Fairbanks Arts Associations hosts two exhibitions in grand opening of new “Wandering Bear Gallery”

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Fairbanks Arts Association hosted two exhibitions Friday night for the grand opening of what they are calling their Wandering Bear Gallery.

The Fairbanks Arts Association hosted two exhibitions Friday night for the grand opening of what they are calling the Wandering Bear Gallery, featuring works by Iris Sutton, Nancy Hausle Johnson, and Somer Hahm. (Ramzi Abou Ghalioum/KTVF)

Two exhibitions are on display in the gallery, which is located at 3501 Lathrop St.. One of the exhibitions, called “Two Interpretations”, is a collaborative work by artists Nancy Hausle Johnson and Iris Sutton. Johnson and Sutton participated in an artist-in-residence program at Toolik Field Station, located on the shores of Toolik Lake in the far north of Alaska, between the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“The flowers were in full bloom,” said Sutton of her four day residence at the station. She discussed the process by which she and Johnson produced their work, saying, “We were just taking information, and taking photos, and doing a lot of research…”

“And meeting the people and seeing what their projects were like,” added Johnson.

“Not all of the pieces in here are specifically north of the Brooks Range,” said Sutton, reflecting on the works presented at the exhibition. “But it represents generally [our love] of Alaska, and nature, and working with realistic animal landscapes.”

The other exhibition currently on display at the gallery is Somer Hahm’s “The Painted Quilt”. According to Hahm, this body of work represents her fascination with quilt block designs. “I’m making abstractions based on the wealth of the American patchwork. I’m really interested in quilt block designs, and what fascinates me about them is really the feminine narrative that exists within. These are designs and patterns that have been passed down for generations, but among women.”

Another portion of Hahm’s work in the exhibition is dedicated to the introduction of a project she is developing: “One of the ideas I came up with was starting Alaska’s first barn quilt trail. So the other half of my exhibit is a short introduction to the quilt trail which was founded in July of 2019.”

The works will be exhibited at the gallery until February 3. More information can be found at the Fairbanks Arts Association website.


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