As the old year passed and the new one arrived, the art on the walls of The Flats Bistro on K-Beach Rd. remained and shall through February. The solo artist show opened with a reception December 4th and rapidly became popular with holiday diners. The local artist Kaitlin Vadla, a Soldotna High School grad and 2002 Caring for the Kenai winner later earned her degree from Gonzaga University; 0then studied and traveled abroad before returning home last year. “In college, I wondered what I’d do when I grew up. Offering guidance, a professor shared this quote from Howard Thurman: ‘Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’ I’m still not sure what I’ll do when I grow up, but I do know that painting makes me feel alive. I also know that Alaska – the light, the seasons, the mountains, the people, the sea – makes me feel alive. This show is a celebration of Alaska, a celebration of my own changed perspective on Alaska after living overseas, and a celebration of finding the meaningfulness and challenge I sought abroad right here at home,” she said.
Her acrylic creations of Vadla on display at The Flats Bistro appear to have been commissioned especially to fit Bistro’s décor and express an Alaskan experience with international flavor. “You always bring everything that you are to the brush stroke at the moment you’re in it, but what is great about painting is that when you are doing it everything else falls away and what results is a joyful expression of life. Some of them tell a story about Alaska and what I love about this place and what I hope for the future of Alaska and what will not be included in the future of Alaska. It’s great to have a place as lovely as the Bistro for artists to hang their work and my pieces are available as well as prints for sale,” she said. A closing reception is being planned at the Flats the end of February. Vadla is also involved with a movie that was made locally called “Chuitna-More than Salmon on the Line,” which will premier February 3rd at the Triumvirate North Theatre before being shown around the State. The premier will also feature food and beverages with entertainment by the Robb Justice Band, “We hope everyone will join us there and at the closing reception at The Flats the end of February.”