2021 Statewide Poetry Contest

Entry Period: January 15, 2021 –  March 15, 2021

Thank you for submitting your poetry for the 2021 Statewide Poetry Contest! Contest winners will be announced in April.

The Statewide Poetry Contest is a celebration of poetry writing and literary artistry and invites participation from writers of all ages—elementary school and up. The contest aims to encourage, publicize, and reward the writing of high-quality poetry in Alaska. Winners of the contest will receive monetary prizes as well as an invitation to share their poetry during a virtual event in April.

Divisions:                   Awards:

Adult                                1st Place $150 | 2nd Place $100 | 3rd Place $50
High School                    1st Place $100 | 2nd Place $50   | 3rd Place $25
Middle School                 1st Place $50   | 2nd Place $30   | 3rd Place $15
Elementary School         1st Place $50   | 2nd Place $30   | 3rd Place $15

Judge: Emily Wall

Emily Wall is a Professor of English at the University of Alaska. She holds an M.F.A. in poetry and her poems have been published in journals across the US and Canada, most recently in Prairie Schooner and Alaska Quarterly Review. She has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and her most recent book, Flame, won the Minerva Rising chapbook prize. She has two books published with Salmon Poetry: Liveaboard and Freshly Rooted. Her next book, Breaking Into Air:  Birth Poems is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Emily lives and writes in Douglas, Alaska.  She can be found online at www.emily-wall.com.

February in the Bear Gallery

Exhibition on view: February 5-26, 2021

Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 12-6 p.m.

Bear Gallery visitors please note:

Entering the building: Until further notice, the south entrance of the Centennial Center (facing the main parking lot) will be closed to the public. In an effort to reduce the amount of traffic through the building, visitors must use the north doors (those facing the carousel and playground).

COVID-19 mitigation measures: Fairbanks Arts’ board of directors has approved COVID-19 mitigation measures that include (but are not limited to):

  • Visitors to the Bear Gallery must wear a mask. We ask that visitors bring their own masks, but should a visitor be without one, we have a limited supply of volunteer-crafted masks we can give out. No entry without a mask.
  • Social distancing of no less than 6ft apart must be observed within the Bear Gallery.  
  • The current limit of visitors in the gallery at one time is 10 individuals.
  • Our COVID-19 mitigation plan involves the frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces to ensure the safety of our guests, volunteers, and staff.
  • Our complete mitigation plan is available upon request. Email info@fairbanksarts.org to receive a copy.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this effort to stay open while supporting artists and arts supporters safely and responsibly.


by Olena Ellis

“Sacredness,” “Synchronization,” and “Perspective” by Olena Ellis

Olena Ellis is a ceramic sculptural artist living and working in Fairbanks, AK. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and was an artist-in-residence at the Beatrice Wood Center in Ojai, CA. Olena’s work has been featured in the publications Ceramics Monthly and Mosaic Art Today.  

OMGoddess! was created in response to 2020, as society was pushed into uncomfortable and uncharted territory between politics, pandemic, loss and isolation. When the pandemic arrived, Olena’s over-scheduled calendar and never ending to-do list came to a screeching halt. Instead of fighting the new reality, she relaxed into it, slowing down and taking time to reconnect with the pieces of herself lost along the way. Part of the slow down included a tiny kiln, an intentional process, and an inner journey resulting in OMGoddess!  

This exhibition is a physical representation of the process of breaking down self-limiting walls and giving ownership to personal stories, allowing vulnerability and a deeper connection to emerge. Although the show is named OMGoddess!, it is not just about women, it is about learning to have empathy for ourselves and others.

The Sound of Wind and Grass: Images from Ugashik, AK

by John Hagen

“Tom Spence’s House (abandoned)” by John Hagen

John Hagen is an Unangan (Aleut) and Iñupiaq artist from Haines, Alaska. He studied photojournalism at University of Alaska Fairbanks and earned his BFA degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts.  Photography and digital art are his primary media and he has shown his work across Alaska and the United States. He is currently living in Bayfield, WI. 

John’s photojournalism background is very much a part of his art DNA. He prefers to work with scenery as he finds it—an approach that enables him to quickly capture fleeting moments in nature. His love for black and white photography was fostered in the darkrooms of the journalism department and in the photo lab in the Rasmuson Library while printing historic Alaskan photographs of the Arctic and Polar Regions at UAF.