Exhibit highlights polar bears, changing Arctic
Submitted by Kerynn Fisher
An arctic icon takes center stage in a new exhibit at the University of Alaska Museum of the North this summer. "The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World" opens May 16 and runs through Oct. 3 in the museum's special exhibit gallery.
With large-format color photographs by Steven Kazlowski, the exhibit takes visitors on a journey across the Arctic, showing the polar bears in all seasons. Kazlowski dedicated eight years to photographing the polar bears - from Canada's Herschel Island to Alaska's Point Hope - to document the effects of climate change on the polar bear's habitat and behavior. Intimate photographic portraits portray the bears' annual cycle of life from mothers with cubs to adolescents at play to adults on the hunt. The exhibit features more than 40 of his large-format photographs, some nearly life-size.
Accompanying panels and labels describe the bears' unique biology and the intricate arctic web of life to which they belong. Film footage of wild polar bears by independent filmmaker Arthur C. Smith, III and polar bear skulls from the museum's mammal collection also complement the photographs on display.
"Steven Kazlowski's photographs bring together art and science so beautifully and will make you feel like you're standing on the arctic coast. With polar bears making front-page news these days, this is also a very timely exhibit." says museum exhibit director Wanda Chin. "This combination makes 'The Last Polar Bear' the perfect summer exhibit for us, one that will resonate with visitors to Alaska as well as local residents."
The exhibit's companion book is available in the Museum Store for $39.95 (hard cover); essays by Charles Wohlforth, Nick Jans, Richard Nelson, Theodore Roosevelt IV and other noted authors complement more than 200 of Kazlowski's color photographs. More information about Steven Kazlowski and his work is available online at www.lefteyepro.com.
The University of Alaska Museum of the North is the only Alaska venue for "The Last Polar Bear." The exhibit was organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History at the University of Washington in partnership with Braided River, a branch of The Mountaineers Books in Seattle. The Fairbanks presentation is supported by the Ferguson Foundation, by the City of Fairbanks Hotel-Motel Tax Fund (re-grant by the Fairbanks Arts Association) and by contributors to the museum exhibition enhancement fund.
Admission to "The Last Polar Bear" is included in the museum's general admission price: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $5 for youth 7-17 and free for children 6 and under. Museum members also receive free admission. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily in summer (May 15 through Sept. 15). Information on the museum's programs and exhibits is available at 907-474-7505 and online at www.uaf.edu/museum.
CONTACT: Kerynn Fisher, University of Alaska Museum of the North communications coordinator, at 907-474-6941 or 907-378-2559.
NOTE TO EDITORS: High-resolution images from the exhibit and contact information for Steven Kazlowski are available upon request.