Eklutna Lake to host art weekend

State’s ‘Arts in the Parks’ program in its second year


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This community art project was created during the first “Arts in the Parks” event, held in Denali State Park in August 2011. The first “Arts” event of the summer, called “Easels in the Elements,” will be held June 2 and 3 at Eklutna Lake State Park. Project coordinator David Griffin said the Eklutna event will put an emphasis on “Plein air” painting, in which artists set up their easels outdoors and paint in the elements. Included in the two-day event will be guided nature hikes and educational presentations by Alaska State Parks. The event is free and open to the public.

Courtesy of David Griffin/Alaska State Parks

Easels will join kayaks and tents on the shores of Eklutna Lake this weekend for a new program designed to bring more artists into Alaska’s state parks.

Project coordinator David Griffin said “Easels in the Elements,” a two-day event (June 2 and 3) sponsored by Alaska State Parks, is part of a broader “Arts in the Parks” initiative began last summer by Parks director Dan Sullivan.

“It’s to get the public into the parks and experience Alaska’s state parks with an eye on art,” Griffin said.

The inaugural event was held last August at Denali State Park, an event Griffin said attracted more than 40 artists. During the day, he said artists dispersed throughout the park to create paintings, then returned to a common area in the evenings to discuss their work at a potluck.

The Eklutna Lake event will be similar. The emphasis will be on “plein air” painting, a French term that refers to working in the open air. And it’s going to happen rain or shine.

“There’s kind of that adventuresome spirit with plein air painters,” he said.

Griffin said the event will include some instruction and sample art supplies, though painters are encouraged to bring their own supplies. Other events will include arts and crafts workshops, guided nature hikes and a group art project. Griffin said a similar group art project from the Denali event turned out to be a lot of fun.

“You get some serious art and some not-so-serious art,” he said. “In the end you end up with kind of a mural.”

He said the events are laid back affairs that put an emphasis on letting artists do their own thing.

“It’s not super structured,” he said.

The event is free and open to the public.

 

For more information, call Griffin at 269-8696.

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