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Photos: Dena'ina artwork returns with a new name

A bird, one of the animals from the art installation Prospect, by Ralph Helmick, rests on a table before it is rehung.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Resin animals strung on stainless steel wire from the art installation Prospect by Ralph Helmick are coiled in a box ready to hang.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Erin Gingrich sorts through the resin animals for the art installation Prospect at the Dena'ina Center, June 3, 2014.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Daniel Shaw, technical designer for Helmick Sculpture, slowly lowers a string of resin animals at the Dena'ina Center. The art installation Prospect, by Ralph Helmick, was rehung in the lobby of the Dena'ina Center in downtown Anchorage Tuesday, June 3, 2014.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Pien Huang, project manager for Helmick Sculpture works on a resin animals. The artwork was rehung in the Dena'ina Center, June 3, 2014.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
A resin animal, part of the larger art installation piece Prospect, by Ralph Helmick receives detailed attention during the rehanging process, June 3, 2014.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Pien Huang, project manager for Helmick Sculpture works with one of the strings of animals during the rehanging process at the Dena'ina Center.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Pien Huang, project manager for Helmick Sculpture, and Daniel Shaw, Technical Designer for Helmick Sculpture, rehang the installation piece Prospect, by Ralph Helmick, in the lobby of the Dena'ina Center in downtown Anchorage Tuesday, June 3, 2014.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
A cat, one of the animals from the larger installation piece Prospect, by Ralph Helmick, rests on a table before it is rehung.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Mike Dunham

“Prospect,” a 66-foot-tall art installation with figures depicting animals of the Cook Inlet area, was reinstalled at the Denai’ina Civic and Convention Center this week. Work began on Monday, June 6, and was completed Wednesday. 

“That was a day earlier than we expected,” said Angela Demma, curator of public art for the Municipality of Anchorage. “It all went very smoothly.”

Originally titled “Constellation,” the artwork was first installed at the center in 2008. Some of the urethane figures began to show UV damage from exposure to sunlight, and the piece was removed in November 2013. Damaged components were stripped and repainted, and all pieces received a protective covering to prevent further damage. The work was done by a local business, Flying Colors LLC, Demma said. 

Since the piece was under warranty, Massachusetts sculptor Ralph Helmick, who created it, paid for the removal and refurbishment. At the same time, he took the occasion to rename the piece. “The artist never really liked the (original) name,” Demma said.

Alaskans Erin Gingrich and Kyla Meadows were hired to assist two workers from Helmick’s studio in the reinstallation. Gingrich is a recent graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Meadows is a recent graduate of Eagle River High School. 

The full piece rises three stories in the lobby of the center and is 15 feet wide. It consists of 354 figures, with sea animals at the lowest level, land animals above them and birds on top.

“Prospect” will be part of the Anchorage Museum’s 1 Percent for Art Excursion on July 5, led by Demma. Other tours are scheduled for June 7 and August 2. The tours, led by Demma, start at the museum, 625 C St. Information and tickets are available at tickets.anchoragemuseum.org.

Reach Mike Dunham at mdunham@adn.com or 257-4332.