Pratt Museum accepting local stories for January exhibit, ‘Our Stories, Our Place’

Homer’s Pratt Museum is opening the new year with their “Our Stories, Our Place” exhibit. Typically in the past the Pratt has been closed in January to conduct general maintenance on the building and plan for the year. In 2024, however, the museum will stay open throughout the month.

“This year will be the 55th anniversary for the Pratt Museum and we thought it would be exciting to try put something together that coincides with the larger mission of the museum: strengthening the relationship between people and place,” said Whitney Harness, visitor services and communications manager with the Pratt. “The community members of Homer and Kachemak Bay are the voice the region so we thought it we would put out a notice for the opportunity for people to share their personal memories.”

The focus of the exhibit will be how people’s memories and stories from the past can pave the way forward. The call for stories includes both written composition and various forms of visual art and photographs.

So far the museum has already collected about 25 written stories and about 40 pieces of student art.

“We have a goal of 100 pieces of student art, so we expect to see a few more coming in,” Harness said.

Harness mentioned that community members who would like to make a contribution should not be concerned about the length or structure of a story, even something very short, a brief memory, can be submitted.

“When we first started this project, for example, we had a patron explain to us that the first time they visited the Pratt was on a date when they were 16 years old. The person drove from Kenai to Homer and drove down specifically to visit in 1968.

“We’re looking for organic moments of interaction people might have had with the Pratt, maybe even just a photograph of your child at an exhibit or on the forest trails is eligible for submission. We’re really just looking for the everyday stories that people recall and it will help us determine some of our planning over the next couple of years,” Harness said.

Curator of education and outreach, Keetra Dixon, will be hosting a weekly family event during the month of January when the museum will provide a prompt to participants to create some art together that will be added to the exhibit as well.

The exhibit will be on display from Jan. 5 to Feb. 5 and will be featured in a First Friday Exhibition on Feb. 2.

Submissions can be made at the Pratt’s online portal or physically submitted in person. Submissions can be made even after the exhibit opens in January.