Alaskan Illustrators Traveling Exhibit Closing Soon | Latitude 65

A traveling exhibition at the Valdez Museum & Historical Archive is coming to an end.

“Illustrating Alaska: Artists Making Children’s Books” explores the process of illustrating children’s books. It’s curated by Sarah Asper-Smith and highlights the process of four different Alaskan artists, each with their own perspective on creating illustrations for a children’s book.

• Jim Fowler, a Juneau-based plein air (exterior) landscaper, begins with sketches and then paints his illustrations in acrylics after scripting the images.

• Evon Zerbetz of Ketchikan prefers sculpting tools to pencils and carves linoleum to create linocuts. After sculpting the image, she binds the plates and then prints her work by hand.

• Michaela Goade, whose Tlingit name is Sheit.een, grew up in Juneau and now lives in Sitka. She draws and paints in watercolors, then adds digital finishing touches.

• Mitch Watley of Juneau creates illustrations in his studio, up a flight of 100 steps, drawing first in pencil and then digitally coloring these sketches on his computer.

The four artists come to life in the exhibition via video, answering questions, sometimes posed by children, (How do you do that? How long does it take? How do artists deal with drawing the same animals over and over?). The videos provide insight into the artists’ studios. Additionally, visitors can create their own sketches while enjoying the exhibit.

The exhibition ends on March 20.

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