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Though thoughts of Alaska readily engender images of frozen, barren tundra, the burgeoning art scene in the city of Anchorage provides more than a little warmth for anyone with an artistic spirit. In fact, Anchorage, only a three hour plane ride from Seattle, enjoys a climate similar to San Francisco with summer temperatures reaching well above 70°. The city also offers beautiful, natural scenery coupled with a surprisingly lively art community. The typical First Fridays are held in the downtown area, but there are many other events occurring throughout the city that are worthy of note. Each year locals look forward to the Museum Gala, a night celebrating and auctioning the works of local artists at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. The International Art Gallery features one person shows by Alaskan and other contemporary artists, as well as combined artists’ receptions held by the University of Alaska’s Campus Center Gallery and Grant Hall and Carr-Gottsien galleries of Alaska Pacific University. Art students will enjoy countless opportunities to exhibit their work as the schools work to incorporate the Arts within the city’s various communities. If the sheer natural beauty of Anchorage’s landscape isn’t enough to stir artistic expression, certainly the sight of Aurora Borealis on a cold, clear night will serve as a provocative muse for any artist.