Sarah Anne Johnson’s “Black Box” is one of many pieces on display in the Anchorage Museum’s new contemporary art exhibition. // © 2012 Sarah Anne Johnson/Anchorage Museum
Through Sept. 9, the Anchorage Museum will feature the works of more than 40 artists who are de-romanticizing Northern life and presenting honest depictions of our region’s unique environmental, psychological and societal challenges. “True North: Contemporary Art of the Circumpolar North” features nearly 80 photographs, films and multimedia installations by artists from Iceland, Scandinavia, Canada, Russia and Alaska.
In the new exhibition, artists from the circumpolar North aim to “de-romanticize” Northern life. Curated by Anchorage Museum chief curator Julie Decker, “True North” highlights questions of indigenous identity and what it means to be at ground zero for climate change.
“These artists are attempting to define place –– not the romantic North of earlier generations but the next North — one that is connected, pivotal and conflicted,” said Decker."
Many artists focused on how life in the North shapes and affects its inhabitants.
Brian Adams’ photographs document the effects of climate change on his friends and relatives in Kivalina, one of several Alaska seaside villages eroding into the sea. Indigenous artists Ken Lisbourne and Annie Pootoogook offer an insider perspective into daily village life — a world remote and beautiful, yet tainted by alcohol and violence. Canadian artist, Sarah Anne Johnson’s photographs feature Arctic landscapes with alterations such as buildings gracing the tops of glaciers.
In addition to several interactive multimedia installations, this exhibition features 10 hands-on activity stations for families, including Arctic animal puzzles and a game featuring Alaska Native words that describe types of snow.
Admission is $12 for adults and $9 for students and seniors. The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state.