Stay Busy With The Palmer Museum


As the snow begins to fade in the Valley, we are starting to see early signs of spring all around us – buds on the trees, warmer nights and more daylight. The staff of the Palmer Museum is also feeling more energetic as the promise of warmer months are close at hand. To help us all embrace the upcoming summer months, the Palmer Museum has a few opportunities planned to get the community out and about once again.

To start with, the Museum has another exciting episode of Untold Stories scheduled for Sunday, April 23rd. Originally beginning in May of 2016, the Museum developed the event so that it could bring together Mat-Su Valley residents to share their personal stories: funny, sad and sweet. At every episode (performance), seven people each tell a seven-minute long true story about themselves relating to the show’s theme. 

Local musicians perform a few songs before, during and after the performances. Proceeds made from ticket sales go towards supporting the Palmer Museum of History and Art’s events and programs. April’s episode theme is Spring Breakup and will be held at the Palmer Depot on April 23rd, from 6PM-8PM. Staff from the Palmer Downtown Deli will be selling snacks and refreshments.  

April’s episode will be featuring newcomers: David Cheezem, Barbara Hunt, Scott Oviatt, Vicki Randolph, Carl Seaver, Bert Verall and Kathleen Yerbick with a special historical perspective from Leif Kopperud and live music provided by Valley percussionist, Meggie Aube. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students with I.D. and are available at the Palmer Museum and B Bella Hair Salon with remaining tickets being sold at the door.  Be sure to purchase your tickets early though, as all past shows have been sold out. 

The museum not only focuses on showcasing history, but also preserving it. In past years, due to limited funding, the Museum has been unable to house its historical artifacts properly according to museum standards. 

Thanks greatly in part to the Rasmuson Foundation and Museums Alaska’s Collections Management Fund, the Museum has finally been able to tackle projects that have allowed it to slowly update its technology, software and storage capabilities over the last two years.  

Accomplishment of these projects reflects the Museum’s mission to preserve and protect the material culture of the Palmer region. One of the most recent projects the Museum has undertaken has been relocating artifacts into proper storage trays and boxes while also continuing to digitize the Museum’s historical photography collection.  

Most recently, in support of this project, the Palmer Museum was selected by the Alaska State Historic Records Advisory Board (ASHRAB) as one of two organizations within the state of Alaska to host and work with a journeyman archivist from the Lower 48. Archivist, Laura Frizzell, will be taking time away from her work with the Coca Cola archives in Atlanta, Georgia, to work with Museum staff for six weeks processing the Museum’s Alaska Magazine and Blue Photography collections.  

During her visit, she will also be assisting staff in properly organizing and developing finding aids for the Museum’s most recently acquired Odsather and Irwin collections which include photographs, documents and personal correspondences that the Museum hopes to give public access to online once it acquires funding to establish an online database.  As part of this project, the Museum hopes to also host another community open house which will include an invitation for the public to join Museum staff in learning more about how to properly house their own personal artifacts. 

As part of this project, the Museum will be hosting a community open house at the Palmer Depot on May 30-31 from 12PM–7PM, which will include an invitation for the public to join Museum staff in learning more about how to properly house personal artifacts. 

During the open house, Museum staff and volunteers from other Valley museums will be available to show the public how to make storage containers for historical objects as well as provide information on how to properly care for them.  

The Museum will also be offering an exchange program where the public can sign up to get personal instruction that will allow them to build a storage container for one of the Museum’s historical objects and in return, receive the supplies and assistance for them to build a storage container to take home for their own personal object(s). For more details about this event, please visit the Palmer Museum’s website at  

Just as it is focused on preserving the history of Palmer, the Museum is also committed to supporting our local art community through its Temporary Exhibit Program. 

Continuing through April, the Museum will be hosting the third year of its Mat-Su Valley juried high school art exhibit, Beyond the Classroom. Beyond the Classroom is open to all high school students, grades 9-12, that are enrolled in a high school program (public, home school or alternative).

As part of the exhibit, representatives from Mat-Su College Art Department, Valley Arts Alliance, Valley Fine Arts Association, Palmer Arts Council and the Palmer Museum will be reviewing all submissions. Participating artists will be given review sheets with comments and suggestions after the exhibit with a special participation gift provided by Blaine’s Art Supply in Anchorage.  

Prizes will also be awarded for outstanding work from each media: painting, drawing, sculpture/ceramics, photography and mixed media and one lucky student will also be awarded a Best in Show based on a 50/50 score with 50% based on public popular vote taken at the Museum from March 15th – April 7th and 50% based on the jury panel’s review.  

The exhibit is designed to showcase our younger artists in the community while encouraging them to continue making art a part of their lives.

Finally, don’t forget to save the date for the Palmer Museum’s annual soirée at the Palmer Depot on Saturday, May 6th from 6PM-9PM. 

During the event, the Museum will be hosting its annual membership drive which helps sustain the organization and allows the Museum to continue preserving and promoting the history, art and culture of the Palmer region. Guests will have the opportunity to learn more about the Museum’s upcoming temporary exhibits, programs and events including the opportunity to view the Museum’s 2016 Art Acquisitions.  

Festivities include food catered by Humdinger's Gourmet Pizza, Arkose Brewery serving up pints (for a small fee), fundraiser games, live music and more! The evening will also offer guests a special preview of this year's Garden Art Faire and attendees will be able to take advantage of the Palmer Wine Walk ticket pre-sale! Admission to the event is $15 per person and free for all active Museum members in good standing. Tickets will be available at the door or can be purchased in advance at the Palmer Museum.

The Palmer Museum is staying active this spring, so be sure to visit the museum website at for more information about its upcoming exhibits, programs, events and opportunities to get involved!