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Railroad sets Annual Print Sale-and-Sign Events

2017 artwork features Houston area and Sleeping Lady


Alaska Railroad 2017 annual poster/print.

Image courtesy of the Alaska Railroad

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Railroad (ARRC) will release its 2017 annual poster/print at three public sale-and-signing events featuring artist Taffina Katkus, who will sign prints and posters. Folks who drop by can enter a free drawing for rail tickets.

·      WASILLA: Saturday, November 5 
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as part of the Mat-Su Holiday Marketplace event held at the Curtis Menard Memorial Sports Center (1001 S. Clapp Street)

·      ANCHORAGE: Saturday, November 12,
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Anchorage Historic Depot (411 W. 1st Avenue)

·      FAIRBANKS: Friday, December 2,
4 – 7:30 p.m., as part of Fairbanks First Friday event), at the Fairbanks Depot (1031 Alaska Railroad Depot Road)

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 Anchorage and Fairbanks events, the depot gift shops 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 Anchorage Historic Depot and the Fairbanks Depot, and may also be purchased online via the Alaska Railroad Gift Shop website at www.AlaskaRailroadGiftShop.com/.  Samples of the gift shop items will be available at the Wasilla event. 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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