The Pristases

Natasha Pristas, right, stands with her husband and daughter. Pristas is a local artist whose work will be on display at the Baranov Museum during tonight’s art walk. 

Natasha Zahn Pristas has reached a new milestone as an artist. She can now say her art is on display at a museum. 

The Baranov Museum just purchased five art pieces from Pristas, a local artist, and they will be showcased in tonight’s art walk. 

Pristas grew up in a home that valued creativity and has been making art her entire life. 

“I have always been sort of arty and creative,” Pristas said. “It’s always been an outlet for me.”

Born in Kodiak, Pristas moved to Juneau as a child and was raised there. When Pristas returned to Kodiak with her family 16 years ago, she made a focused effort to do art on a more consistent basis.

Pristas said she loves the people of Kodiak and how close we can be to nature here on the island. She loves being able to go to the beach or up a mountain, and feels that “all of these things pop out in my art.”

Pristas also loves color and the ability to have fun with her artwork.

“I love our sudden bursts of color,” Pristas said, “whether it’s in the spring or the summer or the winter or the fall, where suddenly you look out and it’s an amazing sky or amazing light.” 

The five pieces purchased by the Baranov Museum were created with pen and water color and reflect the feeling of happiness Pristas hopes to bring with her art. 

“I’m really tickled with the direction that my art is going,” Pristas said. “I feel like that style illustrates how I want my art to continue to grow. They are pieces that make me really happy.”

Pristas continued her journey with artwork by studying printmaking at the University of Oregon, but now is branching out to include collage and water color. 

According to Michael Bach, collections manager at the Baranov Museum, the museum was able to purchase these five pieces with funds from an art acquisition grant received from Museums Alaska.

He explained that the funds provided by Museums Alaska are provided with the goal to keep artwork by Alaskan artists in the state, where it can be appreciated by local Alaskans. 

Speaking of Pristas’ artwork, Bach said, “They’re finally here in our possession and we’re excited to share them with the public.”

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