Here comes tax season! I am sifting through receipts and 1099 forms, which reminds me of all the things that happened in 2016. Here’s a quick rundown.
In the early part of the year, I worked on getting ready for a show for the Alaska Humanities Forum as well as a public art commission. January and February can often be a bit vague in my winter memory, but I’m pretty sure there was a lot of time in the studio.
I was selected to participate in a project that involved working with two groups of preschool students culminating in pieces for a fundraiser for Thread, an organization that supports early childhood education. We worked on these in February and March, making several kid-designed mosaics.
March started with the Alaska Humanities Forum show, a great place to show work. The gracious and accommodating Christina Barber helped make all of that come together nicely. Their exhibition series is a great addition to the art scene in Anchorage.
Not long after this I had a winter residency in Denali National Park. It was a beautiful and quiet time to be there, and it opened my eyes to the potential for winter travel and exploration of a place I really only know as a summer destination. (And the best part, no bears!)
In April, I got back on the teaching wagon for a busy stint at three different schools. There were three weeks at Pearl Creek Elementary in Fairbanks doing printmaking, two weeks in the Bristol Bay community of Port Heiden and a week in Tanacross. What a treat, and what a workout! These opportunities to travel and work with the small communities in Alaska are so important to me. I learn from every place I go.
In late May it was time to install my piece at Kenai Peninsula College. I have the good fortune to live with my fabricator and installer and the process was quick and painless. The guy does good work, for sure.
Then it was off to Cleveland and two fantastic months at Zygote Press courtesy of the Rasmuson Foundation’s residency exchange program, with the bonus excitement of the Republican National Convention and the basketball championship. It was fun, productive, and important to me to remember how much I like hanging out with printmakers.
Cleveland is an exciting and vibrant and above all else friendly city. I knew I’d like it, but I was surprised by how much I liked it. I hope to be back to work more at Zygote before too much time passes. I will always remember and appreciate the way I was made to feel welcome and at home there. And – amazing – there was an honest-to-God dumpster fire outside my window on my first night. Can’t beat that for real city atmosphere.
After I returned to Alaska at the beginning of August, I got to spend a week as an artist in residence at the McKinley Chalet Resort near the entrance to Denali National Park. I had no idea what to expect, but I had a great time hiking in the park, working on art, and talking to visitors. I will be back again next year.
Things slowed down a bit in the fall, and there was time for some chores, some trips, the Equinox Marathon, and the process of getting ready for winter. If you look at my last post, you’ll see how I spent a bunch of time in November and December getting to – and trying to get to – two wonderful schools out in the Aleutians. Also, the year ended with a lot of work getting ready for the upcoming February group show Microbial Worlds, which has been in the works for well over a year.
The last couple months have been a very strange time for artists, people who care about art and education (and health care, and civil rights, and public lands, and science, and, and, and. . .) 2016 was a great year that ended on a frightening note. I’ll say more about what’s ahead in my art life in 2017 next post. It’s going to be another busy one, but I will and let’s all make the time this year to stay vigilant and involved. It seems more important than ever.