In this photo Dot Bardarson is putting finishing touches on a recent mural in Seward. Photo courtesy Dot Bardarson.

Local artist Dot Bardarson will be recognized along with nine other Alaskans at the Governor’s Arts & Humanities Awards ceremony at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center on Feb. 7

The Alaska Humanities Forum said in a press release, “Dot Bardarson's colorful watercolors, capturing Alaska sea life, birds, flowers, and Eskimo-Native themes, have earned her recognition as one of Alaska's outstanding artists.  She has received awards in juried shows, TOSCA's Alaska Artist of the year in 2011, and in 2014 she was honored by the Seward Arts Council and named Queen of the Arts.”

A lifetime painter, Bardarson says she has enjoyed the opportunity to paint. 

“I was encouraged by my mother,” she said, “I can’t remember when I didn’t paint.”

Even when she was first married and lived aboard a cannery tender with her new husband, she says she always found time to paint. She said it was just the two of them on the boat and it was a lot of hard work, but she continued to pursue her passion.

Locally she operated an art gallery for 20 years, and has worked on local murals. She has been the master artist for four murals and has worked on more than a twenty-five as part of the Seward Mural Society. Through her work she was able to get the legislature and Governor Sarah Palin to name Seward as the “Mural Capital of Alaska.” 

She spent four years working on two murals with Seward’s sister city, Obihiro, Japan, coordinating the exchange between the two cities. One of the murals is displayed at the zoo in Obihiro, and one on the Rae building facing the road to Lowell Point. Artists from both countries worked on both murals.

She has also been involved in local theatrical productions as an actor, historian, and set designer; and has served on the Alaska State Council on the Arts for six years.

A new mural has just been completed and will be installed on the Fifth Avenue Fitness building in the spring.