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.


August 2018

Collected Treasures: Six Alaska Wildflowers

By Karen Stomberg


20 Years of Woodcuts

By Sara Tabbert

On View: August 3rd- September 1st

Opening Reception: Friday, August 3rd from 5-7pm


Karen Stomberg is a botanical artist and lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her husband, musician Gary Westcott. She no longer lives off the grid in a remot

Karen Stomberg
Photo credit: Kaitlin Linnea

e cabin or in the woods. However, insistent wildflowers populate her yard and her year-round rambling with husband, friends and dogs on nearby forest trails keeps her connected.

Karen is a long time educator who is happy teaching in the confluence of art, science and history. She was an art specialist, then an art coordinator for the Fairbanks North Star School District for 25 years. She has been an instructor at The University of Alaska Fairbanks, was an educational consultant for Project OneTree Alaska and has taught art, art education and STEAM education at institutes and workshops for teachers and students of all ages around Alaska.

The process of drawing these plants and digging into records surrounding them has been a satisfying and engaging process.  It is clear to her that one beautiful p

Iris setosa 1899(1)
Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899 by Karen Stomberg

lant at a time, carefully preserved, one meaningful piece of evidence, collected in exuberant ease or in wet, cold, mosquito-infested, Pilot bread-eating misery makes a difference.

Collected Treasures: Six Alaska Wildflowers is a group of eighteen drawings made from a study of six iconic Alaska wild flowering plant species: Wild Iris, Wild Rose, Bunchberry, Twinflower, Fireweed and Monkshood. Her work is drawn from live and historic specimens.

Karen is the recipient of a Fulbright Memorial Fund Award, An Arts Educators Grant from Rasmuson Foundation in 2005 and an Individual Artist Award from the Rasmuson Foundation in 2017. The Alaska State Council on the Arts has supported her personal art making and art education career through Travel Grants, Career Opportunity Grants and Workshop Grants.              



Tabbert image
Elevator by Sara Tabbert

Sara Tabbert is a printmaker and mixed media artist from Fairbanks, Alaska. She returned to her hometown in 2000 after college and graduate school in the Midwest. Though her work extends beyond paper, woodblock printmaking continues to be the foundation of what she does. Tabbert’s large scale commissions can be found in and on public buildings Sara Tabbertthroughout the state. Her efforts have been supported by grants from the Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska State Council on the Arts. In addition to residencies in the US, Canada, Argentina, and Italy, she has been a summer and winter artist in residence through the National Park Service in Denali, as well as in Zion and Isle Royale National Parks. Next summer she will be an artist in residence on the Chilkoot Trail.

Sharing art with young people is one of her priorities and she has worked actively over the past ten years as a teaching artist with schools from the Seward Peninsula to the end of the Aleutians. Her work will be exhibited in 2020 in a solo show at the Alaska State Museum.


August Gift Shop Artist of the Month

                                        Deb McQueen


Wood Frog by Deb McQueen


Deb Mcqueen is an award winning seed bead artist residing in North Pole, Alaska.

As a self-taught artist Deb has studied the beadwork and bead making styles of many cultures, both historical and current.  She has mastered many bead techniques and is still learning others. Deb’s art incorporates natural stones and objects along with semi-precious gemstones.Deb_McQueen_artist photo_cropped

Using new and antique seed beads as her palette Deb is able to create the flow of water or the wave of wind through a grassy field. The scenic natural beauty of Alaska greatly influences her art.

Deb’s art has been accepted into numerous juried art exhibitions.  She has received several Honorable Mentions, 3rd and 2nd place awards as well as a few of the coveted Juror’s Choice awards.

Deb’s art can currently be found in Fairbanks Arts Association’s Cabin 13 Artist Co-Op. Check out more of Deb’s work at, or on Facebook at Bead Art by Deb McQueen (@debmcqueen).

 Watercolor Corner Artist of the Month

                                            Janice Cleworth


Birch Forest in the Morning Aug.2018
Birch Forest in Morning
by Janice Cleworth


Janice has spent most of her life in Fairbanks and is married to Jerry Cleworth. They have two daughters and five wonderful grandchildren. After college, Janice worked for the school district as a Speech/Language Pathologist.janice

Her first actual lessons in watercolor were at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in 2006. Since then, she has taken lessons with Tom Nixon, painted with friends in California, and taken workshops sponsored by the Fairbanks Watercolor Society. Although she has had an interest in art since childhood, she did not pursue it until she retired. She also enjoys singing, quilting, and other fiber arts. She loves to meld the things she has learned from watercolor into quilted creations.


September 2018

Un grand voyage from J.R. Ancheta


Rock and Ice: The Alaska Range from Jesse Venable

On View: September 7th-29th, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, September 7th from 5-7pm

Un grand voyage

by JR Ancheta

ardeche5 copy small image size
Vallon-Pont-d’Arc by J.R. Ancheta



JR Ancheta is a photographer living in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was born in Laoag City, Philippines, and was raised in Sitka, Alaska, after his family immigrated to the United States. JR is a University of Alaska Fairbanks alumnus and is the Chief Photographer/Videographer for University Relations at UAF. JR is continuing his education part time, pursuing a master of fine arts degree in photography under Professor Charles Mason.


Artist lecture with JR Ancheta

Date/Time: Wednesday, September 10th from 7-8pm

Location: Blue Room (3rd Floor of the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts) Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way Fairbanks, AK 99701

Cost: This event is free and open to the public.



Rock and Ice: The Alaska Range

by Jesse Venable

Mt. Deborah Summit from the East by Jesse Venable


Jesse Venable was offered a job in Fairbanks in 1972. He was young and publicity_self_portrait_venableit sounded irresistibly adventurous, so he headed North. It fit like a glove, and he has been happy to call Fairbanks home ever since. He studied art at UAF, with Bill Brody as his main mentor. He met Susan Keys, the love of his life, and they have been married since 1992. Over the years, he has worked on the pipeline, at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and at UAF. He produced art part time during those years. He retired in 2004 and has pursued art full time ever since. He loves the Alaska landscape, especially the Tanana Valley and the Alaska Range. He was an active ski mountaineer, and still occasionally flies into the mountains for base camping. The images in this show were inspired by those mountain trips.


September Gift Shop Artist

                           Macy Possenti, Printworthy



“Alaska has given me countless opportunities to learn and experience this great state in its most glorious moments. As a resident of the North, I’m surrounded by beauty: towering Macy Possenti 2017(1)mountains, crafty ravens, weathered birch trees, and the energizing midnight sun.

While Alaska is full of superlatives, I strive to showcase its simplicity — to give attention to the often-overlooked flora and fauna. I hope that by reducing the complexity of the designs within my relief prints and screen prints, the viewer can better appreciate all that The Last Frontier has to offer.” – Macy Possenti


Also Featured this Month

                  Watercolor Corner Artist

                                                   Nelda Nixon

Creamer's Field & Barn, Summer
Creamer’s Field & Barn, Summer by Nelda Nixon


Nelda Nixon was born and raised in Fairbanks, daughter of Roy AA and Eva Larson of the original Larson’s Jewelers.  After 14 years as an airline ticket agent, she moveNelda Festival 2016(1)d home in 1976 to work in the store for the next 13 years.  Then for the next 12 years she was at the News-Miner in Classified Advertising. In 1990, she felt the need to learn about watercolor, and has been painting ever since.

She has studied with many nationally known watercolor teachers.  She is presently Secretary for the Fairbanks Watercolor Society, and Visual Arts Coordinator for the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.

You can find her painting or helping with classes with husband, Tom Nixon.

October 2018

33rd Annual 64th Parallel Juried Exhibition

Artwork Intake:

12-6pm on Saturday, September 29th

12-6pm on Sunday, September 30th

Bear Gallery (Centennial Center for the Arts, Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way)


©FieldStudio2017_ElizabethEmery_07-11-2017_01_escape to sky
escape to sky by Elizabeth Emery

Fairbanks Arts holds annual juried exhibitions to showcase new work by Interior Alaska artists with the Annual 64th Parallel exhibition occurring each October. Artists may submit works in the mediums of ceramics, drawing, fiber, jewelry, mixed-media, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, and video. Fairbanks Arts is pleased to invite a guest juror from outside of Alaska to select from the artwork submitted to 64th Parallel. The 2018 juror is Elizabeth Emery of Cleveland, Ohio.                           



Awards are presented during the First Friday opening reception. Awards with cash prizes include:

  • Juror’s Choice: $125
  • Second Place: $100
  • Third Place: $75
  • Jared Baker “Gutsy Art Award”: $75

Submission Information

Artists may submit up to 4 pieces of their original artwork. Entries must be submitted by the artist. Artwork must have been completed within the last two years and not previously exhibited in the Bear Gallery. Only artists residing in the Interior of Alaska, Doyon Region are eligible.

ENTRY FEE: $5 per entry. (Current Fairbanks Arts members receive a fee waiver on the third entry!).

For more submission details and entry form, please view the 2018 64th Parallel Prospectus. Prospectus forms will also be available at intake or the artist may fill one out in advance. If you have any questions, please contact or 456-6485 ext. 226


First Friday Opening Reception: October 5th, 5-7pm, Bear Gallery

Exhibition on view: October 5-27, 2018

Juror’s Lecture by Elizabeth Emery: Monday, October 1st at 7pm, Blue Room

(3rd Floor, Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts), Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way

Each year the juror of 64th Parallel gives a public lecture about their art, process and career as an artist. Please join us for a lecture with Elizabeth Emery on Monday, October 1st at 7pm in the Blue Room. This event is free and open to the public.

Elizabeth Emery earned an MFA from Alfred University and a BA in Art History and Italian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work February17,2018_EE-FB BGraham smaller(1)has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in public collections including The Cleveland Clinic, Progressive Insurance, Columbus Metropolitan Library, American Greetings, Rockefeller Collection (Dresden, Germany), Metro Health, Westin Hotel Cleveland, Cleveland Artists Association, Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art.

In 2018 Emery was selected as one of 18 local, national, and international Artists-in-Residence for FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. In 2017 & 2015 Emery received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and a Dave Bown Award of Excellence in 2015.

Her work is informed by physical movement, gravity, plus daily sightings of color, pattern, and unexpected combinations. Learn more about Elizabeth Emery and her work on her website.



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