A quilt entitled, “Royal Horse”, by Betty Ames hangs on the wall Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, at the Kenai Fine Arts Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

A quilt entitled, “Royal Horse”, by Betty Ames hangs on the wall Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, at the Kenai Fine Arts Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

‘This is their expression’

September art auction exhibit showcases local talent

A longtime tradition returns this month to the Kenai Fine Art Center, which is showcasing its September exhibit, the annual Harvest Art Auction.

The monthlong exhibit spotlights many of the central peninsula’s finest artists and their work, which will be parting ways with its owners for a good cause. The event goes back over a dozen years and is a fundraiser to support the Old Town gallery.

The show flaunts around 30 art pieces from over 20 different artists, including everything from quilted designs, pottery, paper art, photography, painting, metal art and encaustic design.

Shannon Olds, member of the Fine Art Center and Potter’s Guild boards, said the fundraising event has played a big role in fueling the gallery’s passion and bottom line for years.

“It’s been ongoing,” Olds said. “We fundraise every year to make sure we pay the bills and have our receptions for the artists.”

“They keep the doors open and the lights on,” added Marion Nelson, longtime member and vice president of the Fine Art Center.

The traditional auction itself will be Sept. 28 at 6 p.m., but the art silent auction will begin today at 5 p.m. with an opening reception that will feature gourmet appetizers, music and a drawing for door prizes.

Nelson said the event will also allow select art pieces to be purchased at their listed value and the interested members to immediately own the art. Any pieces secured at face value will still be displayed in the gallery for the month of September.

Olds said the creativity and passion shown by artists from the central peninsula provide a window into their minds and ideas.

“If you just think about the artists, this is their expression, this is how they are creative in life,” Olds said. “Some people have creative energy that they release in different ways. I release mine with clay. Some people might release theirs in painting or fiber art.”

Olds entered two pieces of pottery into the show as well, both low-fired pieces made with all organic and inorganic materials, things such as copper and sugar. Olds said she creates objects with a low-fire kiln that heats up to 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Olds said she has dabbled in pottery consistently since 2011, when she began teaching herself the art of the craft.

Soldotna artist and Fine Art Center board member Rachel Grossl also has two pieces entered, including a practical entry in papier-mache shoes. Grossl said 2019 is the first year she’s entered something in the Harvest Art Auction, but her experience working with quilting and fiber arts goes back much farther.

“Pinterest is where I get my inspiration from,” Grossl said with a smile. “But I’ve done it my whole life.”

The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m., giving the community the chance to check in on the silent auction fares.

A pair of papier-mache shoes created by Rachel Grossl sit Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, at the Kenai Fine Arts Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

A pair of papier-mache shoes created by Rachel Grossl sit Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, at the Kenai Fine Arts Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
Case count dips after 5 record days of positive cases

Alaska has had 1,338 cases of the disease since the state began tracking the pandemic in March.

An adult, female bald eagle was rescued from a tree Saturday in Juneau. The eagle was taken to Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka. (Courtesy Photo | Kerry Howard)
Juneau bald eagle rescued on Fourth of July

Injured but conscious, the raptor will get treatment in Sitka.

Robin Richardson, right, and her coworker Ellen Paffie from Georgia get ready for the night shift at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York on May 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Robin Richardson)
Soldotna nurse joins COVID-19 fight at New York hospital

Richardson cared for 53 critically ill COVID-19 patients. Only two of those patients lived.

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
COVID-19 week in review: Case count jumps; new hospitalizations, deaths reported

The current average positivity rate for all tests conducted is 1.39%.

‘Crowning jewel’

Iron Mike statue unveiled at Soldotna Creek Park

The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska is seen here on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly to consider declaring 2nd Amendment ‘sanctuary’

The proposed ordinance opposes legislation restricting rights protected by the Second Amendment.

Bikers participate in the Fourth of July Parade in Kenai on July 4, 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officially sanctioned events for July 4 — including the parades in Kenai, Seward and Homer and the Mount Marathon Race in Seward — have been canceled. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
A quiet 4th of July

With public events canceled, officials urge residents to practice caution.

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
Seward takes emergency measures as cases rise

Alaska has had 1,226 cases of the disease since the state began tracking the pandemic in March.

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
38 new resident COVID-19 cases seen

It was the largest single-day increase in new cases of COVID-19 among Alaska residents.

Most Read