The Alaska House Art Gallery features the work of Claire Fejes and other Alaskan artists and is dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of Alaska. The Alaska House was founded in 1964 by artist and author Claire Fejes and her husband Joe. They also established the first art supplies store in Fairbanks. As a 1969 article in The New York Times stated, Claire and Joe moved into “a spacious split log and stone house on a residential street. In 1960, they turned the bottom half of the house into an art gallery, Eskimo artifacts repository, and cultural center.”
With local art, poetry readings, lively music, and a warm bed and dinner always on hand for visitors, the Alaska House quickly became a center of cultural activity and a well-known Fairbanks landmark.
As Claire Fejes put it in the New York Times interview, “There are always visiting Eskimos sleeping on the couches in our house. And where else could you have Isaac Stern in town for a concert, invite him to lunch and feed him moose steak?”
The Alaska House is a fine example of the Interior’s characteristic log cabin carpentry, designed and hand-built in 1939. Today the gallery has maintained the building’s original oak floors, high ceilings, and leaded windows, as well as the hand hewn timbers overhead and the river rock fireplace. The three room gallery was re-opened in 2000 by the Fejes family who continue the tradition of specializing in museum-quality Alaskan arts, exhibiting Alaska Native and resident artists, featuring paintings, artifacts, carvings and sculpture, masks, fabric art and hand-crafted jewelry. The gallery maintains a large collection of works by Claire Fejes, including paintings, drawings, and prints.
The gallery hosts First Friday events on the first Friday of every month that feature new work by local artists and live music. In August and September of every year, the Alaska House exhibits a memorial show of Claire Fejes work, often including never-before-seen pieces.