By Kim Schuster
The Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery (BRG) was delighted to welcome Kim Schuster’s exhibit entitled Science Observed Through Art: Unsung Species for December. The Back Room Gallery is now transitioning to Pop-up shows, but because Kim’s show is so popular, we are extending her stay in the BRG. Her show is a combination of artwork and information about Alaskan organisms. Kim is highlighting the beauty of species that are important to our way of life in Alaska as well as sharing her love of the lesser known animals found in the world’s oceans.
Kim has been fascinated by the ocean as long as she can remember. Growing up on the East Coast sparked her enthusiasm, and she eventually earned a Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz. Kim then earned a Master’s degree from UA Fairbanks (where she fell in love with Alaska) and moved to Homer after graduation. Kim works for the AK Dept. of Fish and Game and also works as a guide in the Antarctic in the off season. Exploring polar regions has given her a rich array of experiences to draw inspiration from.
Woodworking has been Kim’s passion since discovering the art form in Middle school. Her favorite tool is a scroll saw, which she uses to cut a single piece of wood into many individual units, each of which are finely sanded and painted before being glued back together to create the final product. However, working in very remote locations hardly allows for scroll saw work, so Kim learned to paint with watercolors as a way to create art while in the field.
Kim’s goal for her show is to share knowledge, awareness, and appreciation of less well-known organisms in Alaska and in our world’s oceans. She will be sharing these exciting animals through these two mediums. The first is wood segmentation as mentioned above. The second is her unique take on watercolor painting, where the paint is blown to create interesting patterns. In an effort to combine her science background with art, each piece will be accompanied by an explanation of the organism and some facts about their anatomy and life histories.
Kim Schuster’s Science Observed Through Art: Unsung Species show is still available for viewing. The gallery is currently open Friday through Monday, 11 am to – 5 pm. All are welcome to enjoy Kim’s unique wood segmentation pieces and watercolor paintings along with a great learning experience about different Alaskan organisms. You still have an opportunity to see Kim’s show!