• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 59s

Reality Check w/ John Tracy: Tennys Owens made Anchorage her canvas

By John Tracy 5:37 PM December 15, 2016

Thursday, Anchorage’s premier art gallery Artique closed it’s doors for the last time, after 45 years in business.

Artique is the love child of owner Tennys Owens.

If the modern history of Anchorage could be painted on canvas, Tennys Owens and her husband, Tom, would be primary colors. The Air Force sent the young couple to Alaska in 1967; Tom Owens as a JAG attorney and Tennys Owens as an entrepreneur in the making.

In 1971 she opened a 900 square foot space in Anchorage’s Central Building, as the first real gallery where Alaska artists could display their work.

Tennys Owens is not an artist herself, but if you’ve been in Anchorage for any length of time you’ve seen her work.

She started print for a purpose and has raised money for more than a hundred causes over the years, from breast cancer awareness to the Anchorage Symphony. She sold prints to raise money for the fountains at the Loussac Library for Alaska’s silver anniversary, just as she’s commemorated every significant state anniversary from Alaska’s 50th to Anchorage’s centennial.

Former mayor Rick Mystrom put her in charge of Anchorage’s millennium celebration. Mystrom told me that if you enjoy Anchorage’s 4th of July parade, thank Tennys Owens, who resurrected the parade as a way to mark the millennium.

Tennys Owens says you can trace the history of her gallery, with the arc of the oil industry.

She started Artique two years after the discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay.

As oil boomed, so did the art community and when it busted in the 80s, 90 percent of Anchorage’s art galleries disappeared with the economy. Tennys Owens says Artique only survived because she supported it with revenue from another business.

Staring into the face of another downturn, perhaps deeper and longer than anything we’ve seen before, Tennys Owens says now seems like the right time to move on.

Economists use statistics to predict the future. But I’d say you probably can’t do much better than the instincts of Tennys Owens.

She says she hasn’t decided what she’ll do next, but says she’s not leaving Anchorage — and that’s good for all of us.

Thank you Tennys Owens, and your devoted staff, for making Anchorage richer and more vibrant than it could have ever been without you.

John’s opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Alcohol suspected in serious Seward Highway crash

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 28, 16:06

    The Seward Highway was completely closed in both directions for about five hours overnight following a crash at mile 76 near Portage Glacier Road. The crash occurred sometime just before 11 p.m. and the road finally reopened to traffic around 4 a.m. Anchorage Police say a northbound BMW crossed over into the oncoming traffic late […]

  • News

    1 dead in head-on Glenn Highway collision

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 28, 15:59

    The Anchorage Police Department’s Traffic Unit is trying to determine what caused an SUV to lose control and cause a fatal crash Saturday. About 15 minutes after midnight Saturday morning, APD says a Chevy Suburban inbound on the Glenn Highway lost control, crossed the center median and struck a Ford Focus head-on. The driver of […]

  • News

    Pedestrian struck, killed on Gambell

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 28, 15:54

    Anchorage Police are investigating a fatal crash involving a pedestrian. Just before 3 a.m. Saturday, a late model Chevy Malibu traveling southbound on Gambell Street struck a pedestrian. Police say the pedestrian, who has not yet been identified, was in the roadway outside of a crosswalk when he was hit. The man was taken to […]

  • Politics

    On first day back, Trump lashes out at ‘fake news media’

    by CBS News on May 28, 14:44

    WASHINGTON — Hours after returning from his first trip abroad as president, President Trump tweeted Sunday morning about “fake news media” and White House leaks. “It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media,” Mr. Trump said in a series […]

  • News

    US official mulling greatly expanding airplane laptop ban

    by Associated Press on May 28, 11:30

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says he’s considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. The current ban was […]

  • News

    Feds: Man jumps from plane after trying to bite attendant

    by Associated Press on May 28, 11:27

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A 22-year-old man jumped out of an airplane waiting to take off in North Carolina and had to be stopped from running onto the runway. A federal air marshal said in a sworn statement that 22-year-old Tun Sein was flying from Charlotte to New Bern on Thursday when he stood after […]

  • Lifestyle

    ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ tops box office, ‘Baywatch’ sinks

    by Associated Press on May 28, 10:54

    LOS ANGELES (AP) – It was smooth sailing to the top spot at the box office for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” but the waters were choppier for the Dwayne Johnson comedy “Baywatch.” Studio estimates on Sunday say the fifth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise commandeered $62.2 million […]

  • News

    Jet owned by Elvis sold for $430,000 at auction

    by Associated Press on May 27, 19:09

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years. GWS Auctions Inc. says the plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia. The auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone […]