Shareholder presents November art show

“Is our navigation system pre-programmed, as in fish, whales or birds, or are we learning as we go?” muses award-winning artist, independent curator and community volunteer Gretchen Sagan. “Whales that get off course and end up in Australia instead of Japan, is that an accident or are they being rebels?”

Sagan explores this theme in “Migrations,” her upcoming solo show of abstract paintings. The Anchorage-born CIRI shareholder first felt her own push-pull pangs of migration during epic road trips across the country with her parents, and later exploring exotic lands overseas on her own. Landscapes, people, and attitudes encountered along the way gave her an appreciation of all cultures, as well as a ping-ponging of the heart between the wider world and home.

Backed by the CIRI Foundation scholarships, Sagan earned a fine arts degree from Eesti Kunstiakadeemia in Estonia. She has shown her paintings, woodcuts, monotypes, etchings, jewelry, sculpture and short films from Hong Kong to Homer.

“Migrations” will run Nov. 4 through Dec. 31 at the Alaska Native Arts Foundation (ANAF) Gallery, with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on opening night. ANAF is a nonprofit organization that was established in 2002 to improve the economic well-being of Alaska Native artists. ANAF works to create awareness of Alaska Native art by providing opportunities for showcasing artwork. Learn more by visiting