Kodiak’s Amason on Display in New York City


anaf_2.jpgErik Wander/KMXT

An exhibition featuring the work of Alvin Amason , a well-known and renowned Kodiak artist, is set to open next week at the Alaska House in New York City. (Image Alaska Native Arts.org )

KMXT’s Erik Wander has more.

Painter and sculptor Alvin Amason was born and raised in Kodiak but now makes his home in Anchorage, where he has his studio. He said the exhibition is a tribute to his brother Billy, a Kodiak commercial fisherman, who passed away in December.

(Amason 1 22 sec. "It kind of ranges through … a story or two to each piece.")

The 60-year-old painter talked about some of the stories behind what he describes as narrative paintings. In "Boat Rocker," he depicts a walrus, like the one he and his brother hauled on deck years ago while fishing together. "Billy’s Blue Fox" tells the story of the two brothers caring for fox cubs on Kalsin Bay Island as children. He also related the story behind the show’s cover image, "You Go Out for Rabbits."

(Amason 2 34 sec. "I talked to Billy about … gifts that someone leaves you.")

Amason, who has exhibited at the New York gallery once before, when it opened in 2008, said he’s seen curiosity and interest in Alaskan art in New York City, a town that features scores of art galleries.

(Amason 3 22 sec. "It kind of ranges through … a story or two to each piece.")

Amason is perhaps best known locally for his painting of a bear on permanent display at Henry’s Restaurant. He said he created the work about nine years ago based on childhood memories of his grandfather, who was a master bear guide, and the bears he saw while out on trips with him.

(Amason 4 40 sec. "He’d take me to camps … kind of quiet things.")

Alaska House opened its doors in September 2008 as a non-profit aimed at promoting Alaska issues. The gallery was founded by Alice Rogoff of Washington, D.C., who took a trip to Alaska in 2002 and fell in love with it. Amason will be exhibiting "Brothers on the Water" beginning March 23rd at the Alaska House. Sharing top billing with him in the exhibition will be Native Alaskan photographer Brian Adams. Amason will be travelling to New York for the opening of the show. The images Amason will display are available on the Alaska House’s web site.

I’m Erik Wander.


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