Exhibition Celebrating Alaska’s Birds is currently on view at Well Street Art Company in conjunction with the Alaska Bird Conference, a gathering of bird researchers.The group show offers an opportunity to see how Alaska artists view the state’s thriving bird population.From the smallest chickadees to the majestic eagles, nearly every species is represented: puffins and ptarmigans, red polls and robins, woodpeckers and whimbrels, sandhill cranes, sandpipers, owls, phalaropes, ducks, cedar waxwings and snow buntings. So many birds – flying, feeding, nesting. They are rendered in every imaginable medium: oils, acrylics, watercolours, pencil, ink, ceramic, glass, wood and metal. The show is a visual delight, truly a celebration of Alaska’s avian and artistic diversity.T Mike Croskrey’s “Tlingit Warrior” is a monumental carved wooden sculpture, a pair of stylized bird profiles surround a central, masklike, horned and bearded head. The breastplate of wooden slats is meticulously wrapped in twine and coppery raffia creates the illusion of a dance cape. The figure’s mouth is opened as if to speak or chant.Its exact opposite is Naomi Hutchen’s “If You Like It, You Should Put A Bird On It.” The smallest, most fragile twigs are lashed together with copper, brass and silver wire, and tiny, airy birds formed of the same wire are indeed “put on it.”T Mike Croskrey’s ‘Tlingit Warrior’ is a monumental carved wooden sculpture. A pair of stylised bird profiles surround a central, mask-like, horned and bearded head. The breastplate of wooden slats is meticulously wrapped in twine, and coppery raffia creates the illusion of a dancer’s capeIris Sutton’s birds appear on large canvases with her own unique pastel colorations, while Mary Beth Kaufman’s common murres are beautifully rendered in a watercolour so small and delicate, it might easily be overlooked.There are plenty of ravens, common ravens and not so common ravens. “Punk Raven” by Hannah Foss springs out at the viewer from the wall, talons thrusting, eyes wild, feathers a bilious green. Jan Raven Stitt’s close-up of a single raven captures the iridescent complexity of a raven’s blackness. “Young Hipster,” Vladimir Zhikhartsev’s stellar jay, glows with subtle lighting. Harrison Carpenter captures the crowded flurry of shorebirds perching, landing and taking off from coastal cliffs as two calm, wise-looking puffins in the foreground look on. There are funny birds by Fairbanks cartoonist Jamie Smith and there is whimsy in Melissa Simpson’s fiber piece, “Oyster Catchers Beneath Red Volcanos” and in Michele Croskrey’s multi-media, three dimensional assemblages of found objects.Two examples of masterful woodcut prints are Yumi Kawaguchi’s “Snow Buntings” and David Mollett’s mandala-like “Crane.”The Well Street Art Company is located in the railroad industrial area at 13014 Well St. and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The exhibit will be in place until April 3.Published in Daily Times, March 22nd 2019.