The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Fern Greenbank
LOG Editor 

Sister city sending artists


Courtesy Dot Barderson

When Josh Neta from Seward's sister city, Obihiro Japan, was here escorting Japanese exchange students on a recent visit, some members of the committee for the new mural from Obihiro artists, met with to go over a long list of details. Shown here are Dot Bardarson, Johanna Kinney, Linnea Hollingsworth, Kristi Larson, Brenda Ballou, and Josh Neta.

After a 40 year relationship with Seward's sister city Obihiro, Japan, a new phrase of that sisterhood is about to about to begin. On September 6, a contingent of artists will arrive in Seward, take up their positions in the Seward City Church, and start work on a mural as the city sister gift to Seward.

Courtesy Dot Bardarson

The mural created by Seward artists in Obihiro, Japan included iconic images representing unique aspects of Alaskan culture that was installed at the Obihiro Zoo.

"The Obihiro mural will include a farm scene with a horse, a cow, a chocolate lilly, bird, blue sky and tilled garden," said Dot Barderson, local artist and member of the Mural Society. "We were surprised that the design didn't include what we usually associate with Japanese culture."

Barderson said this may be a good thing because the mural will show that our cities and countries are more alike than we think.

The mural will hang on the south side of the K.M. Rae Building when it's finished. But first, the group of Japanese artists along with the Seward Mural Society, will be using donated space from the Seward City Church to complete the project.

"We appreciate this part of Japanese culture," said Barderson. "They feel compelled to give back when they have received. It's a beautiful thing."


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