2009 Artists-in-Residence

painting of mountains
“Alaska Range” 24” x 77” oil on board

Bill Brody

Alaska Range

“Alaska Range” was done representing the view from about two-thirds of the way up the upper trail from the Eielson Visitors' Center with Denali four-fitths of the way to the right side of the canvas. The residency was a wonderful experience for me and provided my first time to paint in the park on the summer side as all of my previous painting in Denali National Park has been on the winter side on the glaciers near Denali.

— Bill Brody, 2009

Bill Brody is an artist and printmaker who obtains inspiration for his work from the wilderness landscapes that he has been able to explore over the years. Sketches, journals, and photographs from his explorations are source materials for paintings, prints, and very large-scale works on forged and carved copper and bronze. A professor emeritus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Art Department, he is known for his innovative work on the Body Language User Interface (BLUI) project. Visit Bill Brody's website.

 
artwork of a golden eagle and chick at a nest
“At Home in High Places” 59” x 39” fiber art

Karin Franzen

At Home in High Places

It's an amazing experience to stand on a mountain ridgeline, an altitude obtained after hours of ascending drainages and traversing scree slopes, up as high as you can possibly go by foot, to watch Golden Eagles soaring overhead or contouring the slopes below you as they hunt. Deep in the mountainous regions of Denali National Park, the breathtaking and rugged landscape is their home. The strong emotional connection forged from observing and learning about the eagles provided the inspiration for my piece, “At Home in High Places.”

— Karin Franzen, 2009

The work of Karin Franzen revolves around one of her favorite subjects, the birds of Alaska. She uses skills honed over a lifetime: drawing, mathematics, structural design, sewing, an understanding of biology, and business acumen to create her work. Her fabric art is widely known and has been included in several important international and national exhibitions, including “Quilt Visions 2008: Contemporary Expressions,” “Quilts of the Pacific Rim,” and “Made in Alaska.”

 

John Morgan

The Hungers of the World: Poems From a Residency

I had been to the park many times before, but this visit I felt from the start that something extraordinary was happening. Being “in residence” means, in a sense, being at home, and having the wonderful Murie Cabin to live in made me feel a part of the wilderness whenever I stepped outside. These intimations culminated, toward the end of my stay, with the experience recounted in the poem “Vision.” The philosopher William James has written that one of the basic qualities of a mystical experience is that it cannot be captured in words. He may be right, but I felt I had to try. It was unlike anything that had ever happened to me before.

Most of the poems in “The Hungers of the World” are based on a journal that I kept during my 10-day stay. Two come out of earlier visits to the park. The forms used include free verse, accentual verse, and, in one case, a sonnet. I hope they begin to capture the range and suggest the impact my experiences had on me.

Acknowledgements

“The Denali Wolf” first appeared in the magazine Ice-Floe and “The Unnamed Lake” was originally published in The Northern Journal.

I wish to thank Park Superintendent Paul Anderson, Ingrid Nixon, Chief of Interpretation, and Annie Duffy, Arts Coordinator for Alaska Geographic for making my residency possible. I am very grateful to Tom Walker for putting forward the idea of having writers spend time at the Murie Cabin. Also great thanks to my wife Nancy for suggesting the idea to Tom during a field journaling class we took with him in 2008.

— John Morgan, 2009

 
 
acrylic painting of a wolf walking along a river
East Fork Wolf, 14” x 29” acrylic on canvas

Gail Niebrugge

East Fork Wolf

When I paint it is intuitive, from the heart. I spend hours each day applying small dots of color one at a time with a tiny brush, and when I am finished I have a painting of something that reach my soul sometime during my life. My work is focused entirely on the contemporary landscape, wildlife, and flora of the wilderness regions of Alaska. With vast expanses of Alaska wilderness as my subject I've experienced extensive outdoor challenges, exploration, and adventure.

— Gail Niebrugge, 2009

Alaska painter Gail Niebrugge is known throughout the world for her use of pointillism, small-dot like strokes, in her work. She has completed seven major public commissions in Alaska, including a ten-panel multi-dimensional artwork for the U.S. Customs in Skagway. She was the first artist-in-residence for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and is the author of Gail Niebrugge’s Alaska Wildflowers, a book about her thirty-three years of work focused entirely on Alaska. Visit Gail Niebrugge's ebsite.

Last updated: March 7, 2019

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