Alaska Artists: Saradell Ard

lonely caribou in Alakan Nature

As conservationists and people who care deeply for animals and wildlife, we created Alaskan Nature to  provide educational information about the flora and fauna of the great state of Alaska. With both our written information and our stunning photos, Alaskan Nature hopes to inspire people in appreciating and understand the true beauty of Alaska Nature.

Saradell Ard was born March 22, 1920, in Macon, Georgia, to Lillian Garrett Ard and John Ard. She grew up in Georgia and Florida and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky in 1942 and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1943. She began her career as an instructor of art and speech at Asbury College from 1942 to 1947 and became an assistant professor of art and speech at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois from 1947 to 1952.

Prior to coming to Alaska, Saradell Ard worked as a civilian for the U.S. Army Arts and Crafts Program from 1954 to 1962. She began this phase of her career as an educational supervisor in Whittier, Alaska and advanced through the ranks to become the chief of European services for 150 Army installations.

Saradell Ard came to Anchorage to teach art and speech at Alaska Methodist University in 1962. She was promoted to professor of art and speech in 1970 when she earned her Doctorate of Education from Columbia University Teacher's College in New York City. Her doctorial dissertation was "Analysis of Two-Dimensional Eskimo Pictorial Representation with Relevance for Art Teaching in Alaska."

Saradell Ard continued to teach at AMU until 1973, when she was hired by the University of Alaska Anchorage as a professor of art.

Ard was noted as an outstanding visual artist. She is recognized for her abstract paintings and her use of vibrant color. Her art style tended toward unabashed abstracts where color, line and texture, not bears or caches, were the subject. It caught the eye of out-of-state jurors, who regularly included her in their selections for juried art shows. Her paintings are in the permanent collections of UAA and the Anchorage Museum. A scholarship in art is offered in her name at the University of Alaska Anchorage for two full-time University of Alaska Anchorage students who are formally admitted into an art degree program.

Saradell Ard has served as a member of the Anchorage Museum Commission and on the board of directors of the Anchorage Museum Association for most of that museum's twenty-five year history. She has written on contemporary and historical Alaska Native art, including "Alaskan Eskimo Art Today." Saradell Ard was a leader of the Anchorage arts scene for over thirty years, both as a painter and educator. Her early works have evolved from non-representational color-field paintings and abstract expressionist work in the 1960s to a more hard-edged style in the 1970s.

Saradell Ard married Robert Allen Frederick, Ph.D., a professor of history at Alaska Methodist University, in 1969, and was divorced in 1983. She married John R. Van de Water, Ph.D., of Southern California on June 21, 1990, and lived with him until his death in 2001.

With the death of 89 year old Saradell Ard on Dec. 18, 2009, another important personality in the evolution of art in Alaska passed into history. Saradell Ard was part of the first generation of Alaska artists to sever ties with representational art and unapologetically step into the world of abstract color and shape, a group that included William Kimura, Alex Combs and Ronald Senungetuk. She taught hundreds of students and, while few of them went on to careers as painters, many found their life and attitude formed by her insights and enthusiasms.

Johnny AculiakEdwin Tappan Adney| George Twok Aden AhgupukAlvin Eli Amason| Saradell Ard|   Belmore Browne| Vincent ColyerJules Bernard DahlagerLockwood De Forest| Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh| William Franklin Draper| | Henry Wood Elliott| John Fehringer| Claire Fejes| Louis Agassiz Fuertes| Magnus Colcord Heurlin| Norman Jackson| Rockwell Kent| Sydney Mortimer Laurence| Fred Machetanz| Marvin Mangus| Milo Minock| James Kivetoruk Moses| Rie MunozJoseph Henry Sharp| James Everett Stuart| John Webber| Kesler Woodward|


sradell Ard painting

Saradell Ard artwork in Anchorage Alaska

Alaska's Tribes:

Below is a full list of the different Alaska Native cultures. Within each culture are many different tribes.

Learn more about Alaskan tribes

Aleut Athabascan Eyak
Haida Inuit Tlingit
Tsimshian Yupik