Courtney King is the owner of Solstice Soap Studio. She has been soaping for about five years. After teaching herself how to soap, she took classes to expand her knowledge on the subject. She is a certified soap maker. She is from Mobile, Alabama originally but always felt drawn to Alaska. She homeschools her young children and enjoys gardening, camping, reading, and a plethora of crafts.
Margo left Washington DC to come to Fairbanks over ten years ago. Here she continues her teaching career while creating artist books and box constructions in her home studio. Her work is widely shown in Alaska. She has been involved with Northwoods Book Arts Guild since it was founded in 2011.
Carol is a 35 year Alaska resident who loves to play music (ukulele and harmonica being her favorites) but was deathly intimidated by going to jams. After getting brave and attending a few jams, she would love to share her thoughts and get more people out enjoying the fabulous music scene in Fairbanks.
Brandy Klindworth is the artist, entrepreneur, and art educator behind her business Ladder Mouse, creating flora, fauna, and fungi illustrations. She currently resides in Fairbanks, AK and has become most inspired by the forest floor with growing interest in mycology and botany. After a near-death ice climbing experience in 2017 that caused Brandy to lose some dominant hand-function, she has become a passionate advocate in encouraging others to pursue their purpose and utilize their gifts and abilities to their fullest extent. This is what has made her passionate about teaching you how to depict nature on paper – she knows you have what it takes inside of you. She displays and sells her nature illustrations online and locally, and also teaches art classes focused on drawing and painting nature both online and locally. In 2019 she won 1st place in the United States Air Force international art contest, travelled internationally to Dubai in 2017 to complete a 4-wall jungle mural for Emirati entrepreneur Mohammed Bin Zaal, and illustrated children’s book “Me and My Big Friends” written by author Laura Fitterer.
Lisa Kljaich, aka The Ukulele Fool, has been teaching music full-time since 1983, with teaching experiences from pre-school to Osher Lifelong Learning and everything in between. She has been teaching online for UAF since 2009. It has been wonderful to have students as elementary kids catch up with her again at UAF, and then teach their parents through The Folk School.
In 2019 she officially launched a career as a YouTuber, focusing on deliberately paced, detail-oriented ukulele instruction for beginners and advanced beginners. This has given her an international reach with students all over the globe – folks logging in the wee hours of the morning in Australia, to night owls staying up late in Central Europe to catch the same lesson.
Rachael Kvapil is a lifelong road cyclist who fell in love with fat biking in 2014. In 2016, she competed in the Icicle Bicycle multi-stage winter race and after a recreational ride with a top Alaskan fat biker, decided to train for several ultra-distance races including the White Mountains 100 and the Susitna 100. Despite participating in a number of competitions, Rachael is a commuter at heart and considers her form of winter training and racing as “aggressive tourism.” She seeks to create an inclusive riding environment for both recreation and competitive riders of all ages and all abilities.
Matt’s connection with trees has led to work in carpentry, cabinet-making, silviculture, and environmental education. His first woodworking project that he remembers really obsessing over was a clipboard. He has since built cabins, cabinets, and furniture. While most of the things he cares about have a clear link to trees, he does enjoy other things, including gardening, ski-joring, and fishing. Matt currently works in UAF Cooperative Extension’s agriculture program.
Rebecca Lawhorne is a writer, reader, and researcher living in Fairbanks Alaska.
She started the poetry pop-up, PoembyBecca in 2015. She has written poetry on-demand in multiple states across the United States and has been a vendor at the Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market in Fairbanks, Alaska since 2017.
Rebecca uses unique strips of ethically harvested Birch tree bark to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
She is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Communications at UAF, where she teaches public speaking courses.
I started driving dogs in Nenana in 1976, learning many things the hard way until I met experienced racers who taught me how to finally be a dog driver. I started doing tours in 1980, and in 1985 started Sled Dog Adventures with a partner. I became the sole owner in 1997. I have driven teams in many areas in the state, full-time all winter since 1980. I am listed in the UAF Archives in the History of Dogmushing, and was featured in the News-Miner in January 2017. I am still learning and I have a deep respect for the amazing Alaska husky, and have raised some and owned many through the years. I now take in unwanted or retired race dogs who still love to take visitors into the beauty of nature.
Jennifer lives in Fairbanks but works in Bethel. While in Bethel, Jennifer has met many artitsts from the area and the surrounding villages. She has learned how to harvest grass from the banks of the Kuskokwim River and sew baskets. She has learned to tan and sew with fur. Her most unique skill acquired thus far is the working knowledge of tanning and sewing with fish skin and animal gut. Jennifer sews many items for friends, family, and customers. You may have seen her work most recently at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center First Friday art event in December, 2014.
My name is Emily Leon (Chagluak). My parents are Gabriel and Kathryn Chagluak. I grew up in the predominantly Yupik village of Toksook Bay, which is located on the southwestern coast of Alaska. I am married to the wonderful Alex Leon, and together we have two beautiful children, Andrew and Rachel.
Frozen Stitches began with the gift of a qaspeq to a dear friend of mine. Soon after, all the ladies in the office inquired about buying a qaspeq from me. The rest, as they say, “is history!”
Rebecca Levey is a registered Institute for Excellence in Writing teacher. She also teaches essay writing with the Circe Institute’s Lost Tools of Writing curriculum. She teaches both High School and Elementary students.
Steve Levey has an MA in history from the University of Colorado. He taught high school history for ten years. Many of his students in Honors World History at West Valley High School took the World History AP test without AP-specific preparation. His class, World History: An Early College Survey Course, started as a whimsical dare from a colleague and a challenge to students. Over the years, all but one student passed the exam to merit college credit for their achievement in 10th grade.
Mary Baarlaer Maisch
A recently retired teacher, I relish the time I now have available to pursue my artistic interests, primarily book making and quilting. I have been a member of the Northwoods Book Arts Guild since it’s inception in 2011, and have been delighted to be involved in a thriving book arts community in Fairbanks. I am grateful to be able to share art projects at our beautiful Folk School Fairbanks campus.
In addition to art making, I enjoy travel, skiing, canoeing, hiking, camping, gardening and reading.
Karen has lived in Fairbanks for 37 years. She grew up in Iowa where she learned to sew in 4-H at the age of eleven. She has been a fabric collector and sewer ever since. In those 50+ years she has sewn everything from clothes, sports gear, home decor, costumes, toys, art dolls, and many other items requested by her family. She enjoys trying most techniques she hears, sees, or reads about just to see if she might enjoy it.
She dyed her first batch of fabric in 2008 and finds she can’t get enough of it. She remembers running through the house looking for just one more white item needing color. She loves the serendipity of dyeing and other fabric art techniques. The thrill of discovering new techniques and the joy of revisiting old methods keeps her engaged with the subject. She is always excited to find new friends to enjoy the rewards of creating.
John has been a carpenter/cabinetmaker for nearly half a century and now spends a considerable amount of time teaching through The Folk School. He is one of the founders of Week in the Woods and The Folk School. John’s intimate connection to the land and rivers of the interior drives most everything he does.
Phil has studied traditional hand woodcarving in Austria and Norway, and studied under German and Italian masters in the U.S. “Woodworking smooths and hones my life. This revelation surprised me twenty-three years ago when I tried my hand at woodcarving. There had never been any signs this pursuit would become such a joy. I had not manifested artistic talent. But a visit to a remote Colorado gallery of hand-carved, wooden sculpture inspired my wife to present me with a set of beginner’s chisels and gouges; I grabbed an instruction booklet and gave it a go, solo. Perhaps she had sensed something I had not: the time was right in my life for the conjunction of hand, head and heart. Quite unforseen was the equanimity this handcraft brought. Hitherto, many of my endeavors had been struggles full of frustration. This woodcraft flowed calmly, full of acceptance, even with setbacks. Here was a clear, inexplicable pleasure replete with satisfaction even with miniscule advances, nay reverses, in pursuing the skill.
If we join to grow together, I shall try to nurture this fulfillment for you by sharing in small, definite steps; reinforcing them frequently; sequencing them slowly to handle growing complexity; and then bringing it all together in a supportive manner to reduce stress. I proffer a hand for you to discern your destiny.”
Siqiniq Maupin (she/her they/them) is the director of Sovereign Inupiat for a Living Arctic (SILA) under the Northern Center. She is Inupiaq from Utqiagvik and Nuiqsut currently living in Fairbanks, Alaska. They have worked towards a just transition though an environmental and social justice framework with an Indigenous lens. Their focus is the connection between the health of the land and the health of communities including mental, physical, and spiritual health. In her off time she is a mother of two kids, three dogs, and an artist. silainuat.org
Kendalyn Mckisick is a recent creative writing MFA graduate of UAF who now lives in Anchorage. Though she has spent the past few years in Fairbanks writing poetry and teaching writing, she is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, where she taught several vegan cooking classes and owned a restaurant specializing in raw vegan options with “cooked food Fridays”. She is passionate about food literacy and showing others how to prepare delicious plant-based meals for longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Martin is a third generation weaver. He has been teaching various weaving, needle, and wet felting workshops for longer than he will admit. He is currently working on training the fourth generation.