Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Twenty-five community artists gathered at the Nenana Civic Center on Friday to create an iconic scene from their hometown — the Nenana Ice Classic tripod on the Tanana River.

Artist Cheri Bagwill, of Alaska Art & Soul in Fairbanks, created the painting and carefully walked these new artists through the process, step-by-step, of how to create it themselves.

“This is fun art, not fine art,” she said. “It’s a nonjudgment zone.”

No prior painting experience was required for this artistic session. Under Bagwill’s encouraging eye, each artist created a colorful sky, filled with blues, whites, pinks and yellows. It was fun to dab in the line of dark trees on the horizon but the detail of the bridge in the background was a little harder.

Bit by bit, each painting took shape. And although they were all of the same scene, each painting was also different in its own way. The theme, however, was pure Nenana, which hosts the Nenana Ice Classic every year. It featured the iconic black-and-white tripod, the bridge over the Tanana River and the beautiful Alaska sky.

Tickets go on sale Feb. 1 for the annual game guessing, focused on when the tripod will fall as the ice goes out.

Organizer Brittany Mays Starkweather said the paint night turnout was so good, she hopes to organize another similar event in the near future.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her onTwitter: @FDNMKris.