The Bear Gallery

An Art Gallery & Gift Shop in Fairbanks 

Fairbanks Arts Association, in partnership with Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation, offers free admission to the 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.

We offer gift certificates!


In need of a gift for someone artistic? How about a gift certificate that not only promises new art purchases, but also provides artist development opportunities?
Bear Gallery gift certificates are redeemable in the gallery and gift shop, for our artist workshops and for entry fees to one of our exhibitions!

December 2018

Rarefied Light From Alaska Photographic Center

On View in the Bear Gallery: December 7-29, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, December 7, 5-7pm

Join Fairbanks Arts for a First Friday Opening Reception of Rarefied Light, a juried exhibition from Alaska Photographic Center (Anchorage) and the largest annual fine art photography exhibition in the state. This year, Alaska Photographic Center received 610 entries by 91 artists. Guest juror Arthur Meyerson selected 50 photographs by 34 artists for inclusion in this year’s exhibition – 10 of whom live in the Fairbanks area!

9_ Douglas Yates_Road Trip_ Best of Show

Best of Show is awarded to Douglas Yates, Ester, “Road Trip”.


In addition, Arthur chose 5 pieces for the Honorable Mention awards:

Dean Cully, Anchorage, “Aerial: Cape Thompson Summer Sunset Storm”

Hal Gage, Anchorage, “Young Fisherman at Graveyard Point, Alaska”

Hal Gage, Anchorage, “Stumps, Oregon”

Matt Johnson, Anchorage, “Field Jacket”

Charlotte Peterson, Fairbanks, “Untitled”

December Gift Shop Artist of the Month

Daniell A. Huff

Daniell A. Huff is an artist from Fairbanks, Alaska who works primarily in ink and watercolor. Their art is heavily influenced by their experiences with mental illness, dissociation, and their deep love of bright colors.


Also visit this artist on social media:
Instagram: @shotguns4legsart

December Watercolor Corner Artists


Christine “Okiku” Thomas

Christine ThomasOne thing you will notice about Christine’s work is that she is not shy about using bold color in her paintings.  Her roots in Hawaii as a child has influenced her colorful use of pigment in her work. . Christine began to work in watercolor in 2001 after a friend urged her to take a class, it wasn’t long before she was bitten by the BUG.  Christine’s work has been seen throughout Fairbanks where people have commented on the creative and colorful way she expresses her chosen subject. She loves abstract and mixed media work finding new ways to express herself through visual art.  Most of her tutelage has come from local and visiting artists and much experimentation. She uses her Japanese middle name Okiku as her artist signature which means Chrysanthemum. Christine has lived in Fairbanks for 15 years until 2014 when her husband’s job as a medivac pilot whisked her away to Farmington, Missouri.  No matter where life takes her, Christine calls Fairbanks her home and describes Fairbanks as her “happy place”. I think you will see the joy in her work as she expresses her love of Fairbanks and the natural beauty of Alaska in her unique style.


Incredible Chokecherries - Christine Thomas
Incredible Chokecherries by Okiku Thomas


Patricia Mata-Celis

Patricia was born and raised in Mexico City.  She immigrated to the United States in 1968 Patricia Mata-Celisand lived in several states prior to making her way to Alaska.  In 1994 she followed her heart to Alaska, claimed Fairbanks as her home and built her life there. She retired from Emergency Nursing after 36 years of work.  Patricia is an avid outdoors woman, hiking, biking, skiing, paddling, fishing, and gardening keep her on a busy schedule. Her introduction to art began with classes through the Other Lifelong Learning program at UAF, learning from Sue Cole, Tom Nixon, Vladimir Zhikhartsev, and other artists.  A member of the Watercolor Society, Patricia continues to study under local and visiting artists and exhibiting her art. Patricia has shown her artwork at the Bear Gallery and the Pioneer Art Walk.  Her inspiration is her chosen Alaska home and life in the land of the midnight sun and northern lights.

Art by Patricia Mata-Celis

Fairbanks Arts Association
Member Invitational Exhibition

Membership Show 2019 website graphic

Fairbanks Arts Association invites current members to submit their work for the 2019 Member Invitational Exhibition on view January 4 – 26. There will be no jury process or fee associated with this exhibit; this show is an open invitation to all artists with a current Fairbanks Arts membership. Each artist is allowed one entry that best exemplifies their work.
Not a current member? You may join as a member at any level when you bring in your artwork.

Artwork Intake
Saturday, December 29, 12pm – 6pm
Sunday, December 30, 12pm – 6pm

Deliver entries to the Fairbanks Arts Association’s Bear Gallery
(3rd Floor of the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts) Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way

Opening Reception
Friday, January 4, 5pm – 7pm

On View
Friday, January 4 – Saturday, January 26

Click HERE to download the prospectus for this show


  • Limited to one entry, submitted only by the artist and must be a current Fairbanks Arts Member.
  • Current Fairbanks Arts Members statewide (AK) may submit artworks.
  • Original artwork only. Work must reflect the artist’s unique creative effort.
  • No kits. No copies or exact replicas of other original artwork or published artwork (no copies of any published images or copyrighted characters, i.e. Disney).
  • Work must have been completed within the last five years and not previously exhibited in the BEAR GALLERY.


  • Selected entries remain on view through Saturday, January 26, 2019.
  • Entries will be handled with the greatest possible care and are insured against damage or loss for the duration of the exhibit. Fairbanks Arts Association is not responsible for minor wear resulting from normal handling.
  • Fairbanks Arts Association retains a 35% commission on all exhibit sales. Works will be for sale unless noted as NFS (Not for Sale). Artists’ payments will be made within 30 days of the exhibit’s closure.
  • Artist agrees to allow use of images of their work for promoting the show.
  • Submitting an entry constitutes agreement on the part of the artist to all conditions in the prospectus.


  • Entries must be ready for display. Works to be hung on the wall must have wire hangers. NO SAWTOOTH HANGERS.
  • Unusual hanging mechanisms must be approved by Fairbanks Arts, call 456-6485 ext. 226.
  • Quilts must have 2 inches of Velcro stitched along the entire top: NO VELCRO, NO ACCEPTANCE

January Watercolor Corner Artist

Howard “Rich” Richardson




My name is Howard “Rich” Richardson and I’m 68 years of age. My wife Angie and I have been married 26 years and together we have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. I’m originally from Tupelo, MS, and came to Alaska with the Army in 1973. I served 2 years at Ft. Wainwright where I received my honorable discharge from the military in 1975. I have lived and worked in Fairbanks ever since, with the exception of about 3 years in Atlanta, Ga. to attend DeVry for electronics. I retired from GVEA in 2015 after working there for 30 years as a meter technician with the IBEW. My wife still works part-time as a social worker for Denali Center. Shortly after my retirement I began studying watercolor painting with Tom Nixon. I had previously worked in acrylics and had done a little watercolor painting, however I had never really explored this medium until working with Tom and attending workshops with Mick McAndrews and Sterling Edwards. I hope you enjoy viewing some of my work.
                                                                                                                – Howard “Rich” Richardson



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