This summer, local artist Andrew Brooks took on a large-scale project for the Northern Center, painting the 40 foot conex in our backyard. 

Andrew uses his art to focus on promoting environmental conservation. When he moved from Colorado to Alaska, he immediately started looking for ways to be involved with local environmental organizations, and came across the Northern Center. He reached out about opportunities to support our work with his art, and after some conversation, Andrew happily accepted the opportunity to paint a mural on the conex. 

Although this was such a large project, Andrew says he followed essentially the same process he uses for any of his work. He started working in his sketchbook, and used the conex measurements to plan how he would scale the work up and bring the piece to life. 

Living and working on these lands, Andrew says, has been unlike any other experience. “I am grateful and humbled to be a visitor here. Each day, I’m reminded how much there is to fight for, and to not take a single thing for granted.”

In Andrew’s work, he aims for the viewer to feel that same sense of reverence for the natural world. He says this mural was an incredible opportunity to do just that. In designing the piece, Andrew took inspiration from everything about the Northern Center, taking into account the lands, ecosystems, staff members, and even the Northern Center sign out front. Reflecting on the work, Andrew said, “I hope the conex now serves as a representation of all the amazing work they have done, are doing, and will continue to do.” 

See more of Andrew’s work on his instagram at @reww_rewwart.  

The Northern Alaska Environmental Center is now beginning to accept applications for our 2023 featured artist. Each year, we select an artist whose work embodies the spirit of Northern Alaska, and features an original work on publicity materials. We look for an original piece by an Alaska artist to be featured on our event publicity and fundraising materials throughout the year, with the original piece being auctioned in the fall/winter. The featured artist will be compensated and a contract will be negotiated individually with the selected artist. If you are a visual artist interested in contributing an original work this year, please send your CV and links to your website and social media to Alex Petkanas at alex@northern.org by December 20. The Northern Center encourages BIPOC candidates to apply. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

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