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Art from the Heart of Bristol Bay

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.


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