The Valdez Museum reopened to the public on July 1, 2020 after a 3-month closure due to health concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff continue to keep the Museum’s online educational program offerings creative, current and meaningful. Peruse the list below, and keep checking for new workshops and activities to be added on this list!
Helen Long, U.S. Military Veteran and Trailblazer
Tabitha Gregory, author of Valdez Rises writes in her blog about Valdez Old Towner Helen Long’s USCG service during WWII. This is a good source for learning more about Long’s contributions to not only the military and our country, but also to the remarkable history of Valdez. Click here for more information.
David Hasan Sleem: Arab American Doctor on the Alaska Frontier by Marvin Wingfield
Marvin Wingfield, former Education and Outreach Director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee presented his research during the Museum’s October 25th Tuesday Nite History Talk on David Hasan Sleem, an Arab American doctor who practiced medicine in Seward and Valdez, Alaska, during the early part of the 20th century. Sleem’s life and work had considerable impact on the history of the region. The presentation via zoom can be viewed by clicking here.
The Bears Come First, by Sharry Miller
Valdez Artist and world traveler Sharry Miller shares her experiences from visiting McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and Refuge in 2021; sharing its history, wildlife bear facts and myths, plus how to visit the sanctuary–all peppered with photos and stories. Her presentation was made at a Valdez Museum virtual Zoom Tuesday Nite History Talk on February 22, 2022. Click here to view.
Out of the Country, by Matt Kinney
Slide presentation via zoom by Matt Kinney, a longtime backcountry ski guide well versed in avalanche education. He reflects on lessons learned while navigating Chugach avalanche terrain. His presentation was made at a Valdez Museum virtual Zoom Tuesday Nite History Talk on January 25, 2022. Click here to view.
Valdez Rises, by Tabitha Gregory
Zoom discussion of Valdez Rises, a new offering by author and former, long time Valdez resident Tabitha Gregory. It is a heartfelt and creative rendering of the ordeal that the community of Old Town Valdez experienced during and following the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and tsunami which caused Valdez to be relocated to its present site. Click here to view the program presented at a Tuesday Nite History Talk on November 25, 2021.
Lillian Moore’s Letter Home
Alaskan prospector and entrepreneur Lillian Moore writes a letter home to her sister Lu in 1898 recounting her arduous trek over the Valdez Glacier with Captain William Abercrombie. The documentary short communicates the early history of Valdez, Alaska, and the importance of the mail in establishing it as a transportation hub and the gateway to the Interior. Click here to view the film.
CHASING: An Art Workshop by Faith Revell
No, it’s definitely NOT chasing bears, but rather chasing lines to create beautiful pieces of art by using a technique that’s been around a long time. In her video Faith leads you through a “chasing exercise”, showing a variety of approaches and materials. Pre-assembled kits are available at the Valdez Museum for $5 each, and don’t forget to check out our ample selection of art supplies at the Museum Store. Open: Tuesday – Sunday, Noon – 4 pm. Click here to watch the video on Facebook, and here for the YouTube channel post.
Color + Heat = Magic, Glass by Sharry Miller
Museum Educator Faith Revell takes you on a video stroll through our current art exhibit. It features a range of fused glass artwork by Valdez artist Sharry Miller that reflects her love of nature and enjoyment of this art form. Click here to enjoy the virtual tour.
Walk, Talk and See–Old Town from a New Perspective
Once again Faith Revell captures stunning footage of Old Town during a low tide exploration of various time worn remnants poking through sand and seaweed. “You can see how nature has taken over the old bits and parts of the past, actually making them quite beautiful.” She says “you see Old Town anew, it just makes it a place to revisit over and over again.” The video is also laced with seagull sounds and the birds captured in flight. Click here to view.
Walk, Talk and See–Dock at Old Town Valdez
Museum Educator Faith Revell shares her stroll through Old Town Valdez on a beautiful sunny morning, making several stops to point out things that reflect how this waterfront has changed over the years. Her video blends current scenes of the Old Town waterfront today with historic photos of dock activity in the town’s heyday amid all the hustle and bustle of a busy port! Click here to view.
Walk, Talk and See–Hotel Valdez
This Old Town tour centers around 419 McKinley St. late in the afternoon on the last day of July, 2020. Museum Educator Faith Revell takes you to the spot where the Hotel Valdez, built in 1907, once stood. The Museum’s marker is now sitting among a field of fireweed sporting bright fuchsia blossoms. She offers up background of the old hotel that started out as a grocery store! To learn more click here.
Museum Educator Faith Revell has produced a video about how to make a portrait that reflects how you feel and what color you feel on any given day. She shows what materials you need and the process of creating a colorful portrait!
To take part in Faith’s Colorful Portraits Workshop just click here.
Walk, Talk and See–Valdez Glacier Stream
Museum Educator Faith Revell shares compelling footage of the Valdez Glacier Stream as it flows down toward the Old Town Valdez town site. And she takes a look back at the history of flooding events related to the stream. To view her video click here. The photo gallery below from the VMHA Collection shares past images related to the Valdez Glacier Stream:
Walk, Talk and See–South Dike Trail
This sunny, windy mid-July day Museum Educator Faith Revell guides you on a wooded walk that starts out at the South Dike trail-head across from where the Union Oil Tank Farm used to be. She pans over to reveal the sparkle on the water and then zeros in on the sky high cranes of Harris Sand and Gravel against a mountain backdrop. After a view down McKinley Street, Old Town’s business district, Faith heads into the woods pointing out plants, trees, bird songs and hidden berries. Join the tour by clicking here.
Walk, Talk and See–The Village Morgue
On this excursion Faith Revell shows you what remains of the Village Morgue, a building set on pilings which began as a stamp mill processing gold mined in the area. It became a morgue, known for storing bodies over snowy Valdez winters while awaiting burial after the spring thaw. It later became a bar, and a common slogan was “Meet me at the Morgue!” Join in this walk by clicking here.
Walk, Talk and See–July 4th Tour
At the crossroads of Alaska Ave. and McKinley St. is where Faith Revell begins her tour that takes you down the parade route of Old Town July 4th celebrations in the early 1990’s. She paints colorful images of marching bands with banners and ribbons, ladies foot races and more! Faith also points out the plants and flowers in the are in the area, while hinting at their many fragrances. Join in the walk by clicking here.
Vintage July 4th Celebration Photos
Museum Educator Faith Revell offers up a series of four photos that depict how folks in Old Town Valdez celebrated July 4th in the early 1900’s. Photos include parades that feature the 1886 Gleason and Bailey hand-pumped fire engine and the 1907 Ahrens Steam Fire Engine No. 131 now on display in the Valdez Museum. And don’t the forget the 1911 July 4th Ladies Race photo! To view this special collection just click here.
NN Cannery Project Congressional Briefing
The NN Cannery History Project was invited to take part in an online briefing organized for congressional staffers in Washington DC to showcase how humanities organizations such as this project are serving communities in distinct and crucial ways throughout the COVID-19 crisis. A big thank you to our project partners, individual supporters, community residents and to everyone who is doing their part to stay safe.
Katherine Ringsmuth, PhD NN Cannery History Project
Museum Educator Faith Revell continues her series of virtual walks through Old Town Valdez with a stop at the site where the Valdez Gospel Chapel once stood. This week’s video captures the lush greenery, beautiful old spruce trees and field of shiny yellow Western Buttercups plus a look back at the history of this house of worship and children’s home. Click here to learn more.
New Weekly Series of Old Town Video Tours:
Walk, Talk and See
Museum Educator Faith Revell has produced the first in a series of short videos filmed on location at Old Town Valdez, originally settled in 1901. After the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and tsunami caused severe damage to the town site residents had three years to relocate to the present site of Valdez, about 4.5 away. The Museum’s Old Town Walking Tour features 18 markers of locations where buildings and businesses once stood. In this video Revell gives a brief summary of how the town was founded, showing live footage of this beautiful spot. Click here to view, and look forward to more of Revell’s videos infused with birdsong and history, plus flora and fauna!
Honoring Melvin Dempsey
Melvin Dempsey is one of Old Valdez’s fascinating and influential early residents. He was a prospector of African-American and Cherokee descent who remains an “unsung hero” in his accomplishments establishing the town’s early infrastructure. To learn more about Melvin Dempsey’s life and legacy we invite you to view this informative power point presentation: Click here.
Memorial Day Tribute: Remembering U.S. Army Colonel Emerson Hamilton Liscum.
Museum Educator Faith Revell has produced an informative video that gives the story behind how Memorial Day came into being. And she delves into the history of the person about whom Ft. Liscum is named. Click here.
Museum Educator Faith Revell was inspired by the artwork of local students now on exhibit at the Valdez Museum, including this charcoal drawing done by a Valdez High School Senior. Revell, an accomplished artist, says she loves working with charcoal, “for me it sits somewhere between drawing and painting.” She has created an informative and entertaining video that shares her knowledge of how to use this versatile medium. To watch it just click charcoal!
Plant a Seed and Watch it Grow!
In honor of Earth Day 2020 on April 22nd Museum Educator Faith Revell presents this workshop that not only shows you how to be a successful gardener, but also mixes in a bit of local history from the Valdez Museum’s archives. That includes a vintage photo of Owen Meals, prominent Valdez pioneer, planting potatoes in his Old Town garden. Set your green thumb free by clicking here!
Stitching On Burlap
Inspired by the textile creations of Valdez students now on exhibit in the annual Student Art Show, Faith shows you, step by step, how to create beautiful stitched designs on burlap cloth. Learn how to make your own creation by clicking here!
New this year to the Museum’s “Virtual” Spring Into Art 2020 are the addition of textiles and stitching as seen in the photos below. The stitching on burlap was done by a first grader at Hermon Hutchens Elementary School and the beautiful quilt was made by a 7th grader in Kim Keller’s Home Economics class.
Making a Collagraph Print
Making a collagraph with Faith Revell from the Valdez Museum is a video in two short parts focused upon a collagraph, print made from inking a collage on board and transferring that image to paper. Inspired by prints that Valdez student artists created. Click here: Part 1 and Part 2.
Birch Tree Art
These images reflect art works featuring birch trees made by Hermon Hutchens Elementary School students in Valdez, Alaska. They are on exhibit at the Valdez Museum. The example with warmer blue/greens was inspired by students’ work and created by Faith Revell who will show you how to create your own forest of beautiful trees in Valdez, just click: treeartworkshop.
Earthquakes and Old Town
See the history of the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and its impact on the original Valdez townsite and its residents in this PowerPoint and new on-line teaching resource created by the Valdez Museum. This lesson is geared to students in grade three through adult. March 27th, 2020 marked the 56th anniversary of the earthquake.To view the presentation, click here.
Counting people in remote Alaskan villages has proved challenging for the Census Bureau since 1870. That is why the decennial census kicks off early in Alaska. On January 21, 2020 Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham flew to the village of Toksook Bay and began the count.
Click here to watch the unique way they conduct the census in remote parts of Alaska during the frozen winter: ToksookCensus
To learn more about the history of the census in Alaska click here.
Free Online Art Lessons
The Art in Action team has created an Online-Learning Art Portal to share with all in need of K-8 art resources. Please explore, enjoy and share with your community!
String Drop Art
These are two wonderful examples of string drop art on exhibit at the Valdez Museum. Thank you students and Sue Keeney! See the video to learn what supplies are needed and how to make them.