Kelsey Little, recipient of the Timothy M. Smith Award, spoke about her myriad experiences exploring the beauty of Alaska’s landscapes, whose stories she chose to tell through a number of paintings she completed.
Kelsey shared that the award gave her the opportunity to reconnect with her older brother who has lived in Alaska for a number of years and who she had not seen for some time. Since he is also a pilot, Kelsey was able to accompany her brother on a number of plane voyages above the Alaskan wilderness, which allowed her to see the landscapes from a different vantage point.
Kelsey’s travels through Alaska took her through dense forests, pristine fjords, and steep cliffs. She also visited natural springs, museums showcasing indigenous art, as well as a stand of petrified pine trees known as Ghostwood Forest which resulted from saltwater that flooded a low lying area following an earthquake in 1964, de-leafing the trees while also preserving them. Experiences such as these were formative for Kelsey, who shared with Brian Smith (brother of Timothy Smith and pictured above) that she was able to develop a deeper sense of self and confidence as a result of this unique travel opportunity.