The Kenai Fine Arts Center is kicking off the new year with a photography show that features the work of local artists Ben Boettger and Elizabeth Earl. The show is titled “Panta Rhei” and features a photo series of six different glaciers on the Kenai Peninsula.
The upcoming photography exhibit will have the photos arranged by glacier and takes the viewer on a comprehensive tour of all the glacial fields in the area. Boettger and Earl’s images emphasize both the scale and the movement of these natural wonders. Their photos are intended to give anyone who views them the realization that these glaciers truly are constantly on the move.
The title of the show is Greek in origin and roughly translates to “everything flows.” Boettger had the idea for the title while he and Earl were exploring and working on the project. Earl remarked that studying the glaciers up close allowed them to really take note of the evidence of movement in the landscape. At a glance, these behemoths seem to be at a standstill. Some locals will recall that in the 1950s, the Portage Glacier was practically adjacent to the highway on the way to Anchorage. Now that same glacier is about 5 miles away.
Earl says that studying the path of a glacier is like “looking back in time.”
“Once you know what to look for, the evidence is all around you,” Earl said. She also notes that Alaska has a unique relationship with glaciers compared to other places around the world.
Many glaciers in Montana or Washington, for example, either pale in comparison or are all but gone already.
Alaska’s climate has allowed glaciers all over the state to retain their size while moving hundreds, even thousands of miles. With this show, Boettger and Earl wanted to highlight the impact these glaciers have on the landscape as they make their slow journey across the peninsula.
“Panta Rhei” will have its opening reception on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Kenai Fine Arts Center, located next to the Oilers Bingo Hall in Old Town Kenai.
The reception is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served during the event.
The Fine Arts Center hosts a different show every month and has an opening reception on the first Thursday of each month. The show by Boettger and Earl will be on display all through January. The Fine Arts Center’s regular hours are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.