Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 1961

"Fairbanks Artists Are Planning Busy Winter"

A group of Fairbanks artists and their friends gathered for a potlatch Friday evening in Patricia Kniffen’s studio in Slaterville to discuss plans for a busy season of exhibitions.

The group was informed that Joseph Fejes planned to open Fairbanks’ first art gallery in the near future. The gallery will be located in the basement beneath Fejes’ business. The gallery will feature a series of exhibitions by top Alaskan artists and is a long-awaited step forward in Alaskan culture.

Visiting artist Alfred Skondovitch, who has exhibited in New York galleries, gave a talk and led a discussion on modern art. Guests sat on the floor and were served buffet style.

Several Fairbanks artists plan to send their top work for consideration by the jury for the forthcoming 47th Annual Northwest Artist’s Exhibition held each year in the Seattle Art Museum. Open to artists from Alaska, this exhibition draws several thousand entries yearly of which only approximately 150 paintings are selected and shown. Very few Alaskan artists have ever been honored by having their work accepted for the Northwest Annual Exhibition.

The potlatch signals the start of a coordinated effort to make the Fairbanks area and Alaska much more art-conscious than it has been in the past and to introduce Alaska’s top artists to the public.