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Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
Four artists using very different mediums have been selected for this year’s Artist-in-Residence program at Denali National Park and Preserve. The artists are Janice Kasper from Swansville, Maine; Sheila and David King of Fort Myers, Florida and Margo Klass from Fairbanks, Alaska. They were selected from forty-eight applicants by a seven-person panel comprised of artists, art supporters and National Park Service staff.
Janice Kasper is a painter who uses oil paints to provide poignant and whimsical portraits of wildlife and their environments. Her work reflects her passion for habitat conservation, but she also strives to provide fun and introspective images for her viewers. While in Denali she hopes to explore the ideal of Alaskan wilderness as it compares to her own ideas of wilderness in Maine.
Sheila King has been making baskets for over thirty years, and has taught basketry for twenty years. She draws inspiration for her intricate baskets from natural shapes and colors. She looks forward to exploring native Alaska basketry techniques and the materials of the interior Alaska region.
David King is a wildlife and natural landscape artist who works with watercolors. Retirement from a dental practice now affords him the time to explore areas and paint scenery and wildlife throughout the summer months. He looks forward to returning to Alaska this summer to further capture the beauty of Denali.
Margo Klass is a student of aesthetic space who creatively uses light to produce sculptural boxes. She studied Northern Renaissance artists for their use of spaces receding into the distance, and she has been influenced by the interior spaces and exterior landscapes of Japanese temples. During her residence in the park she will use sketching, watercolors, and photography to observe and absorb the monumentality of Denali.
“We are delighted to provide artists of this caliber with a venue for passing on their experience in Denali to others through their various mediums,” said Superintendent Paul Anderson. “The work they create from their residency will be an inspiration for park visitors now and in the decades to come.”
Each artist will be in residence at the park for ten days between June and September. During their residency they stay in the historic East Fork cabin at Mile 43 on the Park Road. They will each offer at least one public presentation for visitors and will donate a piece of their artwork to the park.
The Artist-in-Residence program is a national program that enables established artists to reside in a park while they create park-related art. Artists have played a significant role in raising public awareness of the natural wonders preserved within the National Park System and the need for their protection since the creation of Yellowstone, the first national park. This is the sixth year of the Artist-in-Residence program at Denali National Park and Preserve. Fifteen artists, including ten from Alaska, have participated in previous summers.
This year the Alaska Natural History Association has assumed the role of managing the Artist-in-Residence program in Denali National Park and Preserve. Since its inception in 1959 the Association has been a champion for the park and now offers support through its four programmatic areas: publications, experiential education, visitor services, and book stores. The Association is honored to be involved with the Artist-in-Residence program and the tradition of arts in the National Parks.