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Exhibit reveals ‘art’ of fire science and management

Fairbanks, Alaska—Nine local artists will unveil work of inspired by fire, fire management and fire science at the exhibit opening of “In a Time of Change: The Art of Fire” at the Bear Gallery in Pioneer Park Aug. 3.

The First Friday opening will be 5-7 p.m. and the exhibit will be on display during gallery hours, noon-8 p.m. daily, through Sept. 3.

“The Art of Fire” is part of a larger collaborative effort led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Site to engage the arts, sciences and humanities in artistic exchanges regarding environmental issues, particularly climate change. Dubbing the network “In a Time of Change,” UAF has organized and helped fund similar events featuring visual, written and performance art in Fairbanks in recent years.

UAF’s Alaska Fire Science Consortium, a regional branch of a national fire science knowledge exchange network, spearheaded the exhibit. AFSC director Sarah Trainor saw “In a Time of Change” as an opportunity to bring new voices into conversations about fire science and management.

“This is really about building connections between the artistic talent we have in Fairbanks and managers and scientists throughout the state to promote awareness of fire and fire sciences in Alaska,” Trainor said.

Professional artists featured in the exhibit are: Sarah DeGennaro, painting and drawing; Amanda Ellis, sculpture and photography; Erinn Kathryn, mixed media and painting; Jessie Hedden, mixed media and painting; Yasunari Izaki, wood and metal sculpture; Phillip Marshall, wood sculpture; Jennifer Moss, painting; Ree Nancarrow, fiber; and Hanna Stevenson, metal and fiberglass sculpture.

The project also invited members of the public and the fire management community to contribute artwork for an open show, providing additional fire science information and perspectives. The community art show will open simultaneously in the Alaska Public Lands Information Center at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, which is open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. APLIC will also host a lecture series with discussions from project participants at 7 p.m. Aug. 8, 15 and 22.

Artwork in both exhibits is meant to include ecological and management aspects of fire in Alaska. The nine professional artists enjoyed exposure to the broad spectrum of fire management during four field trips. A fire simulation event, an ecological tour of Denali National Park and other interactions with scientists and managers served as sources of information and inspiration for the artists.

“One of the things we want people to be more aware of is the process, to see the science behind it as well as the pieces and parts that go into making fire and land management decisions,” said AFSC coordinator Jennifer Northway.

“The Art of Fire” project is funded by the Joint Fire Science Program.

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