The decision was made by the Kenai Fine Art Center Board of Directors this spring to close the KFAC for the year due to Covid 19 virus, out of respect for our volunteers who staff the reception desk, concerns regarding summer visitors and that tourism would be down. While this was a difficult decision, the hope was to reschedule 2020 art exhibits sometime after reopening, prioritize needed building repairs and maybe start the long planned for back-of-building renovation.
Now some months later and thanks to the Board of Directors, business donations and volunteers, a damaged storage area has been rebuilt, other areas cleaned out, new windows all around the building, and most exciting of all, the Kenai City Council approved renovation funds. KFAC appreciates the willingness of the City Administration and Council to make this historic building in Old Town Kenai a more viable and versatile facility. Renovation features include a handicapped accessible bathroom, removal of certain walls, improved lighting, a three compartment sink, and to generally better accommodate workshops and smaller art exhibits. The historic jail, bars and all, will remain the same. It still prompts the occasional “I (or my dad) spent a night there once.” from local visitors. Thanks to a partial wall removal, the jail will be easier to view for those who want to see this unique feature, and take pictures standing in front of the bars.
The Kenai Fine Art Center is owned by the City of Kenai, managed by and leased to the Peninsula Art Guild. (It is also the home of the Kenai Potters Guild.) This “Old Town Kenai” building has a rich history having been built by Volunteer Fire and Police Department locals in the 50’s. During the August 5th, 2020 City Council meeting, Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel stated “The Kenai Fine Arts Center is a City Building and an anchor to Old Town that draws people, a goal of ours. It fits the theme well that things can grow around it…I want to see Old Town become more of an entertainment district. Glad to see we are moving forward.”
Current KFAC board members: Marion Nelson, President, Leslie Morton, Vice President, Abbey Ulen, Secretary, Karen Fogarty, Treasurer, Heather Floyd, IT manager, Rachel Grossl, Publicity, Mick Wykis, Organizational Consultant.
Special recognition to K+A Design Studios, Blazy Construction, Nelson Engineering, Zan Inc., Northwind Properties LLC, volunteers: Phil Senior, LuAnn Reynolds, Jane Marshall, Chris Faucheux, Barb Nielsen and more. For more information including memberships, www.kenaifineart.com and follow us on Facebook.