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  • The Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce works to promote the area as an attractive place for business and community. We acknowledge the impact that local artists have on that community and making it a wonderful place for business, tourism, and residents to thrive. The Artist of the Year Award is meant to help both emerging and established local artists grow the business side of their art through opportunity, exposure, and networking.

    Through these opportunities, the Fairbanks Chamber hopes to strengthen the artist's ties to the community, grant them added exposure to future clients, sponsors, and patrons, as well as help them to build networking relationships to propel their future success.

    • Your piece for submission
    • A description of your submission to include the title, medium, and submission's value (for insurance coverage purposes)
    • A portfolio containing an additional 3-7 pieces to help our judges understand your body of work. 
    • 100-200 words describing your presence in the local art community, what goals you hope to accomplish in your career as an artist, and why you would like to be considered for this years’ Artist of the Year.
    **The submission piece must be in a medium that can be easily portable, installed on a wall, and constantly viewed (ex. A piece requiring electricity, sound, or the presence of the artist could not be displayed at all times). This does not reflect any opinions on the definition of art or intend to discount any of our many talented local artists. For the implementation of this competition, we need a tangible work. If you work in a 3-dimensional medium you may still submit work, but you will be judged on a 2-dimensional representation, so please be sure photographs of your work are of high quality.
    • 1-year complimentary membership in the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce
    • Artwork featured on the Fairbanks Chamber’s select promotional material
    • Promotion through the Fairbanks Chamber channels for your art events at other venues throughout the year
    • Annual Meeting Recognition

    The Artist of the Year may also select from the following list of opportunities:

    • 5-Minute Spotlight at a luncheon
    • Professional headshots 
    • Press release/article
    • 1 hour of free brand/business consulting
    • Studio tour as a Membership Monday post
    • Complimentary Midnight Sun Festival Booth 
    • Complimentary Golden Days Street Fair Booth 
    • Media highlight/interview
    • Presentation to membership
    • First Friday event hosted by the Chamber
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  • Meet the 2023 Artist of the Year

    Anya Toelle

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  • Anya Toelle was selected to be the 2023 Artist of the Year for her piece titled, Flying North!

    Anya Wien Toelle was born, raised, and based in Fairbanks. She started her journey with painting in high school art classes at West Valley. She attended two years at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she took a few painting classes with the late Annie Duffy. Anya’s friend convinced her to transfer to University of Alaska Anchorage and she spontaneously declared her major as art. Anya graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Painting and a minor in History. 

    Anya comes from a family of bush pilots. Her brother, Neill, is a commercial pilot who is based out of Nome. He often sends Anya photos of his views from his “office” across the Western regions of Alaska. One of her favorite places to visit, and main inspiration for paintings, is her grandparent’s cabin in the Brooks Range.  This special place has had a major influence on her perception of what it means to live in Alaska and the importance of preserving the land. She often finds herself getting lost in paintings and is drawn to the rocks and tiny trees, and the complex shapes and shadows created on a bluebird day in the Arctic. 

    Anya’s dad and step mom, Doug and Jane, own Running Reindeer Ranch. This has inspired many paintings of reindeer and other wildlife that can be found in Alaska.

    Anya was the The Northern Alaska Environmental Center’s Featured Artist of 2022.