• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 57s

AK Art: New Arc of Anchorage studio aims to spark community involvement

By Hope Miller 4:41 PM July 29, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Art in all forms is encouraged at The Arc of Anchorage’s new downtown studio and gallery.

For 38-year-old Monica McLeod, it’s painting and origami. Thursday afternoon, she sat at a table in the studio and gingerly folded a patterned piece of paper until a crane emerged.

Christopher Vance, 43, says he enjoys drawing when he’s not busy preparing food at the federal courthouse or helping out staff at Como Family Chiropractic in West Anchorage.

And then there’s André Hogg, whose vibrantly colored paintings are already on display at the gallery.

Sparc: A creative place, located at 425 D St., had its grand opening earlier this summer. Art classes are nothing new for The Arc — a nonprofit that assists people who experience intellectual and physical disabilities — but the new space in the high-traffic area of downtown is a major development.

Lacie Stiewing, an art program team leader with the nonprofit, said she hopes the change ushers in an era of increased community involvement with the artistic side of The Arc.

“So unless you’re kind of in the know, a lot of people haven’t known about it,” Stiewing said of The Arc’s art classes, which the organization has had for more than a decade.

They offer everything from the popular ceramics class to printmaking, painting, drawing, mosaics and more. Staff with art backgrounds teach the courses, but Stiewing would like to recruit local artists to pop in for some of the classes. She also aims to add one-day workshop-style sessions for weeknights and weekends.

Integrating the public into the classes is another development.

“It’s really in line with the vision of The Arc, which is to be a community that recognizes and embraces people of all abilities,” Stiewing said of having classes open to the public. They’re slated to begin in September.

A sculptor with experience in the Alaska art scene, Stiewing was hired back in February to help with Sparc’s development. Collaborating with other Alaska artists is another goal, she said, noting that the International Gallery of Contemporary Art is just next door.

“The art community is very supportive,” she said.

Events are another way to appeal to the community. For Sparc’s August First Friday, Hogg — who has been taking art classes at The Arc since 1994 — will be the star of the show. The theme of his solo exhibition: cats.

The series will showcase felines from Hogg’s imagination and photographs he studied. A line of retail cards with some of Hogg’s works will also be available, Stiewing said, and he will receive half the profits.

“We picked him because he’s such a prolific artist,” Stiewing said. “He’s pretty independent; with a little bit of direction he can create a body of work.”

The focus isn’t just on solo exhibitions. The Arc of Anchorage will also host a group show at the Caffe D’arte in the Fur Rondy shop that will feature animal-inspired works, said Jacquelyn McGary, Arc of Anchorage spokeswoman. There will also be sled dogs, Rondy royalty and karaoke at the First Friday event.

In the end, it’s all about making sure The Arc’s artists have a fulfilling experience and get the support they need.

“It’s really exciting to see the opportunity for the artists. I think they’re psyched,” Stiewing said.

She knows she is.

Click here for more information about the First Friday events.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Judge issues max sentence to Palmer man for sexually exploiting children

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 27, 6:56

    A 49-year-old Palmer man was sentenced in federal court Tuesday for sexually exploiting children more than a decade ago. A federal judge sentenced Robert Cunningham on six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, using two children to produce child pornography, according to a release from the Alaska U.S. Attorney’s Office. Cunningham’s crimes occured between September 2002 […]

  • News

    Alaska Gov.-elect Bill Walker appoints law partner as attorney general

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 27, 1:57

    On Monday, Dec. 1, Bill Walker will leave his private law practice behind to become governor of Alaska. But he won’t be leaving behind his longtime partner, Craig Richards, who will now serve as attorney general. Richards says he took the job because he believes the governor needs a good lawyer. “I was being a […]

  • News

    Thanksgiving travel tales from the Anchorage airport

    by Kate McPherson on Nov 26, 23:27

    Spending Thanksgiving with loved ones isn’t possible for everyone. But for others, taking a flight or two is all it takes to get the family together. At the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Wednesday night, 2-year-old Rachael waited patiently for her dad to come home from the North Slope. Her mom, Melissa Chapman, is happy that […]

  • News

    After power outage, Tuluksak families get turkey donation

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 26, 22:50

    Families that lost tons of meat after a power outage in Tuluksak will now have a turkey on the table for Thanksgiving. The community of nearly 400 went without electricity for an extended period of time following a power plant failure. Because of the warm temperatures, many people weren’t able to keep their subsistence meat frozen. […]

  • News

    ‘Tis the season: 800 Christmas lights on Government Hill

    by Heather Hintze on Nov 26, 22:11

    Residents riding around Anchorage may notice a familiar sight in Government Hill. The lights have been turned on at the Christmas Tree on the neighborhood’s cell tower — a day students at Government Hill Elementary School have been waiting for all year long. The students waited anxiously on the eve of Thanksgiving for the school’s […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Nov. 26

    by KTVA Weather on Nov 26, 19:36

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Skies will be partly sunny for Thanksgiving, but expect to wake up to early morning fog. Southeast Expect clouds to move out as clearing happens from the north to the south. Interior and North Slope In the Interior, skies will be mostly clear with temperatures dramatically cooling off. North […]

  • News

    Farmer’s market in Anchorage offers Thanksgiving alternatives to turkey

    by Lauren Maxwell on Nov 26, 19:29

    Alaskans who want to eat local this holiday season will find plenty to fill their holiday tables. That’s especially true if they are open to some alternatives for the main course. At the Center Market, a year-round farmer’s market inside the Sears Mall, shoppers could be found on the day before Thanksgiving picking up produce […]

  • News

    Anchorage students learn about the godmother of Thanksgiving

    by Alexis Fernandez on Nov 26, 19:23

    Food and family are two of the symbols most associated with Thanksgiving. On the eve of the national holiday, one group of local sixth-graders decided to dig a little deeper. Word-by-word, sixth-grade students at College Gate Elementary School relived history and learned about the past. They put together a presentation about well-known author Sarah Hale, known as […]