We have again received the accreditation of the American Alliance of Museums, a highly prestigious honor which we initially received in 1997. Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. The Pratt Museum is one of only 7 museums accredited in the state of Alaska. For more information on reaccreditation and the American Alliance of Museums, see our press release.
The Pratt Museum is excited to present our current temporary exhibit – Patterns in Place – works by Deland Anderson. An opening exhibition will be held from 4-6pm on October 6th, the first Friday of the month and will be free to the public, and the exhibit will be on display in our Temporary Exhibit Hall until December 27, 2023. Art cards by Anderson will be available to purchase in the Museum Store.
From the artist:
“This exhibit brings together some of the paintings I have composed over the past 30 years. Many are drawn from various exhibits I have mounted in Alaska and the Lower 48. Others are new. There is no overarching theme that ties them together. It’s more just a display of the sorts of things I have done with dot painting since I first encountered Aboriginal art in the Australian Outback in 1980. I am constantly keying into pattern and how it distributes color in the world. I hope you can share in this experience by letting these paintings lead you back into your world with a heightened sense of the play between sky and land, water and light, with a sense of how the vastness of a world may be centered on a berry or blossom.”
You can learn more about local artist Deland Anderson on his website.
The Pratt Museum is excited to present our current temporary exhibit!
In a Time of Change: Boreal Forest Stories is a is a cross-disciplinary, collaborative project examining change in the
boreal forest through narrative. For over a year and a half, 44 creators, including artists, writers,
environmental educators, and humanities scholars, exchanged knowledge and perspectives on
the boreal forest with scientists and explored narrative as it applies across the disciplines.
Through their original works, participants relate stories rooted in the boreal forest, including its
ecology, its inhabitants, and their interactions.
This exhibit will run through September 23, 2023.
Downloadable exhibit content booklet and exhibit discovery guide!
CLICK HERE for our Summer Workshops & Events Schedule!
As always, on behalf of the board and staff at Pratt Museum & Park, thank you for your support! We are so grateful to have such passionate members and patrons in our community. We are so excited for the 2023 season and we look forward to seeing you at the Pratt soon!
Cross-Cultural Conversations Series – Fall 2022
This series will offer several Community Cross-Cultural natural science presentations and conversations over the course of several weeks. These will be early evening events designed to fit the schedules of as many people in our community as possible, so we can gather to share and learn more about some of the current natural resource research and discoveries taking place in our region.
The purpose of these conversations is to acknowledge and include all of the cultures that make up our community and contribute to the knowledge about the world we share together. We would like to discuss how we can best take care of the many vital natural resources that we depend on for our happiness and survival. We welcome your participation and questions!
The presentations and conversations will take place at the Pratt Museum and Park, located on Bartlett Street in Homer. The first event of the series takes place this Thursday October 27th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. The museum is supported by donations, grants, and entrance fees, and therefore we appreciate any contribution that you can make at the door.
The speakers and facilitators this Thursday are Dr. Fred Sharpe of the Alaska Whale Foundation and Kenneth O’Brien of the Pratt Museum and Park. Their presentation is titled “Connecting Cultures Across the Pacific: Humpback Whales – Bringing the Aloha from Kona to Kachemak Bay.”
Dr. Sharpe and Mr. O’Brien have worked together for the past decade, investigating questions about the antiquity of the North Pacific population of humpback whales, including records and evidence shared from sources with Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Topics that they’ll address include the biology and history of this population of whales, as well as some of the cultural connections that the humpbacks embody as they travel back and forth across the wide ocean. They’ll share some of the findings of their work and discuss questions that are being explored regarding the current and future ecological challenges faced by these impressive marine mammals, such as problems with plastic debris, and warming seas that are increasing in acidity. Fred will also discuss his research on some of the unique cultural characteristics of the whales, including their uses of bubbles as tools for their survival, communications, and entertainment.
The second event in the series will be presented on Thursday, November 3rd by Olga Von Ziegesar and Shelley Gill from Winged Whale Research group just down the road in Fritz Creek. Their talk will be titled “Long Term Fishing Relationships Among the Winged Whales.” They’ll share some of their remarkable discoveries concerning the cooperative behaviors of these Hawaiian and Mexican marine giants, the humpback whales.
We hope you can join us for these and future presentations and take part in the ongoing discussions about the well-being of the species with whom we share this lovely area of Kachemak Bay.
This exhibition shares stories of salmon connections from around Kachemak Bay, honoring the beauty and the magic of this fish that returns to us in annual cycles. What does salmon mean to you? Why should we care about salmon?
Salmon Culture: Kachemak Bay Connections draws on a sampling of local artists whose work celebrates salmon from private collections and the Pratt’s archives. This exhibition is co-curated by two local daughters of salmon fishermen, Carla Klinker Cope and Nadia Jackinsky-Sethi.
Salmon Culture: Kachemak Bay Connections exhibition is funded through the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Homer Foundation and is currently on exhibit at the Pratt.
In the main gallery, Salmon Culture, includes the work of more than thirty Alaska Native artists whose work references salmon love across the state. In the community gallery, Salmon Culture: Kachemak Bay Connections, shares twelve local Kachemak Bay artists’ work that references local relationships with salmon. This exhibit runs from October 7 – December 17, 2022.
Salmon Culture celebrates connections between salmon and Alaska Native peoples through contemporary, historical and archaeological works of art. This exhibition honors salmon as a resource that has nourished our communities physically and spiritually for thousands of years. As shared by exhibition circle advisor, Erin Gingrich: “Salmon are gifts, every single one a blessing. The continuity of their ancient cycle is something we owe to the past, present and future, not just our own future generations but the futures of all that have a part in this ecosystem.”
This exhibition is organized by a circle of Alaska Native salmon people: Anna Hoover, Erin Gingrich, Rochelle Adams, Drew Michael, Nadia Jackinsky-Sethi and Ilgavak Peter Williams. We invite you to celebrate salmon with us.
This past June we hosted our first Plein-Air at the Pratt art group with NOAA intern Kate Lochridge. These Plein-air groups are a collaborative effort with local artists We are having our next workshop with Metis Riley this Sunday August 28th from 11 to 1 pm.
The coordinator of our plein-air workshops and our front of house lead, Jenna Gerrety, interviewed Kate. Kate is from Bowling Green Ohio, where she is a double major in Marine Biology and Art. Her long term goals include working in marine conservation and creating scientific illustrations for papers and public education. She is currently in Alaska for the NOAA Hollings Internship program, structured similarly to an artist residency, at the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory. Below Jenna sits with Kate and discusses her internship.
Water babbles happily in the background as we settle in and break out our art supplies to speak with our featured artist- NOAA Intern and Hollings Scholar, Kate Lochridge.
Jenna: So how did you first learn about the NOAA internship program?
Kate: I knew growing up that I wanted to be a marine biologist, and as I was looking for internships at the end of high school I kept stumbling across the Hollings Internship.
I wasn’t old enough to be eligible at the time- you need to be a sophomore in college going into your third year.
So I put it on my calendar as a senior in high school and two years later the notification popped up! I applied and I was very, very, very excited to be selected as a recipient.
Jenna: How does art play a role in science communication, and how do you utilize your skills as an artist to reach people?
Kate: I think science is so interdisciplinary, there is no way you can go about communicating it in just one way. Art can come in and attract viewers who possibly don’t have the background to dive into a super long scientific article, but whose attention may be caught by a graph, a plein air piece, or a conceptual abstract piece. These types of things can really draw people in, showing them the background they need to pursue questions and fall down rabbit holes like: What does this phenomena do? What happens in nature when XYZ occurs?
I think that art is a great way to target a broad audience because it expands on what is available to people.
Jenna: How does working and doing art in the field impact what you do, and how does it benefit your work?
Kate: I think one of the biggest things I have discovered is the impact connections have. For example, just being out here on the Pratt trails if someone walking along were to stop to chat- people are very interested in what you are doing, especially when you are sitting on a trail painting. They usually feel comfortable coming up and asking you about yourself and the work that you are doing- that in itself is a way to reach people and expand on what you are trying to teach.
It’s crazy how many people, whether they are scientists, artists or educators, come up to you and make a connection- then it’s like oh! Well, did you know about this? And this and this? These conversations and cross disciplinary discussions push people further in learning- which is really cool, because that is both for me and for the person I’m talking to.
Jenna: What has been your favorite project to work on so far, and what are you currently working on?
Kate: Oh I don’t know, that is a hard one!
This past year I have had the amazing opportunity to be a part of two different projects. One of them was my honors project, which I developed while I was in school. I used watercolor as a medium to paint issues like the causes, effects and solutions to harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie- the kicker is that I created the watercolor pigment myself and it was all made from the biomass of harmful algae blooms! It got a lot of attention and it was really interesting to see the reactions because many people in the area learned a great deal from the project. I got a lot of feedback – from “oh my gosh this is so cool” to like; “How does this happen? Can you give me more details? What other sources can I look into” ect.
So that one was a really cool project- the other project that I think is tied up for my favorite (before my current work) was in the spring. I was selected to be a designer for some public parklets in downtown Bowling Green Ohio. It’s essentially a community space designed to be functional as an extension of the sidewalk, but I designed it to complement the idea of community. Asking questions like: What does this mean from an ecosystem perspective? And how do humans fit into our ecosystem? In Bowling Green we have this really amazing habitat called the Great Black Swamp, it is a very important part of our identity so I really enjoyed tying that in and referencing all the amazing things we have around us.
Now, as to where I am today, I am working with the Kasitsna Bay Lab and Kachemak Bay National l Estuarine Research Reserve as an Artist in Residence/Hollings Scholar to create a work that targets issues surrounding sea level change in Southcentral Alaska. I’m trying to tease out some background information so that we can have future discussions that really push us as a society to address and be proactive when it comes to sea level change.
Participant question: what are some sources from which you draw the greatest inspiration?
Kate: Oh that’s also a good question!
Part of my inspiration comes from what’s around us, so revisiting background research that I have done-whether that is on glacial melt or thermal expansion of water etc. and drawing on volumes of literary research on sea level change & the differences that are happening around various coastal regions of Alaska has been really important.
Also, going out into nature and doing plein air drawings of specific examples that I find- that way I can see what it looks like from the perspective of someone who is walking around and looking from the ground, not necessarily a drone or an airplane, though those photos are beautiful!
So I find inspiration in that, and also I draw a lot of inspiration from my fellow interns both at Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Kasitsna Bay and the UAF EPSCOR team, they have both been incredible sources of inspiration.
Participant question: So relative to what you thought before you came here, and now having been here up in Alaska in South central and Kachemak Bay for a while, what surprised you? People come into Alaska with ideas maybe about how Alaska is, and sometimes it’s in line and sometimes it’s different than what they expect. What was your experience with that?
Kate: I think one of the things that surprised me the most was the whole environment around here- and the social perspective on life is so incredibly refreshing. I didn’t think I would ever be able to find this except in historical novels- but the integration between everyday life and the natural world is just mind blowing. And the interdisciplinary work that everyone does around here, whether it is art, science communication, economics, engineering- everything just ties in together and plays a role in the larger system.
Even the fact that you can be walking down the road, and someone just driving along can slow down, roll down their window and just talk to you! And it’s awesome how many conversations you can have just with people passing by and asking how you are doing. Questions like: Are the salmon berries ripe today? It’s things like that you know? I didn’t think I would be able to find that in the world, so it’s pretty amazing.
Jenna: Thank you so much for being with us here today to get outdoors and make art! For the people who are interested in your work, where can they find you? Where can they keep up to date with what you are doing and what you are all about?
Kate: Yes! So on August 5th from 5 to 7 PM I will be presenting my artwork in an open gallery night over at Homer Council on the Arts. I am also working on a website to continue promoting the work and I’ll hopefully continue doing collaborations around the state to broaden the target range of my project documenting what is going on with sea level change.
I want to give a huge shout out and thank you to everyone who supported me, including my mentors, Kris Holderied and Nicole Hinsman- without them I would not be where I am today and I am so grateful!
(interview edited for length and clarity)
Thank you so much to Kate for being our first featured artist- if you are an artist who would like to participate or be featured in a future Plein Air day please contact the museum at email@example.com.
The Pratt Museum and Park is hosting an exhibit in collaboration with the World Arts Festival in Homer, AK. The exhibit is opening September 2 at our First Friday in the downstairs gallery where admission will be free. The exhibit is entitled Universal Connections: Bringing Us Together and is a mix of photographs from around the world curated by Sarah Borgen. It is a collaborative exhibit showcasing artwork from local artists.
More on the theme of Universal Connections
Throughout our lives, we get caught in a whirlwind of concerns, thoughts, and anxieties only to briefly pierce the interpersonal veil and see ourselves in the eyes of others. These insights can define our lives by how we sense interconnectivity with all people and each person’s unique experiences of life.
“Universal Connections: Experiences Bringing Us Together” is a collaborative photo exhibit of moments where we see ourselves in each other, a shared encounter of being human.
An example of what the exhibit will showcase…
To have Tea is To Share Tea – Jeffrey Eide, Sri Lanka 2009
Saman spotted me in the market in Haputale, Sri Lanka. Labeling me as a friend and insisting I join him for a cup of tea. “To have tea is to share tea” It was more than a catchy slogan, Saman lived this value. His eyes blinked slowly like a comfortable cat and his voice calm with wisdom. I felt a profound sense of connection to someone who I would never see again. He sometimes speaks to me in dreams. This is the effect we have on each other, his presence has reminded me.
A Mother’s Gratitude – Jeffrey Eid Sri Lanka 2009
“What is your mother’s name?” My local friend had informed me she asked. We met at the store while I was trying out local snacks. Her name eludes me today. With a series of brief exchanges, I asked her about her children, and could see a sense of disconnection, of loss. When I asked her if I could take her picture, she agreed, on condition that I sent it to my mother and expressed my love.
We just wanted to say thank you to those who have given to the Pratt Museum through there PFD. If you’d like to give a portion of your PFD to the Pratt it’s not too late to do it.
As long as you have applied for your PFD online by March 31, additions, withdrawals, or adjustments may be made until August 31. This includes donations to eligible charities such as the Pratt.
Directions on how to give-
Go to https://pfd.alaska.gov/ and select the green “Add or Change Your Pick.Click.Give. Donation” button.
You will be prompted to enter your name, social security number, and date of birth. Once you click “Enter,” your PFD application details will show your PCG charitable contributions to date and provide a button to “change” your contributions. Follow the prompts to add new donations.