Alaska’s Fishiest Artist Coming to Kodiak

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Jay Barrett and Kayla Desroches/KMXT

If the name Ray Troll doesn’t sound familiar, you’re likely brand new to Alaska, though you’ve probably still seen his artwork on t-shirts, sweatshirts, calendars, posters, postcards, art galleries, in books, and elsewhere. 

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The Ketchikan artist, who will be conducting workshops in Kodiak next month, is known for his luminescent scenes of fish, science and humor. 

“Let’s see, how to describe my art style, Well, there’s a lot of fish. That’s pretty much the first thing a lot of people notice,” Troll said. “But themes. The great themes. … And then also silly humor. It really goes from the sublime to the ridiculous or from the slime to the ridiculous. And all kinds of puns throughout, wordplay and that kind of stuff, lotta what I do.”

The Kodiak Public Library, the Kodiak Public Library Association and the Kodiak Reading Council have banded together to fly Troll into town. Library Director Katie Baxter says Troll’s illustrated books are a great jumping off point to engage young readers.

“They’re so engaging and playful and that’s why I’m so excited to invite Ray to come and just be playful with all things fish and just stir up the imagination with language and art techniques,” Baxter said

While here in early April, Troll will have a busy schedule with students, public presentations and workshops.

“So I’m going to be doing a  presentation there, a public talk and slide show and all the crazy things I do,” Troll said. “And that’s going to be Friday evening, and then Friday during the day – that’s in a couple weeks here, I’ll be at a couple different schools, the junior high school and the high school, and likewise doing kind of a slideshow, one about sharks to the middle school and one about my career to the high school kids and a thing to the general public on Friday night. And then on Saturday I’m doing a bunch of drawing workshops.”

The first class will be for ages 7 to 13 from 10 a.m. to noon. The second class will be for ages 14 and up from 2 to 4:30 p.m. There will be a $25 fee for materials.

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