We are artists who have worked in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for many years.
The landscape north of the continental divide of the Brooks Range is no “desolate wasteland,” but quite the opposite—a beautiful and powerful place. We have worked for weeks at a time amidst this splendor: on the banks of the Hulahula, Canning, and other pristine rivers; in the shadows of the primordial Romanzof and Sadlerochit ranges; surrounded by caribou on the soft tundra of the Coastal Plain; in all seasons and in all weather.
Our work attempts to bring the fragile loveliness and overwhelming power of the Arctic Refuge to a wide audience. To some extent we have succeeded, for this work is now represented in permanent collections in all major museums in Alaska, and has been shown in exhibitions from Oslo to New York City to San Francisco. The magnificence of the Refuge may be too immense to capture in painted and photographic images, but we continue to try.
So far, U.S. military and industrial installations remain the sole wastelands in the otherwise flourishing Refuge. Interestingly, a DEW line site abandoned by the military at Camden Bay in the early ’60s (depicted in several of Scott Hansen’s works) was quietly cleaned up by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Please peruse the images we have collected here. Visit the artists’ web sites. Visit the Refuge yourself, if at all possible. In short, experience the natural beauty of the Arctic Refuge in whatever ways are open for you. Weigh the value of this land, an exquisitely preserved wilderness ecosystem, against the environmental and economic costs of recovering—by many, many low-production wells covering a vast area—only enough oil to meet America’s needs for less than a year.
Despite the 6 January 2021 lease sale in the Refuge (which attracted only three bidders, one of which was the State of Alaska itself), the legal and economic fight against drilling got a boost on 20 January 2021, when President Joe Biden signed an executive order establishing a temporary moratorium on Refuge oil and gas leasing. On 1 June 2021, Biden suspended such leasing, pending further environmental review. More about this is explained by the Associated Press.
Please respect the copyrights and usage restrictions of the artists whose images and sites you visit.
Arctic Refuge Art (arcticrefuge.art) is a successor to Artists of the Arctic Refuge (arcticrefugeart.org), originally developed by Dixon J. Jones in 2001, and maintained by the Northern Alaska Environmental Center from 2007 until 2017.
© 2001-2007 by Dixon J. Jones
© 2007-2017 by Northern Alaska Environmental Center
© 2018-2021 by Dixon J. Jones
This page was updated on 1 June 2021.