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.

A social scientist from Denali National Park has introduced a new and cozy way to portray our community.

Rose Keller was in Kodiak a few months ago and came upon a community stitch project at the Kodiak History Museum.

“It was a project over the past summer, where people from the community came together to stitch their portraits (or representations),” Keller said. “What they didn’t finish in an afternoon, they took home and returned later with the completed stitch. They were then hung in the museum.

“It is a wonderfully cozy way to see a community,” she said. “So many diverse faces and style.”

Project coordinator Natalie Trenery, of Kodiak, hoped to expand this project into other Alaska communities. Keller is spearheading it in the Denali area.

The first session last month was a successful one, and a second session is planned from 4-8 p.m. Feb. 7 at the McKinley Community Center, just off Milepost 230 Parks Highway.

Local residents of all ages participated in the Kodiak project, and Keller issued that same invitation to residents of Denali.

“Kids are very welcome to join,” she said. “I know from the Kodiak project that the kiddos there really loved participating in the project and stitching themselves.”

“This doesn’t have to be a portrait of yourself,” she added. “It can be of anything that reflects you or your life here in Denali.” 

Here’s how it works. Trace a photo of yourself, or of something dear to you, onto fabric. The fabric is tightly bound in a cross-stitch hoop. Then embroider the lines you have traced. 

“The result: awesomeness,” she said. “Take it from a noncrafter, this is cool.”

“Afterward, we’ll show off our cross-stitched community on the community center walls,” she said.

“This is a chance to see our community in a new, artistic and fun way.”

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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