Fandoms showcased in Anchorage

A “fandom” can be cultivated from any interest — from Harry Potter to sports to designer shoes — a fandom is an interest that is taken to the next level.

A new exhibit at the Anchorage Museum will host a unique mix of fandoms for all ages. The museum’s “Art of Fandom” exhibit will open Friday, Oct. 13 and will run until mid-March 2018.

Photo credit: Jian Bautista

“We were interested in exploring subculture pop and how it gets expressed in fandoms,” Kirsten Anderson, the museum’s deputy director and chief curator, said. “[It can be] expressed through art, collectibles, a little bit of history and science as well.”

The exhibit, which will showcase artists’ work from all over the world, is located on the museum’s third floor in the west wing. It is sectioned off into different “themes” and has a little bit of everything for fans of all aspects of pop culture to enjoy.

An anime and manga section will explore the work of artists like Sebastian Masuda, and features characters like Pokemon and Hello Kitty.

“Comicdom” will have all types of comic books on exhibit, with artwork by Marco D’Alfonso and more.

Whether it’s Star Wars, Star Trek or another fantasy world that is preferred, there is something for most sci-fi geeks in the Science Fiction Fandom section.

Artist Red Hong Yi will be holding a talk at the museum from 6 – 7 p.m. on the day of the exhibit’s opening. She is known for using common everyday materials to make shadow puppets of Star Wars characters. The talk with Yi is included with admission.

The Literary Fandom section will have art, film clips and books from popular written work. Most of these works have turned into blockbusters, such as “Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter” and “Game of Thrones.” Fans of literary works from Jane Austen or Shakespeare are in luck, as those authors’ work will also be featured in the exhibit.

“Bandom” will look at American bands that have their own, large fan base. These bands include My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. Memorabilia, autographed photos and posters of the popular bands will be on display.

For all the sports fans out there, a section dedicated to sports’ team memorabilia will be on display. Televisions at the museum will play different sports games to enjoy while visiting the exhibit.

“We’re all kind of fans of something and how that gets expressed is different for everybody,” Anderson said. “I think sci-fi is really interesting. The fans of sci-fi have influenced what technology looks like and gets developed, and what science gets researched and explored. It can be pretty amazing how fans influence just the world we live in and what peaks people’s interest.”

Another fandom loved by all ages is superheroes. With constant new movies and plenty of “good guys” to choose from.

Anchorage resident, Keisha Best, will be attending the opening night of the museum’s newest exhibit. Best says she “loves museums and anything cultural” but is also excited because of an interest in DC’s Justice League.

“Anything pertaining to that, and especially Wonder Woman, I’m there. I love her,” Best said.

A preview night, for those who are members of the Museum, will be held the night before the official opening, Oct. 12 from 6 – 7 p.m. Dressing up as your favorite pop culture character is encouraged, as the best costume will win a private tour of the museum’s animal-marine exhibit.

Admission to the museum is half-price on Friday nights, as part of the Polar Nights program.

The exhibit opens Friday, Oct. 13. from 7 – 8 p.m.