FIRST FRIDAY ARTISTS
Monthly featured works of art by local artists are on exhibit during our First Friday events. The art can be viewed in the Kahuna Studio for a full month. Below are sample works of this months featured artist. There are much more works to view in our gallery. Prints can be ordered of any originals.
This Month’s Featured Artists
Fairbanks-based artist Heidi Morel discovered her love of the ceramic process while attending the University of North Texas. After graduation, she moved to Johnson City, Tennessee where she was a resident artist at East Tennessee State University. In pursuit of adventure and education, Heidi began attending graduate school at UAF in 2008. Her explorations in clay stretched in many directions, from earth art installations to sustainable kiln building. In 2013 she established Morel Clay Studio in the hills of Goldstream Valley. When Heidi is not working in her studio, she enjoys coaching a local swim team and running with her huskies.
Best known for her colorful patterns of painted acrylic beadwork on a variety of surfaces, Amy Komar is a professional artist living in Fairbanks, Alaska. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she earned a BA in Studio Art from the University of Texas Austin in 2001. Her work today demonstrates an ongoing visual dialog with her early works – abstract pieces on paper – which were imagined landscapes. Atmospheric in appearance, they exhibited thin washes of iridescent paint, sensitive layering and intentional mark making.
Ashley is local to Fairbanks and is a proud alumni of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She began taking art classes at UAF in high school and continued to throughout college. Ultimately she graduated with both a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Chemistry. As an early graduation gift, her boyfriend, later her husband, gave her a DSLR to use on some trips they had planned. As years passed, and thousands of pictures of their adventures and two little boys were taken, Ashley began to really focus on the art of her photography. Ashley’s images are influenced from her analytical science background and are focused on capturing moments in nature.
Brianna is far too ambitious for her own good; you will find her working on something or “procrastiworking” on nothing. She draws, doodles, paints, and daydreams. She spends too much time in her imagination and there’s never enough left over for the chores. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her husband, their two tiny kids and two giant dogs (plus a cat named Murphy, who thinks she’s also a dog).
Carrie found her passion for working with metal after getting a job as an apprentice jeweler in 2000, She was originally hired to do beadwork, a new chapter opened after learning some basics in metal work. She learned a lot at the jewelry shop and continues to learn on her own – lots of books, lots of mistakes, and the occasional workshop. She has collected tools and built her home studio over the years. She began selling my work at seasonal events around the state in 2009. Many of her pieces are influenced by Alaska and the natural world and crafted with old world tools and classic techniques.
Wesley grew up in northern Indiana, in a household that always put an emphasis on creativity. He moved to Arizona at the age of 20 for a couple of years and has been in Alaska since 2016. Shortly after arriving in Alaska he started taking woodworking classes at the Fairbanks Folk School where he discovered carving, specifically carving spoons. After carving a few wooden utensils (spoons, cups and bowls) he was somewhat hooked and has not stopped carving since.
Holly Lena Winkelman is from McGrath, AK, born in Anchorage and grew up in Fairbanks. She earned her BFA in printmaking from UAF in 2008. She printed at the UAF studio and had a studio at Well Street Art Company for many years in Fairbanks. Influenced by AK Native art, graphic design, and folk art, she works mostly in linocuts, collagraph, silkscreen, and beading on moose hide. Her art is a simple homage to the plants, animals, and landscapes of her home. She is now living in Juneau and has been finding new subject matter in the rainforest plants, animals, beaches and mountains.
“Encaustic is a technique that uses beeswax and damar resin. “Caustic” implies that heat is used to melt and blend layers of wax and can be combined with paint or used for mixed media and photography.
Once completed, it cools into a unified composition. Encaustic photography can sometimes have a cloudy appearance for a few months that is part of the curing process. During this time, moisture works its way to the surface and causes a slight haze called a “bloom”. This bloom can be buffed gently and will return the glossy shine of the wax, this may have to be done a few times. When I first saw an encaustic photography show, I knew that it was a medium I wanted to work with. It adds a depth to photography and allows for alterations in creating several dimensions.”
When Katey is not experimenting with encaustic, she is out enjoying time with my family, friends, and loves her work as a registered nurse.
Klara’s artwork is rooted in the natural landscapes of Alaska. In pursuit of places to paint outside, she has backpacked with canvases, skied with pockets full of paint, and sketched in a kayak. Art gives her the tools to explore the patterns and processes of the natural world. She was born in Fairbanks and grew up in a family that valued spending time outside. Though she jumps at the opportunity to travel, Klara is excited to have recently completed building a home base and art studio in the Goldstream Valley.
“Born, raised, and currently living in Fairbanks, Alaska, the natural landscape of my surroundings have always crept their way into my art making. As an introvert, observer, and curious mind, I am equally interested in people, connection, and the human experience. My work dives into both realms, sometimes simultaneously while other times unattached.
After completing my BFA in Painting from UAF in 2013, I almost immediately switched from acrylic to encaustic as my primary medium. The layering of imagery and material has great significance when exploring my interests as it relates to life, emotion, and time.”
Inspired especially by polychromatic winters, summer days brimming with light, and our northern extreme weather events, Jennifer Moss, a near-lifelong Alaskan, uses contemporary visual elements to interpret the natural environment. She uses a wide range of mediums to explore figurative and abstract imagery and elusive connections within our ecosystem, both experienced and dreamed of. Jennifer studied at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and is currently an instructional designer and adjunct faculty at UAF.
Natalie is an Alaskan printmaker with an interest in natural history. She creates woodcuts, monotypes, and other prints based on her day-to-day experiences of seeking out the natural world around her. Her favorite influences are naturalist/artists of the past including John James Audubon, Walter Inglis Anderson, and William D. Berry. Alaska’s wealth of plant and animal life and their mortality are common themes in her art. She was BLM Artist in Residence in the White Mountains National Recreation Area in the spring of 2016. She resides in the Goldstream Valley and Salcha.
Somer Hahm is a visual artist living and making work in Fairbanks, Alaska. She received a BFA from University of Montana, Missoula in 2005 and an MFA in painting and drawing in 2008 from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Her work draws directly from nature, often combining colorful abstraction with flora and fauna. She’s specifically inspired by the birds and plants found locally in the Tanana Valley. More recently, her work has investigated concepts of interpersonal connections through the act of painting. In 2018, Somer was named Artist of the Year by the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.
“Photography has been in my blood since I was a young girl. My grandfather instilled in me the love of capturing the natural world in images to be share with others. I moved to Alaska from Pennsylvania via New Mexico in 1996 and first worked two summers in Denali before putting down roots in Fairbanks in 1997. The aurora is undoubtedly one of my strongest passions because the canvas with which she works is so large and the picture she paints is so different each time. I carry my camera with me at all times because all of Alaska is wondrous to me.”
Elizabeth Eero Irving is a professional studio artist and third generation Alaskan. She received her BFA from Cornish College and MFA from Johnson State College at the Vermont Studio Center. In addition to her own studio painting practice, she is an independent curator of exhibits for other artists, teaches art workshops, and is the founding member of Fairbanks Sketchers. She is a recipient of a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award and a Connie Boocheever Artist Fellowship. When not making art, she loves skiing, bike touring, chain sawing firewood, and volunteering in feline rescue.
Sara Tabbert is a printmaker and mixed media artist from Fairbanks, Alaska. All her work is tied to the material of wood. Tabbert’s large scale commission can be found in and on public buildings throughout the state. Her efforts have been supported by grants from the Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska State Council on the Arts. In addition to residencies in the US, Canada, Argentina, and Italy, she has been a summer and winter artist in residence through the National Park Service in Denali, as well as Zion and Isle Royale National Parks with an upcoming residency on the Chilkoot Trail. Her work will be exhibited at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau in 2020.
Sarah Holm is the creator of Fish Head Studio. She earned an art degree from UAF in 1999 and attended Pilchuck Glass School in 2010 and 2012. Sarah is an artist who works in several different mediums so that when monotony strikes she is able to rotate into a fresh position. She is a screen printer, a block printer, and a glass artist. She also paints, draws, and works with anything else she can get her hands on. Her belief is that all creative endeavors are connected and that they are all part of the plan one way or another. None of it is a waste of time.
James was born and raised in Texas but has made Alaska his home for the last 18 years. At an early age, James showed a natural aptitude toward drawing. He later enrolled at the Collin County Community College and received an Associate of Arts Degree. As an oil painter, James strives to be a naturalist, attempting to capture moments in time, both common and dramatic. The majority of his work centers around people and is figurative or representational in nature. It is his hope that these pieces read more as narratives and less as static portraits.
Example Works on Display
Come see more in the Kahuna Studio at Trax Outdoor Center.