• 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

  • News

    Alaska unemployment unchanged since August

    by Associated Press on Nov 21, 15:23

    Alaska’s unemployment rate stood at 6.8 percent in October, a full percentage point above the national average. The state labor department says the difference between the two is getting closer to the gap that existed before the recession. During the recession, Alaska’s seasonally adjusted rate fell below that of the national rate, as Alaska wasn’t […]

  • News

    Pipeline projects gets an export approval

    by Associated Press on Nov 21, 15:00

    A federal agency has approved the export of liquefied natural gas from a proposed mega-project in Alaska to free-trade nations. The U.S. Department of Energy said Friday that the automatic approval, which was required by law, should not be read to indicate the department’s views on a still-pending request to export to non-free trade countries, […]

  • Politics

    Parnell won’t choose adjutant general on way out

    by Associated Press on Nov 21, 12:28

    Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says he won’t appoint a new adjutant general before leaving office. In September, Parnell asked for and received the resignation of then-adjutant general Thomas Katkus amid a report into allegations of misconduct in the Alaska National Guard. The National Guard Bureau’s Office of Complex Investigations found that victims did not trust […]

  • News

    Troopers: Remains identified as missing Ketchikan man

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 21, 12:18

    Human remains found in a Ketchikan area home have been identified as the 49-year-old homeowner who went missing earlier this month, authorities say. Alaska State Troopers were notified this week that the remains had been identified as Ralph Smith, said AST spokeswoman Megan Peters. On Nov. 12, troopers responded to a house fire and shooting […]

  • News

    Teens indicted after detention center escape plot

    by Associated Press on Nov 21, 12:16

    Five teenagers have been indicted in connection with an escape plot at the Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility that injured two unarmed guards. The Peninsula Clarion (http://is.gd/5XKkos) reports 18-year-old Cody Rosenthal and four 16-year-old boys are charged with assault, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and riot in the Nov. 7 incident. Authorities say one of the […]

  • DayBreak

    Anchorage photographer features senior dogs in new book

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 21, 11:22

    It all began three years ago when a local photographer adopted a senior dog at the Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center. Her paperwork said she had been dropped off, in part, because she was getting old. Today Grizzabella is one of the 70 senior dogs highlighted in a new portrait book “When Age Has […]

  • News

    Alaska post offices to reduce hours

    by Francesca Fenzi / KNOM on Nov 21, 9:29

    Dozens of post offices in Alaska face potentially reduced hours of operation beginning in January of next year. According to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), most of those offices will experience a reduction from eight hours to six hours of operation per day — though some locations will decrease to as little as two hours […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Jared Woods

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 21, 9:16

    His time in the jazz band and choir at East High School inspired him to write music. Now he performs his own extensive list of original tunes throughout Alaska. Anchorage singer and songwriter Jared Woods brought his rock/acoustic/americana sound to Daybreak for Mic Check in the Morning Friday. You can watch Woods perform Saturday, Nov. […]