ARTSpace Inc is a new Soldotna-based Alaska non-profit corporation approved by the IRS as a 501 c 3 charitable corporation. At this time, our general intent is to spearhed public arts on the Central Kenai Peninsula, with a particular emphasis upon public art and long term civic beautification. We are assisted by the City of Soldotna, 4-H, the Soldotna Rotary Club’s members, Kenai Peninsula College art faculty, and the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce.
There are several phases to this Soldotna summer 2015 arts initiative, all of which inter-relate.
Firstly, there’s the Soldotna Creek Park Memorial Day weekend Alaska Emerging Artists competition.
In addition to the curated body of work competition, we are soliciting 4-H and other student art work as well as patriotically themed art work in keeping with the Memorial Day holiday. We would hope for patriotically themed art that goes beyond “rockets red glare” and also takes a look at our constitutional form of government and a society built upon diversity, tolerance, and the social and cultural ideals for which people made the ultimate sacrifice. This will be lightly curated for basic quality and will have its own separate display area.
In future years, we hope to prepare a book for public purchase of art work and writings submitted to the annual competition. Because of the burden of getting copyright permissions this year for the prior Paint the Kenai work, such a book is not feasible for 2015 but will probably be done in later years, and done more easily by obtaining permissions in advance.
Secondly, We have re-purposed the mural submissions from the Soldotna Rotary Club’s 2013 Paint the Kenai as smaller 4’x8′ mini-murals sold to various businesses and entities in the Central Peninsula area. The net is being split equally between the purchased artists and ARTSpace, which is using those funds to sponsor and fund the 2015 Memorial Day weekend arts festival, with cash prizes of $1,000, $300, and $150 (first,second and third places). That also gets local art out into the community view. We anticipate doing the murals again in a few years. I have attached JPEG files of all eight murals that have been purchased this year. We hope that they are hung in time for theSaturday, May 23 arts festival.
Thirdly, we have proposed to the Soldotna Parks commission the installation in Soldotna Creek Park of two double-sided weatherproof nice-looking anodized metal 4’x8′ enclosures. These can be used to house monthly student and emerging artist exhibits during the summer in a high-traffic, high-visibility area. We would expect that several small body of work exhibits chosen from the submissions to the Alaska Emerging Artists Competition would be up simultaneously during the summer and that the selected artists could arrange a cooperative outdoor opening reception for their work. This would be curated work.
In addition, we would hope to include with the Soldotna Creek Park displays writings from time to time, particularly writings in keeping with the river-side and environmental protection theme of Soldotna Creek Park’s location.
Fourthly, we are working with the City of Soldotna to set up a curated long-term archive of self-published books preserving examples of Kenai Peninsula artists. This is relatively inexpensive and easy for artists at this time and we would provide a free class in the Autumn showing artists how to prepare archival photo books of their work and how to copyright their work with the Library of Congress.
Fifthly, the display stands that must be constructed for use with outdoor arts festival can also be used during the winter months for weekend “flash exhibits” in vacant retail spaces in the area. These would allow students and other emerging artists an indoor winter venue.