The Bear Gallery

An Art Gallery & Gift Shop in Fairbanks 

The Fairbanks Arts Association in partnership with Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation offer a free admission fine art gallery & gift shop located in the heart of Pioneer Park. The Bear Gallery is on the third floor of the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts in Pioneer Park at 2300 Airport Road.

Winter hours: Noon to 6 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

Summer hours (June, July, and August): Noon to 8 pm, Daily.

Scroll through to see what we have in the Bear Gallery & Gift Shop this month.

See a list of upcoming Bear Gallery exhibits.


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 the 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.”


Gianakopoulos_Harp Man
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. Visit George’s website:

June Gift Shop Artist of the Month

                                             Kassandra Mirosh

Dancing Sandhill Crane By Kassandra Mirosh


Kassandra Mirosh Headshot

A long time Alaskan resident, my art reflects a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of the state.  I am inspired not only by landscapes, but also by the amazing adaptations that allow animals and plants to live in harsh environments.  My art allows me to observe nature closely and express its beauty in a variety of mediums. I create glass mosaics, drawings, watercolor paintings, acrylic paintings, collage and recycled cardboard sculptures. I currently teach high school Art, English, US History and Spanish in the small town of Healy, Alaska in the Denali Borough.”

-Kassandra Mirosh

Visit Kassandra’s website:



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.


July 2018

Quilt Alaska 2018

On View: July 6th-28th

Opening Reception: Friday, July 6th, 5-7pm


Raffle quilt made by several Cabin Fever Quilters’ Guild members


Quilt Alaska is a biennial quilt exhibit organized by the Cabin Fever Quilters’ Guild and hosted by Fairbanks Arts Association’s Bear Gallery. Beautiful work by Quilt Alaska artists is also featured in the gift shop during the month of July. Raffle tickets to win one special quilt in the exhibit are for sale in the Bear Gallery.



July Gift Shop Artist of the Month

                            Cabin Fever Quilters’ Guild


The Cabin Fever Quilters’ Guild was organized in 1979 to promote the art of quilting throughout the Fairbanks area. Whether you collect quilts, make quilts, or want to learn more about quilting, you will find something interesting at their monthly meetings and events throughout the year.

Learn more about Cabin Fever Quilters’ Guild:


Also Featured in July

            Watercolor Artist of the Month

                                                         Tom Nixon

Tom's bear gallery image July
Summer Clouds by Tom Nixon

“After a lifetime of professional woodworking, I began a career in art by studying drawing with Jack Taylor and painting with Gael Murakami in 1998. Over the next 6 years I attended various workshops with instructors from the Lower 48 which were provided by the Fairbanks Watercolor Society. In 2002 I met Vladimir Zhikhartsev, a local professional artist and teacher. I studied weekly with him for eight years during the winter at his studio.Tom - Festival 2015 (2)

In addition to studying with Mr. Zhikhartsev I have attended and participated in 5-day long workshops with Mel Stabin, Tony Couch (x 3), Susie Short, Mick McAndrews, Carl Purcell, Spike Ress, Lian Zhen, Joe Garcia, Sharon Freeman and Nancy Stonington Taylor.

I have been teaching painting for well over a decade with the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and privately in my studio. I have been called to teach for the Upward Bound program at UAF and the Machetanz Art Festival at Mat-Su College in Palmer.”

– Tom Nixon

Follow Tom on Facebook


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