Bear Gallery Gift Certificates!
Support Fairbanks Arts by treating your loved ones to a Bear Gallery gift certificate! These great gifts are redeemable in the gallery and gift shop, for our artist workshops and for entry fees to one of our exhibitions!
Gift Shop Artist of the Month: John Unruh
Our Gift Shop Artist of the Month in March is John Unruh of Knotty Woods Alaska. He makes functional art from wood that are not just beautiful but encourage you to use them in your everyday life. This is what John says:
“My life-long passion in woodworking began at the age of eight making yard signs. I progressed to larger projects such as cedar and toy chests and eventually bought a very used lathe for $75 to make bowls and a custom sewing/knitting stand. Even with the demands of a long business and educational career, including living over three years in Slovakia teaching MBA marketing and management students in over 100 countries, both online and on-ground, I still found time to create beauty through my woodworks.
I am now able to turn my avocation of woodworking into a full-time vocation of woodturning and yes, I now have a very modern lathe capable of doing almost any artistic turning. I use primarily Alaska grown woods for my pieces, such as Alaska Birch, Poplar and White and Black Spruce. When I select a piece of wood for turning, I am always surprised at the character and grain patterns revealed. I thoroughly enjoy being able to share the beauty of Alaska’s wood with you and your family.”
Watercolor Corner Artist: Phyllis Tate
Born in Fairbanks, Phyllis Tate is a lifelong Alaskan. She has lived, worked, boated, or flown throughout most of Alaska. Her father’s work took the family to various “bush” communities where she was home-schooled then attended boarding school before returning to Fairbanks to attend high school and UAF.
She is a licensed instrument rated pilot profiled in the book Women Pilots of Alaska and holds a USCG Merchant Marine Officer Master License as well. She taught creative writing at the one-room school in Lake Minchumina where she was the weather observer and owned and operated Minchumina Mercantile for 12 years.
In 2004 she began taking watercolor painting lessons at the urging of a friend and has been painting Alaskan scenery and subjects ever since. Although a landscape artist from the outset, the most recent (2018) project by this award-winning artist was portraits of ten early day Alaskan women pilots from Interior Alaska.
Phyllis and her husband Murray Tate reside in Fairbanks during winters where she devotes much of her time to studying and practicing her painting skills. During the summers, they operate Nuliaq Alaska Charters out of Valdez where Phyllis has the opportunity to photograph the inspirations for many of her paintings.