Past Exhibits: 2016
THE ART OF SELF LOVE - October 7 - November 18, 2016
“You don’t have a runner’s body.” “You would look so much prettier if you lost some weight.” “When are you going to dye your hair?” Disparaging comments heard on the latest episode of your favorite television sitcom? Dialogue taken from the latest novel you read? Sadly, no. These are just some of the negative body image remarks that have been spoken to several of the Palmer Museum’s “models” for its upcoming exhibit, The Art of Self Love.
Inspired by New Jersey professional photographer, Jess Fielder’s “Project: Self Love,” the Museum’s exhibit addresses the issues of female body image and how amidst a world filled with an abundance of visual media and the growing trend of body shaming, it is important to remember that it’s not the packaging that matters but rather the contents. The idea of pretty is subjective and women should feel comfortable looking the way they want to look without feeling like they owe anybody. The Art of Self Love is comprised of several images taken of eleven local “models,” women who were selected because of the contributions they make to the Palmer community or the challenges they have had to overcome. The images were taken by local up and coming photographer, Quentin Steinke. Each model was asked to bare their bodies and step out of their comfort zone by dressing in a black tank top and black shorts or underwear and be photographed. During their photography session, they were asked to write down something that another person has said to them at least once in their lifetime that negatively impacted their self-confidence. They were also asked to write down something that they believed was true about themselves that had nothing to do with physicality. The results are a unique collection of photographs that reveal just how altering words can be and how when given a sounding board and being among other “victims” can be a healing and empowering experience.
CHARGING THE MOUND: HISTORY OF THE MAT-SU MINERS - June 6 - September 30, 2016
The Mat-Su Miners are one of six college summer baseball clubs in the Alaska Baseball League that compete all summer long for the chance to go to Wichita, Kansas, for the National Baseball Congress (NBC) championship. The Miners have been through one name change, two National Baseball Championships and the building and renovating of their home field. Over 400 former Miners have played professional baseball including 72 who have gone on to the Major Leagues. Charging the Mound explores the Mat-Su Miners ball club history through a display of historical uniforms, equipment and fan merchandise. The exhibit offers a uniquely rare experience and a deeper look into a piece of Palmer, Alaska's version of the American past time.
2016 ART ACQUISITION - May 20 - June 4, 2016
Each year, the Palmer Museum of History and Art continues building its contemporary art collection as a means of demonstrating its commitment to support local artists and its responsibility to preserve those objects which lend historical and/or aesthetic significance to the Palmer community. In early April, the museum sends a call to artists in the area to submit artworks they would like to be considered for the Acquisition. Each piece is displayed in the May temporary exhibit to allow the public the opportunity to view them and then the winning selection is made by the Museum Board of Directors. The museum then purchases the artwork/s through the generous support of the Rasmuson Art Acquisition Fund which is administered through Museums Alaska.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM - April 1 through May 7, 2016
The Palmer Museum of History and Art has had the pleasure of showcasing many artists in the Valley, however, like many art venues, we sometimes overlook the members of our younger artist community. We often forget that every artist has a beginning and often, their creativity begins at a young age. In support of their efforts and as a means of encouraging them to continue making the arts a part of their lives, we collaborated with several art organizations in the community to create the juried art exhibit, Beyond the Classroom. The exhibit is focused on not only showcasing the talents of our young people but also to provide them feedback on their work that can help further their development as an artist.
The art work on display was created by student artists, grades 9 through 12 that are currently enrolled in one of the following five Valley schools: Houston High School, Mat-Su Central School, Colony High School, Palmer High School and Wasilla High School. For some of these artists, their exposure to the arts is limited within their high school curriculum since their school does not possess an art department. Yet they still find a way to create; a way to express themselves. For this reason, the exhibit is an important way to acknowledge their efforts and we commend them for their dedication, vision and persistence. Please join us in exploring the world from a new perspective and hearing the voices of the young artists in the Mat-Su Valley.
The Palmer Museum would like to thank the following groups for their support in this exhibit, which would not have been possible without them:
Blaines Art Supply
Joe’s Cheap Art Stuff
Mat-Su College Art Department
Palmer Arts Council
Valley Arts Alliance
Valley Fine Arts Association
REFLECTIONS OF PALMER - December 2015 - February 29, 2016
A portion of the collections of the Palmer Museum includes historical photograph prints, 35mm slides and negatives amounting to over 2,200 images with only 110 images that have been accessioned. The Museum receives numerous research and temporary usage requests of its photographs but are unable to accommodate them due to majority of the photographs not being organized into any accessible format. Furthermore, there are multiple organizations in the community who maintain similar historical photograph collections but do not have the resources to make them available to the public. To address these problems, the museum has developed a photography collections management project that has been made possible by a grant from the Collections Management Fund of Museums Alaska, with the generous support from the Rasmuson Foundation that will focus on three areas of need: image identification, storage and management, and accessibility.
Several of the photographs in the museum’s collection contain images of locations, people and/or events that are unidentifiable. The image identification phase of the project will include a three night open house at the Palmer Train Depot on February 10th, 11th and 14th, where the museum’s collection will be on display for the public to view and help identify.
The second phase of the project, storage and management, will include the purchase of an Epson Perfection V800 photo scanner and a 4TB external hard drive. Presently, the museum does not own a scanner that is capable of scanning multiple media and capturing high quality images. Up until now, it has had to scan its images off-site using borrowed scanners. The Epson Perfection V800 captures the precise color and detail needed in digital archives. It has a 6400 dpi resolution, a 4.0 Dmax and an innovative dual-lens scanning system that ensures high quality results regardless if you are scanning slides, negatives, medium- or large-format film. It also offers a robust feature set that includes Digital ICE Technologies to automatically remove dust, scratches and surface defects. Once the images are scanned and identified, they will be accessioned into the museum’s collections which are managed in PastPerfect version 5.0, the most commonly used museum software available. The external hard drive will serve as a backup. After being scanned and catalogued, the original images will be transferred into proper archival materials.
The accessibility phase of the project has been delayed until the remaining funding can be acquired but will include the temporary hire of a local freelance graphic and web designer. The designer will assist the museum in establishing an online Palmer Photo Bank that will include images from the collections of: the Palmer Museum, United Protestant Church of Palmer, St. Michael’s, and the Palmer Public Library. In development of the site, the designer will evaluate and identify the web-site’s goals and priorities based on design and content, create mock-ups and wireframes to visualize optimal layout, upload content and content refinement, write custom code and create filters and toggles for a wider range of accessibility. He will also train key staff in how to maintain and manage the site. The Photo Bank will be structured based on the Johnson County History Page which was a successful community project in Kansas funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences a few years ago.
Reflections of Palmer consists of only a small percentage of the images within the Palmer Museum’s historical photography collection and serves as an example of the heritage the museum is trying to preserve. Photographs range from 1930’s Palmer up to 1983. Although some of the locations depicted no longer exist, it is important to know that they were once there so that so that the memories are never lost.
It is the hope of the Palmer Museum that the Palmer Photo Bank will not only help visitors see this portion of the museum’s collections that cannot be on display but also that it eventually evolves and grows with the further participation of other local entities. This evolution will allow it to become a true community database offering visitors a reliable source for historical information while providing researchers and history enthusiasts alike, further means of assisting them in their investigations.