Tag Archives: scott clendaniel

Our First 1% for Art Project

~ by Maria Benner

We recently completed our first 1% for Art project.  What is 1% for Art?  Here’s a short summary of the law.  The State of Alaska and the Municipality of Anchorage recognize that it is the government’s responsibility to foster the development of culture and the arts through the purchase or commissioning of works of art for municipal buildings, schools or other municipal facilities. So 1% of capital expenditures for municipal buildings and facilities are devoted to the acquisition of works of art to be permanently placed or incorporated in such buildings or facilities.  When there is a need for art, the State, or Muni requests proposals from artists for specific locations.  Many artists apply for these opportunities, and the competition is pretty stiff.  Artists from outside Alaska can apply too, making competition even tougher.  We’ve been submitting proposals for a couple years, and our list of rejections was getting pretty long.  But finally, we submitted a proposal for bicycle racks at Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks, and our project was accepted!  Then we had to submit a proposed budget, proof of insurance, a notarized and signed paper promising that we don’t have employees, so we’re not required to get Worker’s Comp insurance, and some other paperwork, before we were all set up to proceed with the fun part.

We recently had an epiphany that opened up many more opportunities in the public art realm.  We realized that we can hire fabricators to create installations, or sculptures that Scott designs.  Now we can propose pieces of art made from metal, glass, wood, anything!  Before, we were just responding to requests for murals, or paintings.  So Scott designed three bicycle racks that would be installed in front of the building.  They were shaped like a moose rack, a bear with a salmon in its mouth, and spruce trees.  We hired a local fabricator in Fairbanks, Warren from Alaska Ornamental Iron.  We chose him, because we had seen his work at a neighbor’s cabin in McCarthy, and his business seemed very professional.  When we called him, he said he could do the work, and promptly sent us a bid.

When Warren came to town on a work trip, he stopped by our studio, and we discussed the designs.  Scott made some tweaks, and sent them to Warren in various file formats.  Then Scott and I flew to Fairbanks to scout locations for the bike racks, and to meet with the school Principal, and maintenance manager.  We all discussed, and agreed upon the locations, and they approved the final designs.

Warren took several months to build the racks out of steel tubing.  He sent us pictures of his progress, and we forwarded them to our contact at the school, so they would know what was going on.  When the bike racks were complete, Scott flew to Fairbanks to help Warren and his team install them.  The installation took longer than expected, because such projects always do, so Scott didn’t have time to take photos for his portfolio before he had to catch his plane back to Anchorage.  So I flew to Fairbanks just for a couple hours a week later to make sure that the installation was completely done, and to take photos.  I rented a bicycle, so I could use it as a prop in the photos to demonstrate how the bike racks work.

I just sent off the final invoice to the school district.  There were three invoices.  One for 1/3 for materials, and another one a couple months later for Warren’s fees.  The final one is for travel expenses, and all other costs associated with the project.

In summary, I’m glad I did a lot of research about budgeting for public art projects, and read the book The Artist’s Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions by Lynn Basa.  We read and heard about a lot of horror stories of artists going over budget and having to take out a second mortgage on their house, or getting in way over their head on a project that’s too big and complicated.  Luckily, we did everything right this time, got lucky with our fabricator, who ended up being very professional and created exactly what Scott designed.  We learned a lot about the process, and hopefully will have more opportunities like this in the future.

Bear with salmon in its mouth bicycle rack. 1% for Art at Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks. Designed by Scott Clendaniel, fabricated by Alaska Ornamental Iron.

Bear with salmon in its mouth bicycle rack. 1% for Art at Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks. Designed by Scott Clendaniel, fabricated by Alaska Ornamental Iron.

Moose rack bicycle rack. 1% for Art at Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks. Designed by Scott Clendaniel, fabricated by Alaska Ornamental Iron.

Moose rack bicycle rack. 1% for Art at Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks. Designed by Scott Clendaniel, fabricated by Alaska Ornamental Iron.

Spruce trees bicycle rack. 1% for Art at Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks. Designed by Scott Clendaniel, fabricated by Alaska Ornamental Iron.

Spruce trees bicycle rack. 1% for Art at Ryan Middle School in Fairbanks. Designed by Scott Clendaniel, fabricated by Alaska Ornamental Iron.

Supplication Ale by Russian River Brewing Co.

sup·pli·ca·tion
noun
The action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.
Also, a ridiculously tasty malt beverage brewed by the masters of fermentation at Russian River Brewing Co.  I was just in California last weekend for my cousin’s wedding, and you bet we all went to RR.  I took down my art show at Midnight Sun Brewing at 7 pm on Thursday, boarded a flight to San Jose at midnight and was picked up by my sister and her husband at 8 AM at the airport.  So I got some low quality sleep on the plane.  We then drove for two hours north to Santa Rosa to pick up a case of elusive RR beer, as well as have lunch.  I was going to go to Lagunitas Brewing, but it doesn’t open until 2PM, and we had a strict timeline as we had to go to the rehearsal dinner by 6PM.  So we made a little stop at Grav South Brew Co. — a newly opened brewery only 7 miles south of RR.  Worth checking out, by the way.
Russian River is the brewery that makes a staple IPA known as Pliny the Elder.  I had a 3 oz sample of it as well as a 3 oz sample of the Supplication.  Everything tastes better right at the brewery.  I left Maria in charge of building us a RR case to take back to Alaska, and she bought mostly the corked wild yeast beers ending with the -ation in the name.  Temptation, Supplication, Consecration and Sanctification.  Two of each, as well as 2 bottles of Blind Pig IPA and 2 Plinys.  Gotta get those benchmark IPAs to make sure the best local Alaska ones are up to snuff (turns out they are doing a pretty good job).
Let’s talk Supplication.  A 7% Brown Ale aged in Pinot barrels with cherries!  This beer has Brettanomyces and will make you say, “What!” after taking the first sip.  It has a remarkable flavor, and is aptly named, because after you have had your first sip you will be begging for more.  Ironically, Supplication is loaded with Brett, but winemakers fear the aggressive yeast strain and RR Brewing is right in the heart of Sonoma wine country.  RR doesn’t give a @&%#, and they do what they want.  Good thing, because this libation is legit!  I will supplicate myself to procure more.  I wish I had more than two bottles in my possession, but at $12 a bottle for 375 ml it’s probably enough.  I also have those other great options.
Cheers to Supplication!  A beer so good it is worth missing some sleep over!

This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Supplication Ale by Russian River Brewing Co. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Supplication Ale by Russian River Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Kenai River Brewing Company Sampler

I have been painting the beers from Kenai River Brewing since I started the Year of Beer Paintings project in 2014.  I’ve done a painting of each of the canned beers, four total, and every one of them went to the private collection of Doug Hogue, the founder and owner of this great Soldotna beer oasis.  Kenai River Brewing has been brewing up some avante-guarde styles like XPA, Black IPA, Honeymoon Heffe, and a Gummy Bear Belgian Triple, as well as some style-perfect traditional ales like the Peninsula Brewers Reserve Blonde, Skilak Scottish, and Sunken Island IPA.  All I can say is this brewery is a gem.

Soldotna is on the way to Homer, and I was driving there to attend our friends’ wedding celebration, so I planned ahead and brought my painting kit so I could paint live at the brewery.  This was my first visit to the new building, which now has a restaurant and a large dining room.  I ordered the bacon cheeseburger (see picture below), and set up my painting station outside in the back.  I should have included the colossal burger in the painting, which is as good as the best burger I’ve ever had.  Half a pound of fresh beef, with a great bun, pepper bacon and crispy fries on the side.  I think a brewery should have classic pub fare and KRB does this perfectly.  Food and beer coming together in a great establishment with easy to access service, making this place a near perfect example of what a brewery should be!  If you haven’t visited this stop when you are on the Kenai, you are missing out!  You can get a taster paddle with four 3 oz tasters, made from local burl wood.  I chose to paint my taster paddle because it looked like a work of art to me and showed off the dedication to detail that KRB consistently exhibits.

Doug found me outside while I was painting, and bought the painting.  I took it back to the studio in Anchorage, so it could dry, then varnished it and framed it.  I delivered the painting to Doug at the brewery while I was driving to go dip-netting at Kasilof, and we shared a bottle of my homebrew.  I got a picture of Doug and I with this painting out back. I will be returning to KRB next time I head to Soldotna!

Cheers to great Alaskan beers, good food, and a beautiful place to enjoy it all!  Way to go KRB!

The original oil painting sold, but limited-edition art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Beer sampler at Kenai River Brewing Company in Soldotna, Alaska. Oil painting by Scott Clendaniel. 8"x10", oil on panel.

Beer sampler at Kenai River Brewing Company in Soldotna, Alaska. Oil painting by Scott Clendaniel. 8″x10″, oil on panel.

Flight Around Denali with K2 Aviation

~ by Maria Benner

One of my side gigs is working as a freelance guide for a local tour company, guiding only 2-3 trips per year.  This allows me to see many different places in Alaska, and to do the fun things that mostly tourists get to do.  I get to meet interesting people from around the world, and the extra income is a bonus.  So a couple years ago I guided four different groups that all had an identical itinerary.  That may seem redundant, but the tour included a train ride to Spencer Glacier, and a flight around Denali with a glacier landing.  So in a span of less than two weeks, I got to land on Ruth Glacier on Denali three times!  The fourth group got to fly around Knik Glacier, because Denali was unapproachable by plane due to a storm.  We flew with K2 Aviation.  One of the guests exclaimed as she stepped down from the De Havilland Otter onto the glacier on Denali, “If I had known about this, it would have been on my Bucket List!”  That really sums up the whole experience.

One of the fun parts of my job as the Business and Marketing Manager for Real Art Is Better is brainstorming with Scott about ideas for new paintings.  So, a couple months ago, I remembered that summer that I got to fly around Denali three times with K2 Aviation, and I suggested that he paint one of the the iconic red airplanes flying in front of Denali.  He painted this piece, which is 20 inches x 30 inches, oil on panel.  The painting was on display at Scott’s solo art show at Midnight Sun Brewing Company this month, and it sold on opening night.  Scott allows customers to take the paintings right when they buy them, so the painting is now hanging in its new home.

If you haven’t taken this flight, I highly recommend it.  Put it on your Bucket List!

Limited-edition art prints of this painting are for sale at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Flight Around Denali. Oil on panel. 20″ x 30″. Scott Clendaniel

The person who bought this painting posted a picture of it on Instagram hanging in its new home, along with another one of Scott’s paintings that he bought at the same time of the Coastal Trail in winter time.

“New art makes me happy #alaskanart #art #mountainart #anchorage #oilpainting #beautifulart @realartisbetter

No Woman No Cryo IPA by Girdwood Brewing Company

Finally, the little ski town of Girdwood has a brewery!  My prayers have been answered by Girdwood Brewing Company!  Beer and skiing go together like bread and butter, and now, at the end of a day on the slopes, we can stop for pints of fresh brew.  Last week I visited the tasting room for the first time.  I sampled 3 of the 4 options, and all were solid.  The coffee stout with K-Bay Coffee from Homer, Hippie Speedball, was noteworthy, as was the East-Coast-style IPA, No Woman No Cryo.  I chose to paint the IPA because it showed off the printing on the glassware better.  This place has some serious Girdwood-Alyeska ski culture as well as the yeasty variety.  The walls have some cool skis on them, the menu board is made up of old skis and there’s a ski fence forming outside, as well.  They even have an old red ski-lift chair hanging from the ceiling.  For a brand new brewery, this place is going strong already.  The only thing missing is food, but occasionally a food truck stops by.  Cheers to local breweries!  Be sure to visit this place next time you’re in Girdwood.

This painting will be on display, and available for sale at my art show at Midnight Sun Brewing Co. during the month of June.  The art show kicks off on First Firkin Friday, June 2, 5-8PM.  I’ll be tapping a firkin of Panty Peeler cask-conditioned with pineapple at 5PM.  Hope to see you there!

This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Painted live at Girdwood Brewing Company. Oil on panel. 8"x10". By Scott Clendaniel.

Painted live at Girdwood Brewing Company. Oil on panel. 8″x10″. By Scott Clendaniel.

 

Jason Lobo’s Dodge Power Wagon

We spent two weeks in McCarthy earlier this month, and while at a great BBQ on the West side, I invited myself over to my neighbor Jason Lobo’s place to paint one of his many interesting vehicles.  Although we live in the same subdivision, his lot is about a mile away.  I walked, as I felt it would be easier to pack the painting home walking than biking.  Also, the road is a mud swamp due to spring meltdown, so driving was less than desirable.  I arrived to find Jason working in his yard.  After a few minutes he gave me a tour of his new water truck, which is a F-750 Ford.  Parked right next to it was this beauty, a vintage Dodge Power Wagon.  A great truck, and it still runs!  I love how it has not been restored, but has all the scars and patina of a working machine.  I guess the fuel pump is out, because Jason has connected a gravity fed fuel tank.  I had a great time painting this cool old McCarthy truck, stopping every hour, or so, to chat with Lobo.  He was working in the garden planting onions, garlic, and potatoes.  I walked home in the afternoon to have a late lunch, and then got some of my own yard work done.  Overall, a pretty productive day.  By the way, this isn’t the first time I’ve painted one of Jason’s trucks.  Check out the painting of his red Ford.

Contact me if you’re interested in purchasing this original oil painting ($245, framed), or a limited-edition print ($25 – $55).

Jason Lobo's Dodge Truck

Jason Lobo’s Dodge Power Wagon. Oil on panel painted en plein air. 11″x14″. © Scott Clendaniel 2017

Incarnation IPA by 4 Hands Brewing Company

When Sam, Jerry and I were road tripping across the USA, on the way to Sam’s son’s wedding, we stopped briefly at an amazing beer store in St. Louis, MO.  I loaded up with a case of unique beers including a six-pack of Incarnation IPA by 4 Hands Brewing Co.  This beer was fresh and loaded with Mosaic hop goodness!  I had a hard time keeping one for Maria to try, but I was successful in getting it home to Alaska despite its delicious nature.  Since the beer is dry hopped with Mosaic, I made a hop mosaic for the  backdrop of this composition.  There are about three types of hops I like the most for a great IPA: Mosaic, Simcoe, and Citra.  I think that if you have one, or a combination of the three you have a recipe for success!  Incarnation IPA is not the only great beer from St. Louis.  The town is known for beer (ahem, Budweiser).  I feel lucky to have gotten to sample some great St. Louis offerings despite the fact that I am in a completely different distribution zone.  Cheers to the Incarnation IPA, may your beer be enlightening!    

This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Incarnation IPA by 4 Hands Brewing Co.  Oil painting by Scott Clendaniel. 8"x10", oil on panel.

Incarnation IPA by 4 Hands Brewing Co. Oil painting by Scott Clendaniel. 8″x10″, oil on panel.