2017 Emerging Artists Festival

Soldotna Creek Park – Saturday, May 27, 2017, Noon to 7pm2017 Festival Flyer

Art Drawers Exhibit Reception

The public is invited to the free opening reception for the 2017 ARTSpace and Rotary Club of Soldotna annual art display drawers exhibit at Soldotna Public Library that features extensive bodies of work by ten area artists.  Enjoy this unique approach to displaying local art, Saturday, December 17, 2016 from 1 to 3pm.  Free refreshments are sponsored by Sweeney’s Clothing, Kashi Law Offices, and Soldotna Mini-Storage.

These events are sponsored by ArtSpace Inc., a new IRS 501c3 arts-oriented non-profit corporation located in Soldotna, with the assistance and support of the City of Soldotna, and members of the Soldotna Rotary Club, art faculty of Kenai Peninsula College, Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, and Central Peninsula 4-H.


By partnering with the Rotary Club of Soldotna, the City of Soldotna, the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, Kenai Peninsula College, 4-H, and local businesses, Soldotna’s ARTSpace, Inc. is implementing a community-based public art program that’s efficient, low-cost, and easily sustainable because it’s an integrated program in which every activity mutually supports every other part of the project.  Many of these projects result in monthly exhibits or annual events and are intended to promote public art that enhances the Soldotna area in a manner that’s democratic and for the enjoyment of all. This integrated program will be the subject of a presentation at the November 2015 circumpolar arts conference hosted by University of Alaska Anchorage and Finnish universities.

Soldotna Rotary Club is funding and will install, subject to final approvals, a “Rotary Art Park”. This is an installation of a grouping of permanent outdoor display cases in Soldotna parks suitable for up to four simultaneous curated summer exhibits, particularly of already-submitted bodies of work by students and emerging artists.  Because protected shelters are available at some of these parks, students and their families can enjoy an outdoor picnic-style opening for all of the exhibitors.  Although this sort of public display is fairly common in more urban areas of the US, to our knowledge, this is the first installation of its kind in Alaska.

All exhibited work will be professionally curated for quality and family-friendly suitability for display in a heavily-trafficked public space where adults and children of all ages are present.  Among the first intended exhibits are 4-H and other student art work from the Ninilchik Fair and the winning photos from the two Redoubt Reporter-City of Soldotna-Soldotna Chamber of Commerce photography contests now underway, one for the best photos depicting the Greater Soldotna area and the other a more traditional fine art photography contest that will award the cash prizes based upon the overall quality of a body of work consisting of six to ten related images.

Soldotna Rotary Club has also funded the purchase of a series of high-quality display “drawers” for an educational and display program at Soldotna Library, which will provide year-long indoor access for up to 10 curated 2D and 3D bodies of work drawn from prior bodies of work submissions. Any member of the public can view at their convenience a complete “body of work” by up to ten different artists over the course of a year. As with the outdoor displays, this will be family-friendly work drawn largely from the local community.

Promotion and sale of curated 4’x8’ outdoor murals to supporting businesses, with eight installed to date in 2015 and a second round of murals soon. Point your Internet browser to to see the murals already being installed. Participating mural artists and purchasers will be invited to a private gathering in which their contributions will be recognized and appreciated. These current murals are an outgrowth of the Soldotna Rotary Club’s 2012 Paint the Kenai mural project that produced the large mural now installed at the Kenai Airport.

Periodic photography competitions, in conjunction with, and published by, the Redoubt Reporter newspaper, with juried cash prizes. Digital photography is the most generally accessible entre’ into the arts for most members of the public. For more information about the current 2015 photo contests, go to the home page of

An annual no-charge, no commission photographic gear and art supply swap and sell day in a public facility. This is tentatively scheduled for the Peninsula Center Mall in October, 2015.

ARTSpace’s long-term project includes: Periodic calls for the submission of thematically-related bodies of work by Alaska artists, to be used for a variety of exhibits, festivals, public art murals, and archival books of the best local art work. By building a stock of quality multi-use art submissions, ARTSpace can quickly mount new exhibits and projects without the lengthy time otherwise required to mount any project when entries are separately solicited.

Continuing the annual professionally-curated Emerging Artists Festival at Soldotna Creek Park, with significant cash juried prizes, selected and judged upon submitted bodies of work. Encouraging emerging artists is an important way to ensure that public art remains democratic and open to all talent rather than confined to a few long-established artists. It’s also a good way to encourage our students.

Providing free training for community artists to copyright their own work by making and depositing with the Library of Congress photo books suitable for archiving all or a portion of their lifetime art work.

A curated archive of artist books for long-term public reference at the Soldotna Public Library.

A self-published annual or biennial book of selected area artists and work drawn from all aspects of this program, available at cost when pre-ordered.

An invitational no-commission, no-fee exhibit in September where artists and likely art work purchasers can mingle and deal in a pleasant low-key environment in a way that maximizes return to the artists while providing lower costs to potential purchasers through eliminating commissions. This becomes a win-win situation both buyers and artists, encouraging sales.