Palmer Museum’s Temporary Exhibits


The Palmer Museum has always been about community and celebrating the history and people of the Palmer region.  For 2017, the Museum will be focused on showcasing this aspect in all of its temporary exhibits, associated programs and events. Through this, we hope to become a catalyst for community impact.

This year’s Temporary Exhibit Schedule at the Museum will be showcasing our local Valley artists, both young and old; educators and students while also broadening public awareness on contemporary issues concerning the American public and looking back on how far we’ve come. While the country is going through a government transitional period, its citizens have stepped forward and taken to the streets and social media to discuss topics they feel need to be addressed while also voicing their struggles, concerns and hopes for the future.  

As a way to help our local community through this period of adjustment, the Palmer Museum has decided to use its Temporary Exhibits this year to remind people that we are still neighbors and should celebrate our community and the people who live here.  With that in mind, we also want to remind our residents that being far removed from the rest of our country does not mean we should not stay on top of the issues, but rather strive to educate ourselves so that we can make positive changes for our future.  

Kicking off the 2017 Temporary Exhibit Schedule and continuing through the beginning of March is Apron Strings: Ties to the Past. This traveling exhibit from the Lower 48, generously being supported through a grant from Conoco Phillips, reviews the apron’s role as an emotionally charged vehicle for expression with a rich and varied craft history that is still viable today. The exhibit is comprised of 51 aprons dating from the late 1800s through the 1980s that examine the evolution of gender roles within the home.   

To help visitors connect with the exhibit, the Museum will be hosting a special evening reception with guest speakers from a variety of professions that require the use of aprons.

They will share the stories of their aprons and guests are encouraged to wear their own aprons and likewise, share stories. The event will be held on February 19th from 6:30PM - 8:30PM at Vagabond Blues in downtown Palmer. Tickets for the event are by donation and can be purchased at B Bella Hair Salon or at the Palmer Museum. All proceeds will go towards supporting the Museum’s remaining 2017 Temporary Exhibit Program.

Following the departure of Apron Strings; Ties to the Past, the Museum will be hosting the third year of its Mat-Su Valley juried high school art exhibit, Beyond the Classroom III. 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). Only one submission per student is allowed and art works can be comprised of any media, any size. 

Applications are available on the museum website at, or forms can be picked up at the Museum and Wasilla Museum. The Museum will be accepting applications until March 8th. Applications will be used to determine space requirements and other exhibit accommodations needed. Due to space limitations, the Museum will only guarantee acceptance of the first 25 applications and then open it up to additional entries with space permitting.  

Art work will be on display at the Museum March 11th through April 8th, with a special artist reception to be held during the Palmer Art Walk on Saturday, April 8th, from 2PM-6PM.  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. 

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 be given out to one outstanding work from each media: painting, drawing, sculpture/ceramics, photography and mixed media. One 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.

Continuing through 2017, the Palmer Museum’s Temporary Exhibit Schedule will include exhibits on local art educators and their students, farming in Alaska, women in politics, celebrating past loved ones, and the power of music as a voice for change. To learn more about the Museum’s upcoming temporary exhibits, visit the Museum’s website:  

Finally, don’t forget to save the date for the next episode of the Palmer Museum’s Untold Stories. 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 Untold Stories ticket sales go towards supporting the Palmer Museum of History and Art’s events and programs. April’s episode theme is Spring Breakup (and all that entails) and will be held at the Palmer Depot on April 23rd, from 6PM-8PM. Staff from the Palmer Downtown Deli will also be selling snacks and refreshments. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students with I.D. and are available at the Palmer Museum and B Bella Hair Salon. Be sure to purchase your tickets early as all past shows have been sold out.  

If you would like the opportunity to tell your story, the Museum is still accepting story submissions for this episode. Please submit your stories through the Palmer Museum website at no later than April 6th and join our growing family of local storytellers.

This year, there will be plenty to see and much more to learn at the Palmer Museum so be sure to stay up to date on our Temporary Exhibit Schedule, programs and events through our website and Facebook page so you don’t miss out on all the fun!