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Railroad sets Annual Print Sale-and-Sign Events

2017 artwork features Houston area and Sleeping Lady



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2017 artwork by artist Taffina Katkus features the Houston area.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Railroad (ARRC) will make its 2017 annual poster/print available at a sale-and-signing event as part of the community’s Fairbanks First Friday program on December 2, 2016. The signing event will be held 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fairbanks Depot (1031 Alaska Railroad Depot Road). Alaska artist Taffina Katkus will be on hand to sign prints and posters.

Folks who stop by can enjoy light snacks and enter to win a free drawing for rail tickets valid for two travelers during summer 2017.

Entitled Moonlight Debut, the oil painting depicts a winter scene in which a locomotive moves through the new multi-track signal at the juncture of the mainline track and the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension track that is currently under construction. Sleeping lady is part of the mountainous backdrop. This is the second Alaska Railroad annual art print to feature the Houston area.

“The Alaska Railroad train — commandingly moving forward through a star-filled, moonlit night — is a powerful force to help Alaska forge ahead in this 21st century,” said Katkus. “With this in mind, I titled this painting Moonlight Debut.”

Katkus says she appreciates rail access to stunning Alaska scenery that she can then translate to the canvas. “As an artist, I consider the Alaska Railroad an inspirational way to travel into the wilderness and absorb ideas and perspectives that I can use to create paintings,” she said, noting that Moonlight Debut offers a unique new way to look at the Alaska Railroad train as a subject. “I loved challenging myself to pull all the elements together for this composition.”

During the Fairbanks event, the depot gift shop will be open to offer other items that feature the 2017 artwork (such as ornaments, mugs and coasters) along with other ARRC gifts and apparel. Following the signing events, prints, posters and pins will remain on sale at the Fairbanks Depot (and Anchorage Historic Depot), and may also be purchased online via the Alaska Railroad Gift Shop website at www.AlaskaRailroadGiftShop.com/. Signed and numbered prints cost $55, posters cost $30 and pins cost $5.

A resident of Wasilla, Katkus has called Alaska home for more than 45 years. She previously owned and operated a commercial sign shop for 30 years and currently works full time as a professional artist. Katkus also painted the artwork that was the basis of the 2009 and the 2012 Alaska Railroad prints/posters.

Renowned artist John Van Zyle produced the first official Alaska Railroad painting in 1979. Since then, the annual tradition (except in 1984, when no painting was released) has evolved into a popular collector’s item. More information about the Alaska Railroad’s annual art print program, including history and images of prints from the recent past, are available on www.AlaskaRailroad.com/Corporate > Click IN THE COMMUNITY > then Annual Poster Contest.

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