A new exhibit at the Anchorage museum called “Snow Flyers” is all about the connection Alaskans have to snow. That’s both the physical connection to snow — specifically, how we travel on it — and how we feel about our connection to snow.
Getting at the feeling of it, the entire exhibit space for Snow Flyers is covered in thick, snow-like, white carpet. It physically feels only a little like snow, but it dampens noises very much in the same way as a layer of fresh snow on the ground. And in one corner, past a dog sled, there’s a familiar noise and a rumbling sensation where a museum-goer can sit on a snowmachine watching a point-of-view video that simulates riding through a field of powder.
The exhibit also features much older and heavier snowmachines, as well as other mechanical devices that were considered cutting-edge technology in their times and some that are innovations of our time, like a progression of fat tire bikes.
Ryan Kenny, associate director of exhibitions at the Anchorage Museum, spoke to Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove at the museum. Kenny said the goal with Snow Flyers was to capture innovation and adaptation over time.