June in the Bear Gallery

June 2018

Becky Anderson and

George Gianakopoulos

On View: June 1st-30th

Opening Reception: Friday, June 1st from 5-7pm

publicity_Let's Twist Again_Anderson.jpeg
Let’s Twist Again by Becky Anderson

Becky Anderson is a free spirit who took a roundabout path to Alaska 15 years ago. While growing up on her family’s cattle ranch in North Dakota, she was anxious for city life; after earning a BS in Speech and Language Pathology and an MS in Deaf Education in Texas, she taught Deaf high school students in Dallas for several years and taught Deaf elementary and preschool children in New York for the last 14 years of her career. She retired early at 42 to fall in love with husband Dave Verbyla and move to Fairbanks, finding the life she never knew she always wanted.


Introduced to the Fairbanks art community by mentor Jo Scott, Becky quickly became an integral part of the art community. Becky currently holds the position of Vice President of the Fairbanks Watercolor Society, is a member of Fairbanks Arts Association Visual Arts Committee, and was previously the facilitator of the Fairbanks Art League.

Becky enjoys pushing the envelope in many mediums, including watercolor, fused glass and mixed media and is currently immersed in creating dynamic contemporary metal art in her studio near Ester, RavenRidge Art Studio.

“I had so much fun creating pieces for my Metal in Motion art show,” she stated. “While some of the designs were sketched and planned, much of my metal art was created intuitively. What you see is the spirit of who I am. I got out of my own way and let my heart and muse lead me along. I loved the process and the result. I strongly felt my (deceased) father’s presence throughout, and was thrilled and surprised to see his profile appear in my now favorite piece ‘Through Dad’s Eyes,’ an image I didn’t intend or even see until several days after creating it. Dad’s gift to me was pure magic. The whole process of creating contemporary metal art for this show has felt magical.”

Becky appreciates the Fairbanks art community, including the ongoing mentorship of Tom Nixon, Nikki Kinne and Ken Kokjer, and enjoys mentoring new artists herself. Becky and her husband live with a cacophony of critters outside of Fairbanks. They are thrilled to call Alaska, the best place on earth, “home.”


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Harp Man by George Gianakopoulos

George Art Gianakopoulos was born into a large Greek family in 1975 in Springfield, Ohio. He’s the youngest of three brothers and many cousins and is one of many George’s in the family. Struggles in school because of learning disabilities led to his studies of visual art, specifically, drawing, painting and pottery. After graduating from Avon Old Farms School, in 1994, he made the adventurous move to Fairbanks, Alaska to attend the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF), where he received his BFA in fine arts. During his time at UAF, he began performing in music groups on the upright bass and continues to play often with a large variety of bands.


For more than 20 years, he has been making bright, colorful, abstract paintings of music and musicians. He works with acrylic paints on canvas. These paintings reflect his experiences living in Alaska and being part of the Alaska music scene. Inspired by life living with his young family on a a vegetable, flower and fiber farm (Calypso Farm & Ecology Center), his more recent works (2013-17) include paintings of flower bouquets, and flower and pottery images infused with musical pictures. He has also been experimenting with needle felting wool into stretched canvas before applying paint and sewing and quilting.

George currently lives in Ester, AK with his wife and two children and continues to make fine art and perform music. You can visit his web page: http://www.geobassart.com

June Gift Shop Artist of the Month

                                             Kassandra Mirosh

Dancing Sandhill Crane By Cassandra Mirosh


Kassandra Mirosh Headshot

“A long time Alaskan resident, my art reflects a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of the state. I create glass mosaics, drawings, watercolor paintings, acrylic paintings, collage and recycled cardboard sculptures. I currently teach Art, English, US History and Spanish in the small town of Healy, Alaska in the Denali Borough.”

-Kassandra Mirosh



Also featured during June:

                   Watercolor Artist of the Month

                                                    Helen Howard


May watercolor image
         Wolf By Helen Howard


Helen Howard was born in Cornwall, England and arrived in Fairbanks in 196May Watercolor_ H. Howard4. When living in London for a year in 1968, Helen started oil painting, but she has been mostly focusing on watercolor since her retirement in 1999 from the Alaska Native Language Center at UAF. She has attended workshops by Nancy Taylor Stonington, Mel Stabin, Jane Hofstetter, Frank Francese, Ron Ranson, Carl Purcell, Gayle Weisfield, Bill Brody, Rod Weagant, Judi Betts and others. However, local watercolor artist Vladimir Zhikhartsev has been the greatest influence in Helen’s work. She enjoys plein air painting and experimenting with the movement of color.

Helen is past-president of the Fairbanks Watercolor Society.  She is a member of the Fairbanks Weavers and Spinners Guild and St. Matthew’s church and enjoys singing in the Fairbanks Symphony Chorus and the Aurora Women’s Choir.