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Carolyn Reed's 'Bering Sea' Opens At Museum Of The Aleutians

May 24, 2018

"Madonna with Fish."
Credit Courtesy Carolyn Reed

Carolyn Reed has been a fixture in Unalaska since 1983. Her solo show “Bering Sea: Works by Carolyn Reed” opens Friday at the Museum of the Aleutians.

The name, Reed explains, comes from the water that surrounds Unalaska.

“I started realizing way back in the 80s [the Bering Sea] had had a huge effect on my lifestyle here," Reed said. "I worked as a processor at the beginning, then as an offloader, and in quality control. [I worked] all around the fisheries. Later on, I got into subsistence lifestyles and just kind of [had] an emotional attachment with the sea. Whether it’s hiking along the cliffs or kayaking -- and I realized it significantly changed my life. At that point, I realized it had probably changed the lives of others as well.”

Reed says the show focuses on the relationship people have with the water -- including glimpses of subsistence lifestyle, the fisheries and processing plants.

The show has already been exhibited at the Alaska Pacific University but that show, Reed says, was half the size. This time around there are nearly 60 pieces.

One piece named “The Woman Saint of the Processors” took her five years to complete. Reed thinks people often overlook the hard work processors do.

“There is no saint for the processors," Reed said. "There’s a patron saint for fishermen and pretty much everyone else. I felt these people that are kind of ghosts in the community needed a patron saint, too.”

Reed’s show “Bering Sea: Works by Carolyn Reed” opens Friday at 6 p.m.