Apogee Studios has a confidence that was built over 20 years of adjusting apertures and framing snapshots. Within the storefront studio or on location at a favorite park or busy intersection, flashbulbs illuminate high-resolution images of families, children, engaged couples, models, and other subjects in custom photo-shoot packages. A complimentary phone consultation tells muses what to wear and bring, and the fruits of each session arrive on doorsteps in the form of glossy prints or in inboxes as online galleries, which supply retouched shots ready to use in online profiles.
The staff at Alaska Nails, a professional nail salon and school, paints digits in dapper shades while pampering limbs with a variety of spa services. Clients and comrades can perch on multiple pedicure chairs or in-house high wires as technicians brush coats of polish onto outstretched phalanges. Add-ons such as long-lasting Shellac, hand and foot massages, and paraffin dips soothe appendages as patrons repose near the salon's hanging tapestries. Adept artists can also scribe custom nail designs onto tips, ranging from glossy bow ties to accurate topographical maps of the moon. Alaska Nails is open seven days a week until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.
The staff members' motivation at Elderlink Adult Day Services is two fold. First, they give seniors and adults with disabilities the chance to escape boredom and participate in programs that engage and stimulate them in a social atmosphere. These can include everything from music and arts and crafts to games and outings. And second, the staff aims to benefit the caretakers, giving them a few hours off knowing their loved ones are in a safe environment and overseen by professionals.
In 1946, just after the end of World War II, Norman Brown hand-set the type and hand-fed a Linotype press to roll out the first 16-page issue of the Anchorage News. Over the following decades, the publication changed its moniker to the Anchorage Daily News to account for its shift to daily delivery and stocked its trophy cabinet with two Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service, cementing its regard in the minds of Alaskans.
Today, the newspaper lands on more than 50,000 doorsteps each week. The freshly printed folds contain the latest local news, from political updates on the debate over offshore drilling to explanations of how the school system is developing a new math curriculum to help children count past 20 without using each other’s fingers and toes. The sports section keeps up with the Aces’ triumphs, whereas the outdoors pages cover the Iditarod and the latest goings-on at Denali National Park. Readers can also gain insight into the business world, challenge their outlooks with editorials, and peruse entertainment articles before deciding to go see a local improv group or movie.
The head photographer at LRK Studios draws on her experience as a model when constructing comfortable photo shoots for her clients. Held in-studio or at an offsite location that holds special significance to the client, shoots can capture the beauty of a pregnant belly, the bond between engaged couples or newlyweds, or the fuzzy heads of newborn babies unobstructed by the toupees they usually wear. Alternatively, clients can don lingerie or pose for tasteful nude shots during boudoir sessions that aim to capture their sensual side.
Faith Kelly believes that “there is an artist waiting to get out in everyone,” so she founded Focus: Art to give people the tools to find that latent artist. Like its parent organization, Focus, Inc., Focus: Art's goal is to serve people with developmental disabilities. But it also exposes adults to the arts in an environment where everyone can get along, even though they may “think differently or perceive the world differently.”
Focus: Art currently runs four art classes a week. During the first half of each 2.5-hour session, budding artists work on art projects in a variety of media, including painting, printmaking, and sewing. Then, after a tea break, they pull out guitars, homemade maracas, and drums to make music together.
These art projects and jam sessions both inspire community and demonstrate new, creative ways to connect with the world. To celebrate Earth Day, for example, Focus: Art students designed and constructed an applique quilt. During a month of classes, artists designed their squares on paper and recreated them in fabric. Each square contains landscape art such as shining suns and leafy trees. Recently, they have worked with mixed media, gathering trash, twigs, pebbles, and buttons to build textural collages on canvas. Over time, the artists’ work begs to be shown—and purchased—so Focus: Art hosts art shows four times a year to showcase their painting, photography, and sewing projects.
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