Welcome Hagen Atkins to our Midtown Art Wall!
Hagen’s colorful canvases feature portraits of her friends and community members - even if you haven’t met the subjects, you’ll feel like you’ve gotten to know them a little after seeing these vibrant and lovingly rendered paintings! We caught up with her for some Q&A:
Tell us about what inspired the pieces for this collection?
I had been doing a lot of landscapes and still lifes and I came to a point where I wanted to move into portraits and figure painting. And of course I started with my friend’s pictures and that turned into the idea to paint a bunch of my friends and people in the community that wanted to be painted! Receiving money for paintings is really stressful for me so I wanted to do something different - the subject of each portrait chose a charity that was meaningful for them and instead of paying me for the portrait, someone can make a donation. It felt like a really nice way to give back.
Tell us a bit about yourself as an artist?
I picked up art when I moved to Tok about 5 years ago. I’d always been artsy but moving there and having so much time, I thought I might as well dive into it more deeply. At that point I had recently moved to Alaska and I didn’t really know anyone or have a community outside of my husband. Art gave me an opportunity to find people who also liked art! The Alaska art community is so amazing and accepting and loving so a lot of my drive to continue painting comes from seeing my friends making and selling their work. And it’s just such a great outlet when you’re stuck inside and it’s negative five!
What else would you like to share about your process, drive, or artistic journey?
My art is not photorealistic. I try my best to portray the feeling - maybe the painting doesn’t look exactly how my friends look but I try to capture how I feel when I’m around them and the energy they bring to the world.
Favorite Wild Scoops flavor?
Crab apple sorbet! I like the really sour flavors.
I work at Wild Scoops in the Test Kitchen!
How can we follow your art?
@hagen.atkins.art on Instagram