• davidpersonius

For the month of August we feature the work of an old friend and former member of Two Street Gallery, Patricia Walsh. A few years back Pat left Fairbanks behind to return to Dillingham, Alaska, the heart of Bristol Bay and ground zero of the most productive sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Last year, the fishery broke records with a catch value of $306.5 million, the highest ever recorded, according to the Anchorage Daily News (April 7, 2020). It is here in these pristine and productive waters and beautiful wild surroundings that Patricia finds inspiration for her work.

The artist says that making art is an expression of her joy in using her hands, heart, and head to create, to make something. "It is is a process that is important to me," she says. "I'm endlessly curious about everything around me, from what I see and hear, to how and why things work. Curiosity drives my work. It is always a part of everything I do."

In her previous time exhibiting at Two Street Pat had a close focus on glass as a medium. Since returning to Dillingham, however, the focus has changed. Most days in her studio now find her in the garb of a welder, leather apron and face shield in place, and wielding a steel cutting plasma torch. Pat says that she's been creating and making paintings and drawings forever and is currently exploring working with metals and mosaics. She cuts the metal by hand, welds the pieces together, and then experiments with surface techniques from rusting, using glass, acrylic paint, and powder coating.

Walsh has a degree in Art and Design from the University of Illinois and coarse work at the Chicago Art Institute, Pilchuk Glass School, Penland school of Crafts, and the Corning Glass Studio. Her work has been chosen for Alaska Pubic Art Projects in Seward, Bethel, Fairbanks, and Dillingham. Her work has also been selected for numerous juried exhibits in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Cordova.

A fresh body of work has arrived and we will be hanging Pat's show on Thursday, with a First Friday opening on August 6th. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus concerns, Pat will not be able to be here with us, but you can see her show later this week when we post it live on line on our facebook site @ 2 Street Gallery.

  • davidpersonius

"To create today is to create dangerously." Albert Camus, circa 1950s as he contemplated the role of the artist as a voice of resistance.

In a the recent book review in Brain Picking, Maria Popova included the above quote. Not only is the quote interesting but the subtitle of the book caught our attention:

Salvation by Words: Iris Murdoch on Language as a Vehicle of Truth and Art as a Force of Resistance to Tyranny

The subject is relevant to today's social and political unrest and what roles we play, not just as artists, but as citizens and humans. We all have to decide where we fit in the spectrum of the racial debate, brought front and center again, by the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, while in police custody. How our nation moves on from this is unknown as the debate and unrest continues out in front of an impending national election. Rhetoric reigns unbridled on all sides.

So for today we share a story of one artist's "deed" and a related quote from Iris Murdoch from the late 1900s.

On June 5th Two Street Gallery reopened the doors of our gallery with a very special guest artist of the month. Award-winning artist Jennifer Moss of Fairbanks speaks little of herself when discussing art, choosing instead to talk about events and ideas. While helping us introduce her current show with a live Facebook event she revealed to us and to the public that she will be donating her entire proceeds to the cause of Black Lives Matter. Think about that. All the profits from her art will be donated to a local group that helps bridge the racial divide. Even here in Fairbanks, nearly 3,000 miles away from the events in Minneapolis that spurred a national debate about equity, an art show featuring nature and peace can contribute locally to make a difference. It gives us great pause to examine our own convictions, a pause that continues, while we wrestle and learn where we fit into the question of racism in America.

"Tyrants always fear art because tyrants want to mystify while art tends to clarify. The good artist is a vehicle of truth."

-- Iris Murdoch circa 1990s

Jennifer Moss is a good artist, not just because her art is beautiful, but because of her deeds and the vehicle of truth that she drives here in the boreal north. Thank you Jennifer. Let's make this show a sellout!

Did you know that Bob Ross started his painting career in Fairbanks? All of those majestic mountain scenes with the “happy little trees” are a reflection of what Fairbankans see out their window everyday. Fairbanksans go a little crazy this time of year. It’s 24 hours of daylight and the the view outside the window seems to change every single day. Fish need to be caught, gardens and chickens tended to, mountains to climb and rivers to paddle. There are many things that make our part of Alaska unique and art is a great way to share our special part of the world with someone. The perfect wedding gift is a little piece of our crazy. Authentic art that reflects the place it was made is a gift that will be remembered. It’s even more special when you remind the person receiving it that the guy with the funny hair on PBS got his art start here too.

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