Artists bring 'White Christmas' to Downtown, even if the weather won't

Published: Dec. 12, 2017 at 3:12 PM AKST
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The weather is an icy-slushy mess and there isn't any real snow. Many are finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit under these circumstances, especially when you can see the grass through the puddles.

Need a jolt of Christmas cheer? Call artist Katie Sevigny and her band of high school art students.

For $250 they're painting winter or Christmas scenes on storefront windows in downtown Anchorage. Sevigny is donating her time and the students get to either split the money, or use it for their schools' art departments. Sevigny, who owns the art gallery Sevigny Studio, says she wanted a way to make downtown happier looking, so she enlisted the students and then the orders for holiday windows started coming in quickly.

"I really wanted to brighten it up," Sevigny said, "I wanted to have that holiday spirit going around downtown."

At the Log Cabin Visitor Information Center on 4th Avenue, they've drawn snow-covered trees and polar bears.

At Kaladi Brothers Coffee on West 6th Avenue, it's a magical-looking forest with a tiny West High school building.

Over at Cabin Fever, on West 4th Avenue, is an ocean scene with spotted-pink koi swimming gleefully through the water, and a crotchety-looking purple and blue octopus with a Santa Hat slunk low on his bulbous head.

Orders are also being filled for Crush Wine Bistro & Cellar and Salmon Berry Tours.

Sevigny uses white acrylic markers and the students fill in the space with paint.

"We really just need to step up and start doing things like this to make it feel a little better, and a little more inviting," Sevigny said.

Friday afternoon she was busy drawing hoar frost covered trees. South High school artists were coming by on Saturday to add the paint. Sevigny says her artist crew has been extremely excited and inspired to find more work.

"The Dimond girls were just texting saying, 'Hey, we can paint tonight, do you want to paint somewhere?' and the same with the West group, they're like, 'OK let us know if there's more projects," Sevigny said.

Sevigny says her goal for the project is to encourage people to shop and dine downtown and to not abandon the area.

"It's an actual way to make downtown, without the tourists, still alive and beautiful," Sevigny said, "hopefully it will create a spark of creativity."

Any artists who want to join her can