Image of artist, Michael Anderson, in front of one of his mural installations.
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Public Art

The Early Bear, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Kodiak Alaska

Creating a Bear Sculpture for Fish and Game in Kodiak was an interesting challenge. Kodiak’s bears have been studied and photographed extensively with live mounts being common. I felt a need to show accuracy, as well as, an unusual artistic perspective. I wanted the viewer to enjoy, but to question. It is relatively easy to see (and photograph) bears fishing in streams, and it is common to see them walking the beaches. By combining the splash of water fishing with the pursuit of the seal, I hoped to get a fun image that causes the viewer realize that a brown bear forages everywhere, and can stalk and eat whatever is available.

 

An Otter's Play, Ocean View Elementary School, Anchorage Alaska

Side view of the fish school kitchen installation.

View from outside the kitchen of the fish school kitchen installation.

Front view of the fish school kitchen installation.

An Otters play is never Done; in Anchorage Alaska's Oceanview Elementary School is an intertidal sealife relief. It is seven feet wide by three foot six inches high. It is mounted in the entryway of the school, low enough that the younger students can easily view and tactilely explore the art. Down the adjoining Kindergarten Hall are four medallions. The medallions are eighteen inches in diameter and offer different marine environments.

Side view of the fish school kitchen installation.

Side view of the fish school kitchen installation.

 

William Jack Hernandez Fish Hatchery Ceramic Relief Panels, Anchorage, Alaska

  “Twist and Turn” shows fish being transferred using a fish pump.  ”Window” shows a viewing window into a tank full of sizable Grayling.

The ceramic relief panels were created to meet not only the aesthetic needs of the space but also to educate the public to the processes and milestones of the life of fish in the facility. The fourteen pieces show the entry of fish to the hatchery, the manual egg take, brood and rearing phases, and the eventual release of fish to the wilds. Even the shapes of the panels themselves are calculated; round tanks, round buckets, round pipes, and pipe L bends, to emphasize the artificial world of the hatchery. He placed them in the most appropriate locations adjacent viewing windows where related activities might occur.

“First Swim” is a three foot diameter medallion. This panel shows the introduction of the first fry to the hatchery and the first swim ever by those tiny fish. The artist worked to capture the movement and patterns of 100,000 fry as a single instinctively schooling organism. The aquarium net and separation box reinforce the involvement of man. Aesthetically, it is a beautiful abstract, to a knowing viewer it is a realistic snapshot, and to a learning viewer it is a bridge to enlightenment. It is hung near the “start” viewing window where the viewer might at some time look fifteen feet down on a tank holding just weeks old tiny grayling fry being drip fed brine shrimp.

“Twist and Turn” shows fish being transferred using a fish pump. The fish travel backward as the water being moved by the pump carries them to the next destination.

”Window” shows a viewing window into a tank full of sizable Grayling. While highlighting that Grayling are reared in the hatchery the art plays with the unusual pattern of their scales. The Artist takes advantage of the dimensionality and extreme shine of the medium used to flash at the casual viewer walking by, just as the fish would.

An image of panels featuring a salmon queing up before going into holding tanks at the hatchery.

These four panels show salmon returning to the hatchery, they que up (far left), then are collected by the one way gates into the holding tanks(next panel from left), they are held in the shade, until they are ripe, and then the Egg take(far right) happens, where their eggs and milt are collected. The wonderfully iridescent purple fish represent the females, which are painted with iodine for disinfection during the egg take process

Eye to Eye, Valdez Ferry Terminal, AMHS, Valdez Alaska

Another intertidal mural featuring an octopus and a sea otter, installed at the Valdez Ferry Terminal. Image of an intertidal mural featuring an octopus and a seal, installed at the Valdez Ferry Terminal. Another intertidal mural featuring an octopus and a sea otter, installed at the Valdez Ferry Terminal.
 

“Eye to Eye” features a sea otter diving below the surface and coming eye to eye with an octopus. Surrounding this pair is the intertidal sealife of Prince William Sound. It is installed in the Valdez Alaska Marine Highway Terminal.

 

Anadromous, Mt. Eccles Elementary School, Cordova Alaska

Image of ocean predation of salmon mural panel. An image of the the whole An image of salmon caught in a net mural panel.
 
“Anadromous” is about the life of wild salmon and is located in the entry foyer of Mt Eccles Elementary School, Cordova, Alaska. The installation is made up of nine panels depicting a spawning bed, the stages from eyed egg, to fry, and predation of smolt in rivers, ocean feeding and predation , return to rivers. and caught in a gill net.
 

Dance of the Red Salmon, Sitka High School, Sitka Alaska

Image of a mural featuring spawning salmon, installed at Sitka High School. Another image of the spawning salmon mural, at Sitka High School. A closeup image of a bird in the Sitka High School mural. A closeup image of a salmon in the Sitka High School mural.
 
Dance of the Red Salmon is installed in the entry of Sitka High School. It is six feet wide by six feet high. This ceramic relief is based on the universal swimming patterns of red salmon as they dig reds and spawn. The relief also includes the full environment of a spawning bed; aquatic insects, other species of fish and bird life.
 

Paleomarine 7 Mural Series, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Natural Sciences Bldg.

An image of a mural featuring an interidal view of early ocean life. An image of a mural featuring an interidal view of early ocean life. An image of a mural featuring an interidal view of early ocean life. An image of a mural featuring an interidal view of early ocean life.
An image of a mural featuring an interidal view of early ocean life. Image of a mural featuring an interidal view of early ocean life. Image of a mural featuring an interidal view of early ocean life.
“Paleomarine 7” is made up of panels showing seven plausible marine environments of the Paleozoic Era. These environments show Cambrian, Ordivician, Silurian, Devonian , fresh water Devonian Carboniferous and a Carbo-Permian Seas. The Artist researched the fossil record and recent discoveries to piece together the images. The Art is installed in the Natural Sciences Building at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
 

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