Janice Wright Cheney, Spectre

Perhaps no creatures better reflect the climate, landscape and culture of Alaska and the Arctic than the walrus and polar bear. Power and vulnerability coexist within these giants living in a massive Arctic – a distinct region known for its own striking contrasts. They are animals nearly without equal in size and strength. Yet perhaps their greatest strength – and weakness – comes from the ability to adapt to a changing world and a warming climate. Their lives have entwined with humans for centuries. To the first peoples of the Arctic and sub-Arctic, walrus (aiviq) and polar bear (nanuq) each have been predator, co-habitant, sustenance and spiritual ally. To generations of artists and culture-bearers, these remarkable creatures are both material and muse. They have been revered for centuries, studied by scientists, commodified by pop culture and manipulated by politicians. Through the lens of artists and artworks from Alaska and around the world, this 8,000-square-foot exhibition at the Anchorage Museum explores the ways these iconic animals offer important insight into the culture of the North and its complex future.



Anchorage Museum Donors
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Lloyd Eggan and Penny Cordes
Erik & Robin Hill
Steve and Katie Turner



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Scientist Spotlight: Aiviq & Nanuq

5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28

Join us for scientific exploration of the important Northern mammals highlighted in the Aiviq & Nanuq: Sea Horse and Sea Bear of the Arctic exhibition. Hear from Todd Atwood, PhD, a USGS wildlife biologist whose research focuses on polar bear ecology and population dynamics. Examine artistic accounts of sea ice, polar bears and walruses in the gallery to inspire conversations about the current status and future outlook for these animals in a rapidly changing climate. These events will include a presentation of current science research by a local expert and a hands-on activity. $10, free for members.

Pictured: Janice Wright Cheney, "Spectre"

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Scientist Spotlight: Aiviq & Nanuq
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