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ALASKA PENINSULA/BECHAROF: Refuge Hosts Artist in Residence this Summer
Alaska Region, September 1, 2011
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Allan Dreyer with portrait of Mt. Chiginigak reflected in Mother Goose Lake, Alaska Peninsula NWR
Allan Dreyer with portrait of Mt. Chiginigak reflected in Mother Goose Lake, Alaska Peninsula NWR - Photo Credit: Tom Prang, USFWS VIP
The artist with his portrait of Mt. Peulik and the Ukinrek Maars, Becharof NWR.
The artist with his portrait of Mt. Peulik and the Ukinrek Maars, Becharof NWR. - Photo Credit: Tom Prang, USFWS VIP
Dreyer's paintings of Brooks Falls (Katmai National Park) and Mt. Peulik (Becharof NWR) at a recent showing in King Salmon, Alaska.
Dreyer's paintings of Brooks Falls (Katmai National Park) and Mt. Peulik (Becharof NWR) at a recent showing in King Salmon, Alaska. - Photo Credit: Julia Pinnix, USFWS

Volunteer and artist in residence, Allen Dreyer recently completed two landscape portraits for Alaska Peninsula/Becharof National Wildlife Refuges as part of an Artist for Public Lands program in cooperation with  Katmai National Park. Allan produced works of art for both the Park and the Refuge. Artist in residence programs are found throughout the United States and Canada and typically offer professional writers, composers, and visual and performing artists the opportunity to pursue their discipline while being surrounded by the inspiring landscapes and wildlife found on public lands.

The USFWS supports involvement in the arts through the popular Federal Duck Stamp competition; and some refuges (such as Necedah NWR in Wisconsin and Ridgefield NWR in Washington) offer artist-in-residence programs. Julia Pinnix, Visitor Services Manager for Alaska Peninsula/Becharof NWR cooperated with with Katmai NP staff to bring an artist in residence to King Salmon.
This summer’s artist was landscape painter, Allan Dreyer from Tacoma, Washington. This avid “meadow rover” and artist has created many paintings inspired by Mount Rainer National Park. Many of his paintings are donated to adorn park offices or support local fundraisers. Allen’s interest and notoriety in painting landscapes drew him to Alaska.
Allan traveled to the Brooks Camp, and Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai NP and took photographs. Upon returning to King Salmon he choose photographs which represented the Park to create his paintings. The first painting captures the brown bears fishing at a waterfall, the second is a portrait of the thick pyroclastic deposits at Ukak River in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, left from the massive eruption of Novarupta 99 years ago.
Next it was on to seeing Alaska Peninsula and Becharof refuges, but weather made an over flight difficult. Instead, Allan based one of the paintings featuring the refuge on a photograph of Mother Goose Lake and Mt. Chiginigak taken by Law Enforcement (LE) Pilot Jim Wittkop. During a short break in the summer’s wet and windy weather, Allan finally got on a flight over the refuge. Based on pictures taken during this flight, Allan completed the second painting of Ukinrek Maars and Mt. Peulik.
All of the paintings, including several small studies, were on view on Sunday, August 21, at an evening reception for employees and friends of both the Refuge and Katmai NP. The Refuge portraits will be framed locally and hung in the office building, joining a photographic exhibit on salmon found throughout the refuge headquarters building.
The 79 year-old Allan remarked about his time in Alaska, “The overflight of the refuges was one of the highlights of my life, as well as the brown bear that walked within arm’s reach of me while visiting the Brooks Camp. I hope to return to Alaska as a volunteer artist for other refuges.”


Contact Info: Julia Pinnix, 907-246-1211, Julia_Pinnix@fws.gov



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