Discover the Valdez Art Scene
Have a free day in Valdez during the summer? Here's how to discover our local art scene.
A leisurely walk around Valdez to see our three museums is a great way to start the day. From downtown, walk along the path through Meyring Park to the campus of Prince William Sound College. There you'll find the Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum. The Whitney Museum is one of the largest collections of Alaska Native art and artifacts in the world, featuring works made of ivory, baleen, fur, and more. Admission to the museum is completely free.
Afterwards, head back downtown to visit the Valdez Museum on Egan Street and the Museum Annex on Hazelet Avenue. The Valdez Museum's permanent exhibits include works from Alaska Native artists, and temporary exhibits often feature collections from artists from Valdez or neighboring communities like Cordova or Seward. The Museum Annex's Remembering Old Valdez exhibit displays an entire scale model replica of Old Valdez created by artist Susan Fowler from Copper Center, Alaska.
Whitney Museum Displays. Photo by Jiyeon Juno Kim
Afternoon: Meet the Artists
When lunchtime comes around, Valdez's harbor area is a great place to grab a bite to eat. Many of our local restaurants, coffee shops and food trucks are located near the harbor on Kobuk Drive or North Harbor Drive, and many of these will display art from local artists on their walls. The area is also home to several local art shops such as the Painted Moose and the Valdez Art Co-Op. Stop in and peruse local art that's available for purchase; these shops are staffed by local artists who love to talk about their work!
After lunch, swing over to Galena Drive to grab a beer or soda at Valdez Brewing or Growler Bay Brewing. Not only do these local breweries decorate their walls with paintings, photographs and carvings from local artists, but the brew-masters are often on site to talk about how they produce their fine local craft beer.
The Valdez Art Co-Op. Photo by Jody Overstreet
Evening: Live Entertainment
In the evening, grab dinner in Valdez while enjoying live performances. Many restaurants feature local musicians during the summer, and world class musical talent is brought into town year-round by the Valdez Arts Council. Live performances are common with Valdez's lineup of summer celebrations. Check your your trip dates, and make sure to look for the Last Frontier Theatre Conference held every June, the Fourth of July celebration, the Valdez Gold Rush Days held in late July or early August, and the Richardson Highway Rendezvous held every year in late August.
During weekends in July and August, make sure to check out the Far North Follies outdoor dinner-theatre show. The vaudeville show offers an immersive and comical take on the history of Valdez, and is complimented by a gourmet farm-to-table dinner served to audience members.
Photo from Far North Follies