Nelson’s Gray Whale Prints Unveiled Saturday


Erik Wander/KMXT

On Saturday, a local artist will be on hand at the Kodiak Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center to sign three new original prints of gray whales commissioned by the Kodiak Gray Whale Project.

The Kodiak Gray Whale Project started almost by chance in May 2000 when a dead gray whale washed ashore at Pasagshak Beach, according to Stacy Studebaker, coordinator of the project. Studebaker realized the need for additional educational material on the skeletal anatomy of gray whales for purposes of reconstructing the bones. She said the anatomy of gray whales had not been well documented previously. Using part of the Alaska Conservation Foundation grant funding, she commissioned a local artist to do a series of drawings of the bones.

(Studebaker 1 32 sec. "Doing the research … and even their parasites.")

Studebaker said high resolution scans were then made of the 45 original graphite pencil drawings, creating digital images that preserved the fine detail of the drawings. A local designer was then brought in to complete the process of transforming the original drawings into art prints.

(Studebaker 2 45 sec. "Once we had the scanned … to make the final prints.")

Studebaker said the 3 commissioned prints are not only scientific, but aesthetic. "Skeleton and Flukes," "Food and Feeding" and "The Anatomy of Three Organs" will be on sale at the visitor center as part of Kodiak Whale Fest 2009 for 45 dollars apiece. Part of the proceeds will go toward funding Salmon Camp, the refuge’s summer environmental education program. Studebaker will also be there to discuss the process and the Kodiak Gray Whale Project.

I’m Erik Wander.


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