If you have never wandered the Art of the North gallery in the new Rasmuson Wing at the Anchorage Museum, or even if you have, the next Hometown Alaska offers an enriched experience as we absorb the gallery though the eyes and expertise of two museum curators and an artist/art historian. This space expanded the amount of space dedicated to the museum’s art collection from 3,000 to 25,000 square feet. featuring more than 200 works from the museum’s permanent collection.
Light and height wash over a viewer in the gallery’s main room, home to a sprawling Alvin Amason piece created specifically for the new gallery. On February 2, Amason gave a public talk on his work and this large piece in particular, called “Everything I Love Is Here.” He said he wanted to create a piece “that owned the wall.”
In the slideshow gallery below are 15 images from the gallery, a tiny slice of what is available. Our guests Betany Porter and Kes Woodward gave a walk-through introduction to the gallery last November (the gallery opened in September, 2017, so it is still new to many people). I attended that walk through and our discussion today will draw on their remarks from that November event.
Our goal is to talk about how the gallery came to be, how the works here were curated and why. The gallery consists of several rooms and viewers can move through historical depictions of Alaska to very modern responses to the landscape.
Questions we might discuss:
- Were the images captured in the Romantic landscapes by 19th and 20th century painters accurate?
- Why is man sometimes very small in the landscape, and sometimes dominant in the landscape?
- Was Sydney Laurence consistent in his many depictions of Denali?
- Where were the early women artists?
- What are the stories behind the artists?
If you’ve visited this new space and have impressions, please share them with us. And our guests are extremely knowledgeable about these works, the artists who created them, and the reasons the galleries are populated with these works. Your questions are welcome!
HOST: Kathleen McCoy
- Betany Porter, former Anchorage Museum curator, Art of the North gallery
- Aaron Leggett, curator of Alaska history and culture, Anchorage Museum
- Kesler Woodward, artist and art historian
- Art of the North gallery expansion brochure (4-page PDF)
- Postmodernism or just a stroll: Anchorage Museum’s grand opening, The Anchorage Press, 9.15.2017
- 2-min video introduction to the Art of the North Gallery, Anchorage Museum
- Kes Woodward’s Painting in the North blog and website
- Being Denaina, personal history by Aaron Leggett
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LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)
REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)