main gate of Dachau,” said Kashi.

Kashi’s images of the Dachau concentration camp sequence is printed on a single sheet of photo canvas, 12 feet long and two feet wide, stretched and framed.

“After the show comes down in October, the big Dachau sequence and the large image featured on the exhibit’s promotional poster, will be going to the Jewish Museum in Anchorage,” said Kashi.

There will be an artist reception for the exhibit held from 4:30-6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 25 at the Freeburg Gallery.

Currently 48 percent of KPC’s student population is under the age of 25; that equates to 1,378 students. In 1997, the college counted 415 students in this age group. Students in the age range 17-24 represent what is typically referred to as traditional age college students. The median age of a KPC student now stands at 25 years old. Early in the 2000’s the median age was in the mid-thirties.

With increased outreach to Peninsula high school students, a strong JumpStart program supported by the Kenai Peninsula Borough that offers discounted tuition and dual-credit courses along with the availability of student housing at the Kenai River Campus, it is anticipated that more traditional age students will choose Kenai Peninsula College for their first college experience.

For almost ten years, there have been construction or modifications underway somewhere in the KPC system. The latest renovations are happening at the Kenai River Campus with several tandem projects that will result in the continued renewal of the campus.

Projects underway or recently completed include lighting upgrades to more energy efficient LED fixtures in exterior locations, roof replacement on the Goodrich Building, remodel of the upstairs Ward Building to accommodate almost all faculty members in one location (a back-fill project from space freed up by the establishment of KRC’s new Career and Technical Education Center). The KRC library now has an upgraded circulation desk and newly configured office spaces for the staff.

Other projects are in various stages of planning with many additional improvements and efficiencies that will continue to enhance the campus.

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