Celebrating Fall With The Palmer Museum


As we bid farewell to the summer season and greet the oncoming fall, the Palmer Museum is still operating during its summer hours throughout the month of September which means it’s still open seven days a week, 9AM-6PM. Once October arrives, the museum transitions into its winter operational hours of Wednesday through Friday, 10AM-5PM and every second Saturday, 10AM-6PM. Although the museum’s hours will be changing soon, it has plenty events planned to keep those winter blues at bay. 

Read these words: “You don’t have a runner’s body.” “You would look so much prettier if you lost some weight.” “When are you going to dye your hair?” 

Horrifying comments heard on the latest episode of your favorite television sitcom? Dialogue taken from the latest novel you read? Sadly, no. These are just some of the negative body image remarks that have been spoken to several of the Palmer Museum’s “models” for its upcoming exhibit, The Art of Self Love. Inspired by New Jersey professional photographer, Jess Fielder’s “Project: Self Love”, the museum’s exhibit addresses the issues of female body image and how amidst a world filled with an abundance of visual media and the growing trend of body shaming, it’s important to remember that it’s not the packaging that matters but rather the contents. The idea of pretty is subjective and women should feel comfortable looking the way they want to look without feeling like they owe anybody. 

The Art of Self Love is comprised of several images taken of eleven local “models”, women who were selected because of the contributions they make to the Palmer community or the challenges they have had to overcome. Each model was asked to bare their bodies and step out of their comfort zone by dressing in a black tank top and black shorts or underwear and be photographed. 

During their photography session, they were asked to write down something that another person has said to them that negatively impacted their self-confidence. They were also asked to write down something that they believed was true about themselves that had nothing to do with physicality. The results are a unique collection of photographs that reveal just how impactful words can be and how when given a sounding board and being among other “victims” can be a healing and empowering experience.  The Art of Self Love will be on exhibit at the Palmer Museum beginning on September 26th and will run through October 21st.

At the end of October, the Palmer Museum will once again be hosting their annual Day of the Dead exhibit, Recuerdas: Reinterpreting Ofrendas, a collection of art work inspired by the Day of the Dead festivities held around the world at the beginning of November. The exhibit invites local artists to create their very own interpretation of an ofrenda, the personal altars used during the Day of the Dead holiday season. Currently, the museum is accepting submissions for this fall exhibit. Art work may be comprised of any media, any size and must be submitted at the Palmer Museum by Wednesday, October 26th, 5PM. The exhibit will be on display beginning Thursday, October 27th and will run through Friday, October 19th. Those interested in participating may also contact the Director, Selena Ortega-Chiolero, at 746-7670 if they have any questions or need to make special arrangements for their submissions.

In addition to the temporary exhibits the Palmer Museum has planned, it will kick of the fall season with its quarterly program, Untold Stories. Storytelling comes to the Mat-Su Valley in the tradition of Arctic Entries and The Moth.  Untold Stories brings Mat-Su Valley residents to the stage 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.  The next episode is scheduled for Sunday, September 18th from 6-8PM. 

As an added bonus for September’s episode, the museum will also be hosting an historical photography open house at the depot prior to the event from 10AM-3PM, as part of its PMHA Image Access Project. The open house will include guests representing other organizations from the valley, who will be on site sharing their photograph collections as well. The open house is FREE to the public.

Closing out the month of September, the museum will be hosting a presentation and book signing event. Sharing perspectives from Wealth Woman, her new biography of Klondike figure Kate Carmack, author Deb Vanasse joins Angela Yatlin Gonzalez, author of the popular “Athabascan Woman” blog, in a discussion of the historical, present and future roles of Athabascan women in the north at the Palmer Museum on Saturday, September 24th from 2-3PM.The Palmer Museum has plenty planned this fall so make sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss these rare opportunities to learn and be a part of Palmer history!

For more information about any of the Palmer Museum’s exhibits or events, please visit the museum website at www.palmermuseum.org or contact a member of the museum staff at 746-7668.   

About PMHA:
The Palmer Museum of History and Art is a non-profit museum that serves the community of Palmer in preserving and sharing the history and art of the Palmer region. The museum’s collections contain items that best depict region’s art history, exploration, settlement, agriculture, and trade, cultural and social development.  During the summer, May 1st-September 30th, the museum also serves as a Palmer’s Visitor’s Center and is open seven days a week from 9AM-6:00PM. The museum operates during the winter months from October 1st-April 30th, Wednesday through Friday, 10AM-5PM and second Saturdays of the month, 10AM-6PM.