Artist in Residence - Ernest Gruening State Historical Park


Go to Arts in the Parks

The Artist-In-Residence program provides an exceptional way for artists to share the scenic beauty and recreational resources of Alaska State Parks through the talents of artists.

The purpose of the Artist-In-Residence program is to encourage artists to create work inspired by Alaska’s state parks. Artwork created during this program will embody the scenic attributes of Alaska State Parks for present and future generations. The artwork will also provide park visitors and the general public a unique way to experience parks through the eyes and ears of the contributing artists.

As Jim Leach, an artist during the 2015 program, explained, "The experience of the Artist in Residence Program was a highlight of our summer. The historic aspects of the (Gruening) cabin and surrounding area were wonderful. The surrounding scenery and the chance to meet (by chance) many locals from the surrounding area was interesting, enjoyable and enlightening. Everyone we met was inquisitive about the program and seemed happy we were there."

If you'd like to see the artist bios from last year's Artist in Residence program, check out the Past AIR page!

Alaska State Parks is excited to expand the Artist in Residence program in 2018. This year we will have three locations available for artists.

Ernest Gruening Cabin:
A residence at the Ernest Gruening Cabin will offer artists an opportunity to pursue their artistic discipline while being immersed in the captivating landscape of Ernest Gruening State Historical Park. Selected artists stay in the Ernest Gruening Cabin for up to two weeks from May through September. APPLY HERE!

Butterfly Lake Cabin:
Nestled on the shores of Butterfly Lake a small host cabin provides a picturesque location to explore Nancy Lake State Recreation Area. Selected Artists stay at the Cabin for up to two weeks during a spring session (February 15- March 15) or for up to two weeks in fall (August 1- September 30). Information coming soon. APPLY HERE

Halibut Cove Ranger Station:
Across the bay from Homer, Alaska is the perfect spot to hide away and explore your artistic talents while gazing upon Kachemak Bay State Park. Selected Artists stay at the Ranger Station for two weeks to a month from October to April. Information coming soon. APPLY HERE

2016 Artist in Residence Program

Ten talented artists have been selected for the 2016 summer Alaska State Parks artist-in-residence program, which runs from May through September at the Ernest Gruening State Historical Park. This year’s artists are Joan Pardes, Patti Jouppi, Bruce Sink, Christine Fortner, Glenda Field, Rob Roys, Naona Wallin, Bob Winfree, Sandy Winfree, and Keren Lowell.

Participating artists stay for up to two weeks at the scenic and historic Ernest Gruening Cabin, near Amalga Harbor approximately 24 miles north of Juneau. Artists are asked to donate an original work of art inspired by their time at the cabin and to host a workshop or other community engagement. The first artist to participate in the 2016 program is Joan Pardes, an artist and writer from the Juneau area who began her residence on May 1.

Now in its second year, the purpose of the artist-in-residence program is to encourage artists to create work inspired by Alaska’s state parks. It also offers visitors and the general public an opportunity to see state parks through the eyes of contributing artists. As Jim Leach, an artist during the 2015 program, explained, “The experience of the Artist in Residence Program was a highlight of our summer. The historic aspects of the cabin and surrounding area were wonderful. The surrounding scenery and the chance to meet (by chance) many locals from the surrounding area was interesting, enjoyable and enlightening. Everyone we met was inquisitive about the program and seemed happy we were there.”

2016 Artist Profiles

Joan Pardes

Joan PardesA former journalist, Joan Pardes currently works in public relations.

Her non-fiction work has appeared online and in print including Alaska Magazine's Anthology: The Last Frontier: Incredible Tales of Survival, Exploration, and Adventure. After years of telling other people’s stories, she is now trying her hand at fiction.

A 2015 Pacific Northwest Writing Association's Literary Contest finalist, Joan's work has also appeared in Cirque: A Literary Journal (novel excerpt), Tidal Echoes (poem), and 360 North's Writers Showcase (essay).

Recent writing workshops include the New York State Summer Writers Institute (2015), Tin House Winter Retreat (2016), and several 49 Writers (Alaskan non-profit supporting the literary arts) classes.

Joan lives in Juneau and is excited to be the first writer to participate in the Ernest Gruening Historical State Park’s Artist in Residence Program.

Patti Hutchens Jouppi

Patti H JouppiPatti Hutchens Jouppi is a long time Alaskan wildlife artist who now makes Juneau home. She paints predominately landscapes in oil and watercolor with their wild inhabitants as focal points. If the subject calls, sculpturing would be her preferred method. She has shown her works in Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Hawaii. Currently Jouppi (a former science instructor with the University of Alaska Anchorage) has undertaken an 'art with a purpose' focus, creating shows with a theme and pieces that educate about the subject. 'Feathered Feats' her recent show at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center highlighted migratory birds that are indicators or research subjects for ecological studies. Jouppi is also a supporter of our State and National Parks and loves to draw attention to all they have to offer us as she draws much of her reference material while visiting them. Her residency at Gruening Cabin will showcase the changing Intertidal Zone Southeast Alaska. Jouppi's works can be seen at her own studio/gallery, Mendenhall Glacier Studio and Gallery on Glacier Spur Rd, the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, and at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in the Alaska Geographic Shop.

Workshop Detail: Saturday May 28, 2016
Alaska State Parks/ Gruening Cabin Artist in Residence
Open House: 10:30-12. Background of Art in Park, Gruening Cabin and Artists 'Art with a Purpose'
Artist Workshop: 12-2pm. 'Color Value in a Grey World' Artists of all levels are encouraged to attend this free workshop on how to prepare a true color value of the marine/rainy environment of Southeast Alaska. Oil paint will be used but artists may choose their own palette. Art supplies will not be provided so please bring your own plein air supplies. Work will be conducted outside or on the covered porch so dress appropriately. Beginning artists are encouraged and help will be provided to encourage your development.

Bruce Sink

Bruce SinkBruce Sink studied art at Columbus College of Art and Design. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Otterbein College. Bruce has worked in several mediums and has chosen to concentrate his studies on watercolor and egg tempera. His subject’s concentration is on the world around him and includes landscapes, wildlife, still life and people. Bruce focuses his work on control of light, color, texture, viewpoint and composition to create dramatic, but pleasing images. His goal is to take the viewer beyond simple images and create feelings that tell stories.

He has a passion for nature and is an avid outdoorsman. He has traveled throughout the world and has been to the Arctic Circle on several adventures. Bruce paints in watercolor, egg tempera, oils, acrylics and he also does stain glass work. Bruce has taught watercolor painting for several decades and has judged many art competitions and exhibits. Bruce conducts watercolor workshops each summer in Homer Alaska at Homer art and Frame. Bruce is member of the Arizona Watercolor Association, American Watercolor Society, Kachemak Bay Alaska Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society. He is a nationally recognized watercolor painter. He was in the National Watercolor Society’s all member show in 2011.

Bruice in KatmaiBruce has participated and won several juried exhibitions including the Central Ohio Watercolor Society, Arizona Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, the Ohio State Fair, Artreach Hawaii exhibit, and the Westerville Arts Festival. Gallery exhibits include the Fireweed Gallery Homer AK, Carousel Gallery Ohio, Nationwide Gallery Ohio, and the Columbus Ohio museum of Art Collector’s gallery. His works are in several public and private collections. Bruce has lived in many parts of the United States including Arizona, Alaska, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. He now makes his home in Arizona and Alaska his wife.

Christine Fortner

Christine FortnerFor many years, Christine Fortner has worked in watercolor and acrylic. Recently she has renewed her interest in oil painting. Christine taught watercolor classes in Alaska for 25 years, in addition to conducting workshops throughout the state. Her paintings have been accepted into many local and international exhibitions and have been published in several books and magazines. The most recent publication featuring her acrylic painting is AcrylicWorks 3: Celebrating Texture, which is a Northlight Art Books publication, released April of 2016. Her work also in Anchorage Museum collection and she is a Signature Member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters as well as the Alaska Watercolor Society.

Christine states:

"My paintings convey a moment in time. The way light hits certain objects is the first thing that catches my eye. Dramatic lighting can turn an ordinary scene into one of emotional power. Inspiration can come from common things like the chaotic mess of twisted branches, or wind swept trees trying to grow on old rocks. Sometimes it is the reflections on water or the transparency of glass that draws my attention. Whether painting in oil or acrylic, I try to paint the essence of my inspiration so that the viewer can feel the same excitement. Although my style is representational I like to enhance the colors and use the broadest brush strokes possible. My goal with composition is to simplify shapes enough so that if the details were taken away the painting would have a strong abstract design. I want each artwork to resonate with its own balance and poetry.”

Glenda Field

Glenda FieldAfter raising my family and retiring from my career as a Speech Pathologist in the Fairbanks School District in Alaska, I was finally able to explore and learn about painting, which has become a pursuit of joy. Living near the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, I was able to participate in the Fairbanks Summer Art Festival for several summers. Here I learned skills in watercolor and oil painting, taking classes from Vladimir Zhirhartsev, Don Kolstad, Judy Brown, and K Holman. It was exciting seeing what these artists could accomplish in so little time.

In 2009, I found time to illustrate a children’s book, Atiska Ataska Charlie’s in Alaska, co-written with my good friend, Anne Canterbury of Eagle River, Alaska. Then in 2013, my husband and I moved south to the Mat Su Valley near Anchorage to enjoy the warmer temperatures. We now live in the country outside of Wasilla, Alaska where we are near many trails and recreation areas. We love to walk, hike, and bike, enjoying the amazing beauty this part of the state has to offer.

Along with living in this new area, I have enjoyed making new friends, and am on the board of the Valley Fine Arts Association, which is a highly energized group of artists doing many activities. I have enjoyed participating in the Machetanz Arts Festival by taking several classes. I was also able to take a workshop in acrylics from Jennifer Bowman, thus increasing my skills in other mediums. I also had paintings accepted into the 41st and 42nd Watercolor Society Exhibition, which is a big honor for me. I now have goals of painting each day, whether it be acrylics, oils, or watercolors. I feel fortunate to have such an outlet for my creative energy and to be doing something I love to do. There’s nothing that compares to staring at a blank canvas and imagining the possibilities!

For questions regarding other works for sale and pricing, you may contact Glenda personally at 907-987-4033 or at

Rob Roys

Rob Roys PhotoRob Roys is a lifelong Alaskan artist born in Cordova. Rob was raised and makes his home in Juneau. Rob is known primarily as the creator of abstract paintings derived from the Alaskan landscape. His work has been shown in numerous shows throughout Alaska and is in the collections of the Museum of the North and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. Rob and his spouse own and operate Two Crow Studio and Gallery in downtown Juneau.

While in residency at the Ernest Gruening State Historical Park, Rob will be preparing a new series of paintings inspired by his residency. These works will be displayed at an upcoming show at his downtown gallery. 

Naona "Peaches" Wallin

Naona Peaches WallinNaona "Peaches" Wallin is an adventurous Nature Photographer who lives with her husband Jason in Ketchikan, Alaska.  Her formative years were spent living in a remote homestead her father built on a neighboring island. It was during this time that her creativity ignited as a way to ward off cabin fever.

Peaches sold her first photograph after being urged by a friend to enter a juried art show.  This experience has inspired her to create a website, show her work at local art fairs, and make submissions to local news outlets. Photography has given Peaches the opportunity to develop creatively while combining her passions for nature and adventure.

While attending an Art Wolfe seminar titled The Art of Photographing Nature, Peaches heard the following quote by Elliott Erwitt, and she feels it best describes her photographic style. "To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place...  I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”


Bob Winfree

Bob WinfreeMy 40-year career as a scientist and advisor to the National Park System (retired 2015) enabled me to travel to many extraordinary places, from the deep canyons and high deserts of western North America, to Alaska and the Siberian Arctic, and more.  These magical places, their natural wonders, ancient and traditional cultures, and other mysteries have inspired my photography and international-award-winning series of publications called Alaska Park Science.  In 2009, I branched into painting and blogging as other ways to share my experiences, interests, and insights. As with photography, my painting tends towards natural realism, accurately detailed landscapes, wildlife and people.  I frequently experiment with new materials and techniques, while often returning to acrylics because of their exceptional versatility, fine colors, and permanence.

Since 2010 I have been working on a continuing series of paintings entitled “Wild Alaska” to document the natural and cultural heritage of Alaska's parks, refuges, wilderness and other public lands. Thus far, most of my paintings in the “Wild Alaska” series have been based on images recorded during short trips into these areas for work or other reasons. Through this Artistic Residency, I hope to take sufficient time to explore patterns of light, water, wildlife and people on the landscape; to observe and record details that are easy to miss on shorter trips.

Sandy Winfree

Sandy WinfreeI just love to create fine art, wearable art, and fiber art that is beautiful and gives pleasure to the viewers.  I enjoy the creative process and have been active in artistic pursuits throughout my life.   I have been a scenic beauty fanatic, especially in regards to park lands, since age 2, when I fell in love with mountains.  Nature inspires my art in composition, color, and texture.

My purpose for this Artist-in-Residence experience is to derive inspiration from the setting for my artwork.  I want to translate the pleasure I derive from nature and culture into artistic endeavors to be enjoyed by others.  I am a multi-disciplinary artist and I select my medium to best express the visions that I derive from experience.

Keren Lowell

Keren Lowell Photo
Photo courtesty of Cody Swanson

I grew up in a small town in western Colorado, and have lived and travelled throughout the United States. I started making art in college, from the perspective of an interdisciplinary thinker and maker. Although I come from an academic background in terms of art training (a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and an M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago), I think I work mostly intuitively and viscerally. I most often use textiles and textile processes in my work, which moves freely in and between the realms of sculpture, installation, performance and wearable art. I realized early on that textiles and fiber as a medium are capable of moving fluidly and cross boundaries in a way that other more traditional materials might not, and I am challenged by the inherent language and metaphor intertwined with the materials and processes associated with fiber work – stitching, mending, repair, weaving, lacing, braiding.

I moved to Alaska in 1994, and taught art classes (especially as the fiber program coordinator) until recently through the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Mat-Su and Anchorage. I work full-time at the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and am a volunteer board member of the International Gallery of Contemporary Art. I keep an active studio practice, and have been included in curated and juried group exhibits, most recently, my solo show ‘Groundwork’ at the Anchorage Museum in 2014.

I was awarded a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist fellowship this year. With this support, I have been able to confirm my participation in three residencies this year (the Wrangell Mountain Center, this residency at the Gruening State Park Cabin, and at the Vermont Studio Center), and look forward to connecting with other creative people across the state and in the lower 48.