Alaska, Arts, Education

AVTEC dorm gets beautiful new art

AVTEC public art designer Kristin Link with her first floor artwork. Heidi Zemach photo.
AVTEC public art designer Kristin Link with her first floor artwork. Heidi Zemach photo.

by Heidi Zemach for SCN –

Each of the new AVTEC dormitory’s rather drab hallways, now have interesting tile artwork that give a sense of the natural wild beauty of the outdoors. The building’s latest artwork was funded by the Percent for Art program used for state buildings that contributes one-percent of building costs to commission art work to help make each building unique, and more livable.

The designs of artist Kristin Link of McCarthy, Alaska, won the competition. She based the imagery off the natural environment of Seward, but a lot of it is also iconic to Alaska, such as the salmon, streams, and moose footprints, so AVTEC students coming from across the state, will appreciate it. She painted three different paintings on paper, then scanned the images and sent the images to Amy Baur and Brian Boldon, whose ceramic tile business is called “In Plain Sight.” They fabricated her design onto sturdy tiles, which were put together and mounted onto the walls of each floor by Dewey Forbess of Forbess Floor Covering, in Wasilla.

AVTEC dorm's third floor has this new forest floor tile mosaic by Kristin Link. Heidi Zemach photo.
AVTEC dorm’s third floor has this new forest floor tile mosaic by Kristin Link. Heidi Zemach photo.

 

 

 

Advertisement

 

 

 

In keeping with AVTEC’s culinary arts program, Link’s art focused on wild edibles, and each one matches the color scheme of that particular floor walls. The ground floor artwork depicts the ocean floor, with halibut, ling cod, rockfish, sardines, crab, shrimp and kelp. The second floor art has a salmon stream. The third floor is a lush forest with wild berries, mushrooms, and even some moose footprints.

Link was very excited to win the Percent for Art commission for the AVTEC dorm, which was her first foray into creating public art. “It’s a great opportunity for artists I think. What’s cool about the project is you get to work in other materials than you normally would,” she said. “And these aren’t huge, but a lot of public art projects are on a different scale than you’re normally able to work on.”

AVTEC dorm's second floor hallway has this new salmon stream tile mosaic, designed by Kristin Link. Heidi Zemach photo.
AVTEC dorm’s second floor hallway has this new salmon stream tile mosaic, designed by Kristin Link. Heidi Zemach photo.

“The art is kind of part of the community and the culture. That was part of the considerations we put into it, and plus the surrounding areas, the forest the ocean the mountains the rivers and streams,” said Dano Michaud, who works at AVTEC, and was a member of the art selection committee. The dorm corridors have a rather industrial, school-type atmosphere, he said adding: “Art’s always a good thing for people’s well-being and it just instills imagination.” The tiles give the hallways a little “pizzazz.”

The Percent for Art in Public Places is one of the state programs targeted for elimination due to state budget cuts, unfortunately, Link said. The Alaska Legislature passed the Percent for Art in Public Places statute in 1975 requiring that one percent of the capital construction costs of public buildings go for the acquisition and permanent installation of artwork.

Advertisement

Comments are closed.