A space to create and collaborate

With a new storefront on Third Avenue in downtown Anchorage, Frozen Founders hopes to work with, nurture and showcase artists from across different disciplines. Photo credit: Young Kim

It started as a dream in high school, and then in 2014, Dwayne Carter and Dylan Afusia created Frozen Founders and were making their dream come true. Frozen Founders is a business created to allow artists from all over Alaska to come together at their location to showcase, create and work with other artists. They are newly located at 529 West 3rd Avenue, next to Brown Bag Sandwich Company, and are ready to showcase local artists and provide a spot for creativity to take place.

There are spaces at Frozen Founders for artist to place their artwork, clothing, and albums for sale. While Frozen Founders assist the artists by selling their pieces, they also provide spaces for these artists to work, such as their recording studio that can be rented out to musicians with assistance setting up if needed.

“Our facility not only provides the space for an individual or group of individuals to come in, collaborate and create an idea, but the tools to build that idea or product to the point one is ready to showcase or sell it,” Carter, owner and CEO of Frozen Founders, said. “We have several outlets like our storefront, gallery, boutique or website.”

Before they owned an apartment, their priority was set on opening up a location for their business. Although their first studio location on Minnesota didn’t work out, they were able to grow as a business by networking with various artists. Eight months ago, Frozen Founders bought and moved into their recent downtown After remodeling, they officially opened two months ago with a storefront.

“It’s kind of crazy, I feel like most people that were our age were just starting to get their own spot and we were just starting to get to that point, we both had our own jobs, we could have easily went and got our own place to live but it’s what we wanted to do,” Carter said.

Community is emphasized at Frozen Founders. They support the idea of artists coming together and achieving their goals by doing what they love and sharing their work.

“I feel like there is a huge disconnect between local artist and the public. People don’t know what kind of talent is here, so our mission is to bring everyone together to not only support each other, but to display what Alaska has locally,” Afusia, owner and president of Frozen Founders, said. “The community needs more positive influences and outlets, not only for kids, but also for adults in the community who have a dreams.”

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Andrea Luper, an artist featured at Frozen Founders, supports the idea of helping the art scene grow in Anchorage.

“I would describe the Frozen founders as ambitious, passionate, and dedicated to their cause. When talking to them you can feel their excitement about what they envision, even if they’re exhausted from all the work,” Luper said. “Providing resources and an outlet for people to be able to create is invaluable, and the more we can bring to a small city like Anchorage, the better off the city will be.”

The sense of support that Frozen Founders provides may encourage artists to stay in Alaska to pursue their work. Artists, like Luper, are able to go to Frozen Founders to continue their work, and may even pick up a new technique.

“My favorite part of what they’re doing is the fact that they’re doing it, the fact that they believe in Anchorage and want to make it a better place for people to stay, and not feel like they have to leave to another, more established city,” Luper said. “I’m looking forward to having somewhere I can go to work that’s outside of my house, and as a place to connect to other artists. I have only dabbled in screen-printing, but I would love to delve deeper into that medium.”

Frozen Founders was based off a dream and now they want to help others pursue theirs by providing this space, assistance and support.

“Everybody has dreams and people feel like because of society that they have to put their dreams off to the side and get a 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. job, I mean, we all have to at some point, but I don’t feel like you have to put your dreams on the shelf, you could still pursue it,” Carter said.

Working together is what Frozen Founders believes will make this community stronger. They want artist to know that they are being supported by other artist and eliminate the thought of competition.

“There is strength in numbers, I feel like the society we live in forces us to think as an individual, but if we work together we can build a future that can benefit all of us here and all to come,” Carter said.

As of now, the recording studio can be booked by appointment and the storefront is open from 6 – 11 p.m on weekdays and 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on weekends. As summer approaches, hours are subject to change and Frozen Founders is planning to be open all day.