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

Fairbanks Pioneers' Home Art Walk

Vickie Wilson, acting director for the Division of Alaska Pioneer Homes, displays the Dorothy Magoffin painting "Port Armstrong Cannery" in preparation for the annual Fairbanks Pioneers' Home Foundation Art Walk at the Fairbanks Pioneers Home Wednesday afternoon, September 9, 2015. The event featuring Alaskan artists past and present begins at 6pm this Friday, Sept. 11, with the outcry auction being held at 7:30pm.

A “really quirky group of pieces” will be on display at the annual Art Walk at the Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home from 6-8 p.m. on Friday all from the permanent collection of the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North.

The Art Walk is the Pioneers' Home’s annual fundraiser and will feature art, wine, appetizers and both silent and outcry auctions. Admission is $30 per person. The theme is: “From the Basement: Folk Art from the Museum of the North.”

Museum collection manager Angela Linn hopes the 76 pieces chosen for exhibit will generate some conversation among spectators about the people who donated them. Each piece is from  the ethnology and history collection.

“Mostly, these are made by people who are not professionally trained artists,” she said. “These are things people who lived in early Fairbanks would have had on the walls of their homes.”

She described them as a “really quirky group of pieces.” Many of the pieces were contributed to the UA Museum of the North collection as part of larger collections. Some of the pieces were created by professional artists.

Linn has chosen to organize them by name of the collector. For example, there are pieces from August Conrad, an early Klondike Gold Rush miner in Fairbanks.

“He was in Fairbanks in the really early days and he contributed a couple hundred items to the ethnology history collection,” she said. “You would have seen these in his home.” 

Other pieces are from early pioneers as well. She’s hoping that some residents of the Pioneers’ Home may be familiar with these historical families. 

“I hope people are going to be standing in the halls and telling stories about the people who collected these pieces,” she said.

She is also adding beadwork items from some well-known Interior artists.

This is the first time most of these pieces have ever been displayed. It is also the first time the museum has collaborated with the Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home. This kind of collaboration has been on her radar for some time, so this is a great first step, she said.

Tickets are available at Mt. McKinley Bank, Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home, Foundation Board members and at the door. This is an adult event.

The Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home Foundation board sponsors the popular annual event. The board is comprised of Fairbanksans who strive to make the lives of Pioneers’ Home residents comfortable and enjoyable. 

Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home is located at 2221 Egan Ave. It is a 93-bed assisted living facility, one of six operated by Alaska’s Division of Pioneers’ Homes. The fundraiser has become more and more important over the years, as budgets grow ever tighter. The funds go directly to benefit the lives of residents. Two years ago, Art Walk funds contributed to a large-scale project, construction of a dental room so dentists can visit patents who may have difficulty leaving the facility.

It’s also an opportunity for Fairbanksans to visit the Fairbanks Pioneers’ Home if they haven’t ever stepped inside.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

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