I was selected to create a mural in the “Winter” hallway of the school. Winter in the boreal forest is known to be long, cold and dark. I wanted my design to be rich in vibrant colors, organic movement and abstract shapes celebrating our longest season. My concept features recognizable visual elements in this environment including 1) The Chugach mountains layered with snow, spruce trees which are resilient and tolerant of our cold winters and the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis – our northern latitude gives us the opportunity to enjoy this spectacular sight.
My concept is inspired by the significant challenges and rewards our fire and EMS personnel experience while managing emergencies in the Turnagain Arm area; proximity to glaciers, boatable lakes with ice bergs, unending Chugach forest, mud flats and strong tidal change, transport through the mountains, and exploration on the river systems. The design is rich in vibrant colors, organic movement and abstract landmarks done in a whole-hearted style. The design transition at the corners of the mural will be seamless. My intention is to make something timeless, easy to relate to for any age and supports community pride. Mostly, at the end of the day, I want something that is enjoyable and uplifting to look at whether a school group is getting a tour or a medic is getting coffee after a 3am Seward Highway accident.
Nome and the surrounding villages revolve around the seasonal subsistence cycle of hunting & gathering which provides residents with much needed food along with materials for gear, clothing, tools and crafts. I want my piece to be timeless and speak to residents & visitors alike about the subsistence resources available. From beluga whale hunts to picking bird eggs, and lifting pots of king crabs to watching a caribou migration, the Bering Straits region is abundant with life. I have selected marine, land, fish & bird elements to tell the story of what mother nature provided Nome to make it unique.
The project happened in 2012 when I was commissioned to decorate the wood panels to cover the ceiling as a sound proofing solution. Covering the 3,000 sq ft area took approximately 18 gallons of paint, 1,500 ft of silver bead strands, 65 disco balls, 4 weeks and the keys to the building. For a nighttime entertainment I applied a layer of black light paint to the designs. As day turns to night, and the blacklight bulbs are turned on, the daytime art disappears and there is an entirely new experience in the venue.
My proposal was to create a permanent testimony to the surroundings that shape us as a community. Girdwood is nestled in the northern-most rainforest in North America, surrounded by mountains, glaciers, rivers, and wildlife. Along with school and education having a physical and mental impact on our youth, so does the natural environment we live in every day.
This is my painted bear for Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in support of the 24th International Conference on Bear Research & Management held in Anchorage during the summer of 2016. Bear forms decorated by local artists were displayed in downtown Anchorage at local businesses. My bear design was inspired by the food items found in a brown bears diet including razor clams, salmon, berries and more. You can visit “Forage” year-round at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.