My Favorite Stop on the Kenai Peninsula
I like art galleries (note: different than museums), but rarely base my trips around them. The Norman Lowell Gallery in Anchor Point, Alaska along the Kenai Peninsula is one of the exceptions.
Our hostess had recommended the gallery along with the Bear Creek Winery, and told us the artist’s story. He had come out to Alaska in the 1940s as a Homesteader and had started painting. He was now in his 80s and several years ago he had lost all sight in one eye, and 90% in the other. But he was still painting!
When we saw it on our way back from the Homer Spit we decided to stop. There was nothing about the modest “Gallery” sign and flags that would have otherwise suggested it was significant. We pulled up to the deceptively modest building and headed inside.
It was a wonderland of Alaska landscape paintings, interestingly enough done in several styles — very detailed versions with light applications of paint and other very impressionistic approaches with paint applied with a knife. Impressively, the artistic had been painting both during the same time periods.
And my favorites? Those consistently turned out to be the ones painted in the last several years after Norman Lowell had lost most of his sight. They were the most vibrant in color and bold in brush stroke.
The best part of the (free) visit? Getting to meet Norman Lowell! We hadn’t been in the multi-room gallery more than 5 minutes before a gentleman in an electric scooter came up to greet us. It was him! He chatted with us a bit, welcomed us, and then returned to one of the other rooms where we could talk to him later.
Don’t miss the amazing picture of the Northern Lights that takes up most wall!
I wanted to get a picture with him but felt a little shy. I also was planning to splurge on a painting since I love Alaska and his artwork so much. That was until I saw the prices. Most pictures were $18,000 and up, a few were $8,000, and I did see a 5″x7″ of Mt McKinley I liked very much — a bargain at $1500. Ok, maybe a print? Those started at $700. I eventually left with a small packet of notecards for $8 and he very kindly gave me one of the DVDs for sale that tell his life story. I think I might have gushed a bit too much…
In addition to visiting the free gallery you can also see the original homestead he and his wife lived in for years. They since built a modest cabin nearby where they currently live.
An incredible experience and since I’ve heard Norman and his wife are at the gallery most days, not one you should miss if you’re in the area!
More From This Trip
One of the Best Restaurant Views in North America
National Geographic Moment: Watching Salmon Run in Alaska
The Midnight Sun is Bad for My Health
Alaska Makes Wine!
Should You See Homer Spit?
Disappointed by the Soldotna Dump
Where to Stay on the Kenai Peninsula
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