One of Katie Ione Craney's pieces

A creation by Katie Ione Craney. Courtesy of the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council

Several well-known female Alaska writers and authors have been making their way across the state — in the form of two-dimensional artwork created by Haines-based artist Katie Ione Craney.

Craney's traveling exhibit, "Landfalls: Dedications to Alaskan Women" has appeared in collections and galleries in Anchorage, Haines, Homer, Juneau, Soldotna, Skagway and Massachusetts in the past few years.

"It's gone places, which has been really wonderful," Craney told the Daily News in a Wednesday phone interview.

And starting next Friday, "Landfalls" will be housed at Ketchikan's Main Street Gallery throughout the end of the month.

"Landfalls" features metal-work tributes to Alaska women who have inspired Craney throughout her life.

Craney launched the project about three years ago.

"It started after reading a book titled 'The Coming Earth' by Eva Saulitis," Craney recalled.

Saulitis, an orca biologist working in Prince William Sound, wrote the book as "kind of her final passage of her experience dealing with breast cancer," Craney explained.

"So it basically (was) just an incredibly visceral experience reading her final work and how she discusses just life and death and grappling with the really complicated questions, and I just felt really compelled to make a piece of work to dedicate to her and her life and her work," Saulitis said.

Saulitis' work was inspiration to Craney, but the more she thought about the artwork she had created after reading "The Coming Earth," the more Craney found she had other ideas.

"And then I realized that I've had kind of feelings like that before and wanted to honor some of the people who have inspired me," Craney said. "I read a lot, and so I'm constantly inspired and drawn to make work and have conversations about the things that I read. So this is kind of a way of giving back to some of the women in Alaska who have helped guide my knowing and understanding."

"Landfalls" includes 18 pieces of art depicting 15 Alaska women, including, but not limited, to Ernestine Hayes, Velma Wallace and Joan Naviyuk Kane.

"I have a pretty nontraditional work style," Craney commented. "I work with two-dimensional scrap metal that I salvage from wherever I can find it."

Craney cuts the sheets into smaller pieces by hand. Each piece that Craney creates includes three small panels to represent the women she has in mind for the piece's inspiration.

"And on them, I heat up the metal and I layer encaustic hot wax onto the metal, and then I layer imagery like photographs and drawings and various different found objects and materials on to the metal, and it all seals on top with wax."

Craney said that many artists would describe her style as mixed-media, but she isn't a fan of the term.

"It's a little bit complicated," she said. "So when I say 'mixed media,' that's kind of flat. Like, it needs to be a bit more described."

Completing a project can take anywhere from a half hour to a few days.

"It depends on the subject matter, the story I'm trying to tell through it, and sometimes, the wax can just be really finnicky with the material I'm trying to layer on top of the metal," Craney said.

"Landfalls" will have an in-person opening from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 5 at the Main Street Gallery.

There will be an in-person reception, but social distancing will be observed and masks will be required in the gallery.