Creating more vibrant public spaces through placement of permanent art in & around the Palmer core.
United Way of Mat-Su is thrilled to announce we have been selected to receive an AARP Community Challenge grant. We are one of only 184 grantees selected from across all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
With this “quick-action” grant, United Way of Mat-Su will work with our local artists, neighbors, community champions, and arts organizations to solicit submissions of permanent, locally and culturally relevant art pieces, to be installed along a local, public trail. These art pieces will enhance our town, addressing one of the City of Palmer’s top priorities for improving and rejuvenating our parks, public trails and recreational fields. Its close proximity to our local senior center, schools, and neighborhoods will make art pieces easily accessible to all ages, celebrating local art, artists, culture and history.
UWMS and the Board will work closely with the City of Palmer, community partners, and the Parks and Recreation Board to determine ideal locations for art installations in the Palmer core area. We are excited to advance this project to completion, highlighting the history, culture, spirit and uniqueness of our home.
Art pieces are projected to be installed in late spring, with a public event to be held shortly thereafter. Please check back here for updates, and follow us on Facebook!
Congratulations to our selected artists!
These four local artists’ work will be permanently installed at several locations around the Palmer core, creating an accessible, unique public art installation that we hope to add to in years to come! Read more about our artists below:
Alida Van Almelo, ceramics artist
Alida van Almelo received her Master of Fine Arts at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, after receiving a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the State University of New York at New Paltz. In 2016, she was awarded the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship for her ephemeral clay installations, and in 2017, Alida received the Bronze Prize and was in the top ten for the Viewer’s Choice Award at the 9th World Ceramics Biennale in Icheon, South Korea. In 2020, Alida installed her solo show, “Dynamic Worlds” at the Fairbanks Arts Association’s Bear Gallery. She has been an artist in residence at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and in the Alaska State Park system. She currently runs her own studio in the Mat-Su Valley of Alaska, where she seeks inspiration from the intangible space between physical experience and the immensity of the natural world. Her active lifestyle provides access to that source of inspiration, which she translates through hand-building techniques in clay.
“My name is Allie Harvey, and I’m an artist, which is something that I’ve had a hard time getting my brain around! I’ve been painting since I was 16. I started painting because I had been drawing a lot growing up. I was, weirdly for anybody who knows me now – it’s kind of an unexpected history for me, but I grew up really asthmatic, so I was kind of trapped in bed. While I was there, I did a lot of drawing magazines and drawing inside of my closet. I outgrew my asthma with the help of several environmental factors, but at some point, when I was 16, a mentor encouraged me: “Okay, you like to draw, try painting.” I did try painting around the same time that I developed a fascination with Alaska and ended up coming out here. So now my work… tends to be really colorful and pretty realistic. It’s all acrylic on canvas. But it’s kind of combining my love of the reality of Alaska, what drew me here and kept me here, which is the amazing wild spaces that we have access to, with my love for sharing that.”
Rebecca Brubaker is an Alaskan sculptor who has worked within the field for over 20 years. She received a BFA in sculpture from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and and MA from Maryhurst College in Portland. In her studio, Rebecca prefers to use traditional sculpture materials including; bronze, wood, stone, and plaster but has also built a reputation for using non-traditional material in unusual ways. She has developed work that is influenced by her experiences in Alaska, being a parent, and by what is happening in the world around us.
Rebecca has completed public art projects in Anchorage for Ted Stevens International Airport, King Career Center, Rabbit Creek Elementary School and the Anchorage Archdiocese. Brubaker believes that Alaska and the Arctic regions are changing and are on the cusp of having a strong voice within the rest of the world. She plans to be a part of these changes by putting her experiences into meaningful work.
Questions? Call Michele Harmeling, UWMS Development Director at 745-5822 or CONNECT VIA EMAIL.