Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline

Cruisin' the Fossil Coastline features fossils, paintings, hand-drawn maps, drawings, as well as light and audio installations by artist Ray Troll. The exhibition focuses on the vast span of geologic time and evolutionary history of the West Coast of North America, reaching from Baja, California to Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska.

With a focus on the population-rich areas of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska, this exhibition is accessible to a broad range of audiences interested in what surrounds them in their everyday environments.

The project is a collaborative effort that combines the science writing of Kirk Johnson, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and the art of Ray Troll. In addition to being a museum director, Johnson is a geologist, paleontologist and science writer. Troll is an artist and musician based in Ketchikan, Alaska, who is best known for his iconic public art, books, graphic designs and imagery.

Traveling Program: Curated Conversations

The museum curates conversations as much as we curate exhibitions. While the U.S. chairs the Arctic Council, the Anchorage Museum is hosting conversations on issues important to the circumpolar North as part of our Polar Lab series.

Traveling Program: Cabin Fever Film Series

In the North, prolonged cold and darkness drive us into our homes, and often into ourselves. Some people use the term “cabin fever” as a synonym for “bored” or “stir crazy.” But for Northerners, cabin fever is much more complex and extreme. It can be a catalyst for bursts of creativity, and it can also trigger deep despair. Cabin fever is a shared experience across Northern latitudes. In Iceland, it’s skamdegistunglindi. Norwegians say mørketiden, meaning “murky days,” and Athabascans call winter solstice idzaanh ledo, or “day of sitting.” Like Alaskans who suffer through long winters, experimental filmmakers often work in darkness and isolation. The Cabin Fever film series showcases experimental films that explore themes akin to cabin fever, including loneliness, eccentricity and dark humor.

Wrangell Mountain Skyboys: Making History Above Alaska's Copper Belt

This exhibition of historical photographs documents pioneering 1930-era bush pilots such as Charles “Harold” Gillam, Merritt D. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick, Merle “Mudhole” Smith, and Bob Reeve, “the Glacier Pilot.”

Florian Schulz: To the Arctic

Although the common perception of the Arctic is that it is a vast nothingness, Florian Schulz’s photographs reveal a world teeming with life amidst complex natural systems — systems that fuel our global economy and affect our health and environment. An award-winning wildlife photographer, Schulz photographs throughout the circumpolar North, from Alaska to Canada, Greenland and Norway. To capture these images, he and his crew endure subfreezing temperatures, camping on ice sheets, diving beneath icebergs, and riding on dogsleds. His photographs reveal the vast scale of the Arctic plain, which is host to migrating birds from around the globe, as well as the yearly migration of thousands of caribou. They also expose how the loss of polar ice and snow is dramatically altering the fabric of Arctic life on land and sea.

Stick and Puck

Approaching the world of hockey not simply through the lens of a fan, but rather as a cultural observer, Conti sees many of society's "norms" and expectations played out on rinks around the North and the U.S. He has created hockey pucks with teeth and Percocet inside them and carved hockey sticks from driftwood. A mask sculpture, instead of being an example of protection, is covered in stitches. A mixed media “penalty box” depicts brain injuries.

View From Up Here: The Arctic at the Center of the World

Interest in the Arctic has preoccupied explorers for hundreds of years, and that fascination with the North continues today. View From Up Here: The Arctic at the Center of the World is an international contemporary art exhibition that highlights contemporary investigations into the Arctic – through the perspective of artists. The exhibition conveys a complexity of place and people through film, photographs, installations, and sculptures that highlight Arctic cultures, landscape, scientific research, and visions of the future. Participating artists include: Nicholas Galanin (Alaska), Anna Hoover (Alaska/Washington), Jeroen Toirkens (Holland), Derek Cote (Michigan), Marek Ranis (North Carolina), Christoph Kapeller (California), Paul Walde (Canada), John Grade (Washington), Magali Daniaux and Cedric Pigot (France), Mary Mattingly (New York), Annesofie Norn (Denmark), Bryndis Snaebjornsdottir and Mark Wilson (Iceland/England). The exhibition will have components throughout the museum, from formal galleries to an atrium "living room" and installations in common spaces and outdoors. It is accompanied by public programs, including performances and temporary installations in the museum and out in the community. A corresponding publication supports examination of the North beyond black-and-white perspectives.

Portraits of Place: The Arctic in Photographs

The predominant stereotype of the Arctic is that it is a place untouched. Portraits of Place breaks open the idea of a pristine landscape and replaces it with a North that is both inhabited and complex. Within this context, the artists in this exhibition examine the Arctic through contemporary photography that conveys a sense of place through human impact and lifeways. These portraits explore the Arctic in Alaska, Greenland, Canada and Russia in the work of Olaf Otto Becker, Brian Adams, Tiina Itkonen, Evgenia Arbugaeva and Acacia Johnson.

Camouflage: In Plain Sight

Camouflage: In Plain Sight expands beyond the familiar associations of camouflage to explore how we work to be seen and unseen. Through the lenses of natural history, military history, art, design, technology, fashion and popular culture, Camouflage highlights the contrast between the functional and cultural. Included in the exhibition are historical objects, natural history specimens, items from popular culture, and major works of modern and contemporary art by artists like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Cindy Sherman.

Without Boundaries: Visual Conversations

Indigenous leaders, activists, artists and scholars address common misperceptions about the North, fostering critical commentary about these issues through the exhibition “Without Boundaries: Visual Conversations.” The exhibition inspires dialogue across disciplines and platforms through a series of public programs and art installations. Artists involved include Edgar Heap of Birds, James Luna, Shan Goshorn, Da-ka-xeen Mehner, Jessie Kleemann, Nicholas Galanin, Charlene Teters, Barry Pottle, Larry McNeil, and Emily Johnson.