Permafrost is ground that has remained frozen through the heat of at least two summers. It lies beneath 25% of lands north of the equator and under about 80% of Alaska. Scientists estimate permafrost holds twice as much carbon as is currently in the air.
“Warning Signs” is a call to action. Our planet is in a state of crisis. The grid of vibrant, orange squares references ubiquitous roadway and packaging signs that warn of danger. Bits of the wetland beyond appear in a range of naturalistic color, but anywhere the landscape elements cross into the squares, they are reduced to monochrome black. Orange and black elicit thoughts of forest fires but can also be seen as an elimination of the diversity and complexity that make our boreal forests beautiful places to visit and experience.
Jessie Hedden is a painter and sculptor who works with abstract and representational imagery, basing both approaches on direct observation. Dynamic composition, luminous color, and the formal elements are central to her work. Hedden has a BA from Hampshire College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington. Her awards include a Rasmuson grant and two All Alaska Juried awards from the Anchorage Museum. She has been a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 2000. She lives in Fairbanks with her husband, fellow artist David Mollett, and their son Blake.