While the KUAC Poster Signing Event has been canceled, there is still a wonderful poster! Simply visit the KUAC Friends page to order yours today.
Todd Sherman has been drawn to art since he was a young child, but got serious about it as a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Sherman’s acrylic painting “Polar Portrait” is KUAC’s 2020 poster. Selected for its soulful, yet whimsical nature, the piece resonates with members of UAF’s Nanook Nation.
After earning a B.A. in art at UAF in 1979, Sherman worked as a wildland firefighter and a bear guard before studying for an advanced degree in art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. Returning to Fairbanks, Sherman continued a wide variety of work experiences, including engineering, surveying and drafting, drawing designing roads and subdivisions as well as teaching as an art adjunct.
Even while working to become a professor and eventually dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Sherman took time to create art. “I would commit myself to a solo exhibition and that way I’d have to get the work done,” he said.
Oils were Sherman’s preferred medium until three children joined the family. Out of concern for their safety, he switched to acrylics, which dry faster and can be cleaned with water. Animals are a major focus of Sherman’s work. “I sometimes throw people into that category,” he said. “I draw mostly mammals but some birds and fish. I prefer predators because their eyes are in front of their heads and most are social like us.”
Sherman has created many paintings of polar bears, as the Nanook is UAF’s mascot. “Polar Portrait” was commissioned by UAF to present to Sherry Modrow, former Chancellor Brian Rogers’ wife, to thank her for her efforts on behalf of the university. The vital, appealing painting comes from the unique perspective of putting an animal in a portrait situation.
Sherman’s goals as an artist are to create more artwork but that can be challenging. “It doesn’t always work out,” he said. “I feel like the work is never completed yet it’s very enjoyable and satisfying to create art work.”
As for agreeing to loan his work to KUAC for the 2020 poster, Sherman said he has listened to and watched the public broadcasting station ever since he came to UAF. “It’s a daily part of my life. We listen to FM in the morning and watch nature shows on KUAC TV in the evenings.”
When he’s not working, Sherman enjoys cross-country skiing with his wife Kristi Sherman, bicycling and observing nature and society to get ideas for future artwork. He still teaches printmaking and drawing at UAF. “I want my students to realize that this life is incredible,” he said. “Drawing renews the wonder that we had as children. I encourage students to reach out, observe and hopefully understand the world better.”
Each $60 or more donation gets a poster. Pick up yours today on the KUAC Friends page or by calling (907) 474.7279.