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Anchorage Museum news: Annette Bellamy's new artwork reflects 38-year fishing career

“Floating” on view Sept. 6 through Nov. 10 at the Anchorage Museum

On Friday the Anchorage Museum’s prestigious solo exhibition series debuts exciting new work by Halibut Cove artist and commercial fisher Annette Bellamy.

In her solo exhibition, “Floating,” Bellamy premieres work inspired by her 38 years as a commercial salmon and halibut fisher, including large-scale clay installations suspended from the ceiling.

Her latest artwork suggests nautical forms, but speaks to the fine balance of life — the things that make us float and sink and how we navigate the journey.

Bellamy’s life on the water contrasts with the earth-bound material she gathers for her artwork. She relishes the work that goes into both endeavors — the physical labor, the dependence upon one’s hands — as well as the repeated forms she finds in the fish, buoys and nets.

Her suspended constructions hint at life on the water. One installation made from small boat forms floats and gently moves, suggesting balance, currents and invisible lines of connection. A series of oars are symbolic of how we navigate, not just through the water, but also through relationships and transitions.

For the piece “Out of Water,” Bellamy abandons clay for fish skin, sewing together a quilt piece by piece from the material of her livelihood. It’s this authenticity that makes Bellamy’s work so tangible and tactile.

For Bellamy, the most beautiful objects are those with design and purpose. It is those objects that become part of our everyday lives and, therefore, extensions of us. Over time, it is these objects that offer the truest narrative of time well spent.

Museum visitors can meet Bellamy and learn more about the exhibition during free First Friday programs. Bellamy answers visitors’ questions in the gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, and she offers a teen program at 6:30 p.m. that night.

In 2006, Bellamy won a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award. This is her first solo exhibition at the Anchorage Museum. 

This exhibition is presented as part of the Patricia B. Wolf Solo Exhibition Series. The Anchorage Museum is grateful to the Alaska State Council on the Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the Municipality of Anchorage; and the Anchorage Museum Foundation’s Alaska Airlines Silver Anniversary Fund for ongoing support of the museum’s important solo exhibition series.

ANCHORAGE MUSEUM

The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to share and connect Alaska with the world through art, history and science. Learn more online at www.anchoragemuseum.org.

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