Kes Woodward’s “Daybreak,” which beautifully and uniquely captures the magical light of the boreal forest, is KUAC’s 2017 poster.
This is KUAC’s 34th poster and the first time Woodward has been featured. He said his heart leapt up at the prospect of one of his paintings becoming a KUAC poster. “I am so utterly delighted and deeply honored,” Woodward said.
Asked to describe his artistic style, he said, “When people who don’t know my work ask me what I paint, I tell them I make big abstract paintings that happen to look like birch trees. Most people who do know my work would say I paint birch trees, or the North woods, or since I paint mountains, rivers, seas, glaciers, skies, and falling snow almost as much as the forest, might simply say that I paint landscapes of Alaska and the Circumpolar North.
“Really, no matter which of those subjects I’m painting, my work is all about light–the extraordinary light of every season, here in the North.”
Born in Aiken, South Carolina, in 1951, Kes Woodward earned a B.A. in art at Davidson College and a master’s of fine art at Idaho State University. He moved to Alaska in 1977, and served as curator of visual arts at the Alaska State Museum and as artistic director of the Visual Arts Center of Alaska before moving to Fairbanks in 1981. He is a professor of art, emeritus at UAF, where he taught for two decades, serving as chair of the Art Department and chair of the Division of Arts and Communications. He serves on the board of the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation and on the board of trustees of the Western States Arts Federation.
Woodward’s paintings are included in all major public art collections in Alaska, and in museum, corporate and private collections on both coasts of the United States. Solo exhibits to his credit include the Morris Museum of Art, University of Alaska Museum, Alaska State Museum and the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. Juried and invitational exhibitions including his work have ranged from Alaska to Brazil and Russia.
Also an art historian and curator, Woodward has published six books on Alaska art, including the first comprehensive survey of the fine arts in Alaska, “Painting in the North” and “A Northern Adventure: The Art of Fred Machetanz.”
In 2004, Woodward received the Alaska Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and in 2012 he received the Rasmuson Foundation Distinguished Alaskan Artist Fellowship.
Find out more about Kes Woodward: keslerwoodward.com