Spring With The Palmer Museum


This past winter and continuing through this spring, the Palmer Museum has been focusing on its historical collections storage. 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. 

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. 

Beginning in March, 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. A special artist’s reception is scheduled for Saturday, April 8th from 2PM-6PM during Palmer’s April Art Walk. To learn more about the Museum’s upcoming temporary exhibits, visit the Museum’s website http://palmermuseum.org/past-exhibits/.  

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 palmermuseum.org/untold-stories/ no later than April 6th and join our growing family of local storytellers.

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