June in the Bear Gallery

June in the Bear Gallery

Opening Day: June 3, 2022, 12–7 pm
Exhibition on view: June 3–24, 2022
Gallery hours: Monday–Saturday, 12–6 pm

Bear Gallery visitors please note:

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 we can give out. 
  • Social distancing of no less than 6 ft apart must be observed within the Bear Gallery.  
  • Our COVID-19 mitigation plan involves the frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces to ensure the safety of our guests, volunteers, and staff.

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

“Autumn Hike: Gulkana Glacier” by Deb Horner

by Deb Horner

Deb Horner discovered both the joys and frustrations of watercolor painting close to the half-century mark of her life. During her youth, Deb was an accomplished cellist, which taught her the importance of practice in any artistic pursuit – as with music, painting requires regular practice and diligence. 

Deb took her first watercolor class at Tack’s Greenhouse surrounded by beautiful flowers, and eventually, with work and inspiration from other artists, she slowly began to feel more comfortable with watercolor. It is a truly magical, albeit difficult, medium. 

After retirement in 2013, Deb was able to spend more time on her art. In 2015, she was selected as the Bureau of Land Management, Alaska/White Mountains National Recreation Area Artist-in-Residence. Since then, Deb has been exhibiting regularly including “Northern Wanderings” at the Bear Gallery in 2017 and “Scenic Extremes at Well St. Art Co. in 2019. She has produced landscape paintings from as far away as Antarctica and Greenland but still finds Alaska the most beautiful place in the world.

Peregrinations provides a personal diary of Deb’s travels over the past two years during unprecedented times in the world.  From snowshoe treks north of Fairbanks, to the Rainbow Ridge area, and even to Ireland, the natural world was her artistic inspiration and source of well-being. 

Artist Talk: Peregrinations: Why, Where, and How
Thursday, June 9 at 6:00 pm in the Bear Gallery 

In her talk, Deb Horner will discuss how the natural environment, from Alaskan landscapes to the far shores of Ireland, inspired her art during the pandemic. She will also discuss the various techniques that she used in her watercolor landscape paintings. 

This free event will be held at 6:00 pm in the Bear Gallery on Thursday, June 9. Masks are required.

“Navigating Ambiguous Waters” by Theresa Woldstad

Natural Artistic Resources: An Exploration of Utilization, Permitting, and Management
by Theresa Woldstad

Theresa Woldstad is a Wildlife Biologist and Indigenous Artist. Her maternal family is Salish and Kootenai. While living in Ketchikan, Theresa and her mother enrolled in the Ketchikan Indian Community. Thus, she is an Indigenous Artist in Alaska; but not an Alaska Native Artist. While she has learned much of her traditional weaving skills from her mother, she also draws many cultural references from her Norwegian father. Both her paternal grandfather and father were Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers who lived and worked across Alaska. 

Theresa was born on Kodiak, spent her early childhood on Prince of Wales Island, lived and worked out of a variety of locations including Sand Point and Aleknagik, and had the opportunity to study a wide variety of Alaskan art styles. As she traveled around the state of Alaska, she was able to study under numerous Alaska Native Elders and Artisans. As such her art style is diverse and encompasses numerous cultural groups. Her current work features Athabaskan beading, Northwest Coast formline and regalia, and Alutiiq style carved plank masks.

Theresa possesses two master’s degrees, the first an MS in Wildlife Biology and the second an MFA in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Native Arts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Oddly enough, it was Theresa’s love of fisheries and wildlife law that drew her to the Native Arts. 

Native Arts are unique in the art world as they incorporate many natural resources harvested from personal and subsistence hunting, fishing, and gathering. From ptarmigan feathers to deer toes, many of these non-edible byproducts are used to create beautiful pieces of fine art, yet there are additional permits and regulations a Native artist must follow beyond the simple harvest. Often Theresa’s art reflects the complex regulatory narrative of natural artistic resource management, while actively celebrating the diverse collaborations between Indigenous artists and management agencies. This contrast of academic cultures has greatly influenced her art as she tries to view Indigenous art as both analogous and distinct from the scientific community.  

Artist Talk: An Artistic View of Natural Resource Management
Rescheduled – date TBD

“There is an art to science and a science to art; both are distinct, yet both flourish together.”

Join Theresa Woldstad as she navigates the ambiguous landscape of natural resource management through humor and thought-provoking artistic creation. Alaska Native Art is a cultural resource that impacts Indigenous economies, cultural social networks, natural resource utilization, and political engagement. Through the creation of art, an individual not only expresses their culture but also becomes engaged in the natural resource utilization and management in Alaska. However, the link between natural resource management and Native Art has been historically underappreciated primarily due to regulatory ambiguity and the broad nature of artistic creation.