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Contact: Cinnamon Dockham, (907) 683.9580
Brenda Zlamany, a New York–based artist and Fulbright scholar, is seeking watercolor portrait subjects for “Climate in America,” the latest chapter in her ongoing series The Itinerant Portraitist. Zlamany plans to paint portraits in Utqiagvik on August 2–5 and in Fairbanks on August 5 before continuing the project at Denali National Park during a ten-day residency beginning August 6. Additional sessions will be available August 16-23 when Zlamany begins a week-long, artist-in-residence at McKinley Chalet Resort.
The Itinerant Portraitist is a multi-year project created by Zlamany in 2011. In this project, she travels the globe to explore the positive effects of painted portraiture. Stories are at the heart of The Itinerant Portraitist.
“I paint what I hear, as much as what I see,” said Zlamany
Zlamany has found that the process of painting a portrait is a uniquely intimate encounter that often leads subjects to be more candid and reflective than they otherwise would be. She is interested in the effects of climate change on the daily life of Alaskans and is looking for a variety of portrait subjects, including whalers, anglers, hunters, artists, park rangers, bus drivers, dog trainers, visitor-center employees, teachers, scientists, firefighters, students, tourist-industry workers, construction workers, and anyone else who calls Alaska home.
“Alaska is a place of overwhelming natural beauty, with bears larger than bison, parks the size of nations, and glaciers bigger than many US states, yet the Arctic sea ice is retreating, shores are eroding, glaciers are shrinking, permafrost is thawing, and insect outbreaks and wildfires are becoming more common. It is the ideal location for this chapter of The Itinerant Portraitist,” said Zlamany.
Zlamany plans to travel to four states: Florida, California, Alaska, and Montana.While in Alaska, she hopes to work with local communities to choose portrait subjects and work sites. The sites could include fisheries, national parks, visitors’ centers, schools, libraries, galleries, workplaces, churches, nursing homes, fire stations, police stations, and restaurants, as well as her studio. Each day she will invite four to six people to sit for watercolor portraits that she makes using the camera lucida, a device for drawing that dates back to the Renaissance and promotes a two-way exchange between artist and subject. Conversations that occur during the painting process and the sites themselves will be filmed, audio-recorded, or otherwise noted for use in a final presentation. Portrait sessions will take around forty minutes. Each subject will pose for a photograph with his or her completed portrait. The photos are as much a part of the art as the paintings are. Portrait subjects will receive a free print of their photo, signed by the artist.
To arrange for a portrait session, please contact Brenda Zlamany or join the event's Facebook page. Portraits will be posted daily on Instagram (#brezlam). View her recent project, "100/100", or visit her website.
Learn more about the Denali National Park Artist-in-Residence program
Last updated: August 5, 2019