Alaska Art Galleries – A Window on the Creative North

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When planning a trip to Alaska the top activities always involve the outdoors. This is entirely natural, as the outdoors very much define Alaska. However, there is a cultural heartbeat to the land as well, and many native Alaskans who were born here or moved here after falling in love with the place, try to communicate the appeal of that land through art. With a huge number of tourists travelling through every summer, many Alaskan artists are able to devote themselves to their work, and the long winters enable a real concentration of effort. The result is some fantastic artwork.

There are a surprising number of Alaska art galleries, considering the sparse population. Of course the explosion of visitors in the summer helps explain why. Most can be found in the major cities, though some are in the popular tourist spots, or smaller communities. Depending on your tastes, here are some of the best:

Representational Art:

  • Norman Lowell Studio and Gallery, Norman Lowell Dr. Off Sterling Hwy, Homer
  • Ptarmigan Arts, 471 E. Pioneer Ave., Homer
  • Art Shop Gallery, 202 Pioneer Ave., Homer
  • Artique, 314 G St.,Anchorage
  • New Horizons Gallery, 519 1st. St., Fairbanks
  • Juneau Artists Gallery, 175 S. Franklin St., Juneau
  • Decker Gallery, 233 S. Franklin St. Juneau
  • Fisherman’s Eye Fine Art Gallery, 239 Lincoln St., Sitka
  • Sitka Rose Gallery, 419 Lincoln St., Sitka
  • Dockside Gallery, 5 Salmon Landing, Ketchikan
  • Exploration Gallery, 633 Mission St., Ketchikan

Native Traditional Art:

  • 4th Ave. Market Place, Anchorage
  • The Rusty Harpoon, 411 W.4th Ave., Anchorage
  • Alaska Native Arts Foundation Gallery, 6th Ave. Anchorage
  • Arctic Travellers Gift Shop, 201 Cushman St., Fairbanks
  • The Ravens Journey, 435 S. Franklin St., Juneau
  • Sheldon Jackson Museum Gift Shop, 104 College Dr., Sitka
  • Alaska Eagle Arts, 5 Creek St., Ketchikan
  • Eagle Spirit Gallery of Ketchikan, 310 Mission St., Ketchikan

Contemporary Art:

  • Bunnell Street Gallery, 106 W. Bunnell Ave., Homer
  • International Gallery of Contemporary Art, 427 D Street, Anchorage
  • Rie Munoz Gallery, 2101 Jordan Ave. Juneau
  • Main Stay Gallery, 716 Totem Way, Ketchikan
  • Soho Coho, 5 Creek St., Ketchikan

Besides these galleries in the major centres, there are many others in smaller communities and tourist destinations. If you are planning a trip to Alaska, be sure to set some time aside to explore a few of these galleries, and see how native Alaskans interpret the land that surrounds them.

Alaska is a place that creates and attracts artists. Partly it may be due to the mystique of the north; a harsh land that overwhelms and reminds us of our mortality. It may also be due to the winters that are so long, and allow hours of reflection and a chance to hone one’s craft. For some, it may be due to the increased sense of isolation, living on one of the world’s last frontiers. Whatever it is, Alaska art galleries are a chance for outsiders to see the end result of that deep current of creativity that runs through this incredible land.

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Source by Jan Hanna

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