Media & Testimonials
See story on the work being done at Alderworks in the June 3, 2015 Juneau Empire’s Capital City Weekly arts section.
Read the post about how Alderworks Alaska is using the quiet power of Dyea to inspire writer and artists on the blog site 49 Writers.
See photo feature from The Skagway News in August 2019 about resident artist Sebastian Chaloner’s trail sculptures.
Read about Michael and Kathy Gates’ fall 2014 experience in the Bea cabin at Alderworks in the Sept 26, 2014 Yukon News.
- From Liz Seaton, summer 2021 writer: “Alderworks Alaska Artists and Writers Retreat nourished my soul and invigorated the substantial writing of what I hope will become my first nonfiction book. Jeff and Dorothy intentionally made magic for creative folks on their family land, inviting us in to focus on our projects requiring a period of concentration. It’s a beautiful gift. The light, the river, the mountains, the lovely Bea cabin plus the galloping horses, visiting dogs Maya and Hudson, and the hopping stellar jays – this place has it all. Thank you so much for believing in me and my project!”
- From Alexander Landerman, summer 2021 artist: “Alderworks Alaska was nothing short of incredible. The accommodations are beautiful, the setting is like no other, and the community is warm and inviting. I have been exceptionally fortunate to participate in a variety of programs, all of which have been unique and special in their own way. Alderwoks, however, has completely changed my understanding and expectations of what a residence can be. My research focuses on wildlife and wild spaces and this program allowed me to connect with my subjects and experience them in a way I cannot in my day-to-day life. The lack of distractions allowed me to focus entirely on my research and I feel it is some of the strongest illustration work I’ve produced. I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to visit this place and hope it is not my last stay with Jeff and Dorothy.”
- From Suzie Eckl, summer 2019 writer: “I’ve made it back to Virginia and have had a little time to reflect on my five incredibly productive weeks in Alaska. I wrote tens of thousands of words, restructured my novel-in-progress, read nine books (all of which have directly served my novel), and prepared myself for what may be my last academic year in grad school. You two are amazing. You made me feel welcome and supported. Thank you so much for inviting me to Alderworks this past season – and for all the grocery runs, hikes, the dinner at the Thai restaurant, and all other things big and small that your took the time and energy to do. I hope our paths cross again.”
- From Ed (and Carol) Aust, summer 2019 writer/artist couple: “My wife, Carol, and I spent four weeks at Alderworks in the Mary Jane cabin. Each morning we would pocket our bear spray and hike two miles up a logging road to the “blue bridge” (Jay Frey Recreation Bridge), gaze up the creek to the breathtaking West Creek Glacier, then return to the cabin to paint and write. The Mary Jane cabin had ample room for both of us to work. I generally wrote in the bedroom, and Carol painted in the front room. She loved the lack of distraction and created a new body of work that became the seeds for a future series of paintings. The residency emboldened my identity as a poet by giving me time and space for reflection in one of the most beautiful regions on the planet. I participated in the North Words Writers Symposium in nearby Skagway, which coincided with my stay. Rarely have I engaged with such a warm, friendly, and welcoming group of writers of all genres and skill levels. I came away from the residency and symposium with a renewed commitment to read, write, and protect our precious jewel of a planet.”
- From Kirsten Christianson, summer 2018 poet: “All in all, I cannot share enough positives about my experience at Alderworks. I am so grateful to you, Jeff and Dorothy, for offering me space to write and heal. Any chance I have to chat with writers, I tell them, ‘If your life allows, apply to Alderworks.’ My hope is that a writer friend will at one point, or another, land a spot in one of your cabins. And if they do, I cannot wait to see what creative work their experience produces.”
- From Rachel Wilson, summer 2018 artist: “I was a resident of Alderworks in August of 2018 and had the enormous pleasure of watching the Alaskan summer rush into bloom around me in the gardens and woods, then gently ripen and fade into the beginning of autumn. Alaska is pretty much a magical part of the world to my mind anyway, and the summer was an extravagant show. To be able to actually live and work, reflect and appreciate in the midst of this and in the astounding landscape of the Dyea Valley was a huge gift. Perhaps a greater gift however, was the generous welcome and the undemanding but complete support of the Brady family. There was both time and acceptance without pressure or expectation except that I would make good use of the opportunity. And use it I did to find my ways down those unexpected creative paths that open when there is the quiet to perceive and pursue them.”
- From Agnes Bannigan, summer 2018 writer: “…my time at Alderworks and in your Bea cabin has altered me in profound ways. It provided valuable clarity for my writing and emotional life. I accomplished so much and it gave me the momentum to keep producing, revising, and polishing pieces for publication…. Thank you so much for selecting me for the retreat but also helping to install and build my confidence and to take me seriously as a writer deserving of your gift. Alderworks is truly a gift!”
- From X̱’unei – Lance A. Twitchell, summer 2017 resident writer and professor of language arts at UAS: “Alderworks was an amazing creative experience. There is just the right mix of hospitality and space to work, and the location is absolutely perfect. While sitting in the beautiful cabin buried in research, or on the porch listening to the river while writing, it was one of the most productive times of my life.”
- From Mary Catharine Martin, summer 2017 resident writer from Juneau, Alaska: “It’s basically an artist’s dream existence: wake up to light filtering through a stained glass window. Pad downstairs. Make tea. Work all day. At Alderworks’ Bea cabin, I completed the second half of the first draft of my novel in progress, 250 pages in about three weeks. I wrote every morning until early afternoon, when I left for a run with at least one of the Brady’s dogs. Then I’d come back, read one of the many books I brought with me for research, or write and edit once again. The property is beautiful (with Dorothy’s skill at gardening, I can’t wait to see what it looks like in a few years), the woodpile is always stocked, and, most of all, you have the resources you most need to do good work: time and space to think and create. Dorothy and Jeff Brady are wonderful, friendly and supportive but respectful of writers’ and artists’ need for quiet. I missed my time at Alderworks before it was even finished, and I highly recommend the residency to other writers and artists.”
- From Jessica Ramer, summer 2017 resident poet from Mississippi: “Alderworks offers the perfect blend of solitude and community. The individual cabins were well-built, comfortable, and far enough away from other cabins to provide for the quiet needed to write for uninterrupted periods. Fellow residents provided intellectual stimulation and companionship. I particularly enjoyed the summer (North Words Writers Symposium) conference with its cross-section of Alaska writers as well as the opportunity to teach poetry to middle-schoolers from a Montessori school. The area offers splendid recreation–hiking trails, horseback riding, and tours based in Skagway. Coming to Alderworks was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I recommend it highly to artists and creative writers.”
- From Kathryn Kain, summer 2016 resident artist from San Francisco Bay area: “This last August of 2016 I had the amazing privilege of being invited to the Alderworks Alaska Artist and Writers Retreat. I was not sure what to expect but relished the exciting prospect of a new landscape to fuel my interest in botanical imagery. As it happened, my arrival coincided with an explosion of mushroom fruiting, the likes of which, locals said, they hadn’t seen in many years. So besides painting local plants and the vast pristine landscape, I harvested incredible mushrooms to draw and paint from life. We also harvested and ate some King Boletus Mushrooms which were absolutely delicious. The compound in Dyea on West Creek was stunningly beautiful. My cabin, the Mary Jane Cabin, provided me a charming home to work from for four weeks, so much so it was hard to leave. Provided with a bicycle I rode out to the tidal flats nearly every day to forage, photograph and paint. Jeff and Dorothy Brady are lovely hosts, making sure the residents have what they need, as well as hosting us, driving us to town and dropping off blueberries and freshly caught salmon filets every now and then. This was a beautiful experience and I thank Jeff, Dorothy and Annie Brady for the warm supportive environment they provided. This residency was a highlight of my year and I would encourage anyone looking to retreat back to wilderness to attend this residency.”
- From Liesl Ravenscroft, summer 2016 resident writer from South Africa: “Thank you for sharing your beautiful creative haven (and heaven!) with me and thank you for a host of other things that contributed towards the perfect peaceful space to work – shopping lifts, advice, fish, fresh veggies in the garden, printing services, a much-needed hike up AB Mountain, well-equipped cabins…. I have happily done what I set out to do – completed my memoir plus connected with my illustrating again (Kathryn and her mushrooms were an inspiration!)…. What you are doing here is truly wonderful – I’m sure Alderworks is going to become a shining star in creative circles.”
- From Mollie Hosmer-Dillard, summer 2016 resident painter from Midwest and NYC: “It’s been such an honor and a delight to spend a month in Dyea. I haven’t done a ton of residencies, but this one’s taken the cake! Every element of what you have set up here is perfect for an artist’s retreat – the landscape is so breathtaking, the cabins have been built with such love and care, and the two of you and your family are so warm, kind and fun.”
- Yukon playwright Patti Flather spent two weeks testing out the Margaret cabin in early May 2016: “Alderworks is an incredible gift for writers and artists. During my two-week stay in Margaret, a cozy log cabin all to myself, I was welcomed warmly by Jeff and Dorothy Brady, two gentle, generous artist souls, along with their family and dedicated team of workers, all making this family homestead a rural gem. I felt nourished by this stunning environment at the end of the road in Dyea. This residency gave me the time and solitude to delve into my first novel, sorting out its multiple characters in a space free of distractions, besides watching resident horses Twilight and Glory munch grass or the brilliant red-breasted sapsucker pecking away outside my cabin window, the nearby river’s rush constantly soothing. I found inspiration everywhere, from A.B., Cleveland and the other snow-capped mountains which seemed to glow from dawn to dusk as I wrote, to Dorothy’s found objects artfully gracing garden nooks and my bike rides to the Dyea Flats and Taiya River estuary. Thank you Alderworks!”
- Finally, please watch the Leigh Newman testimonial video below about her three weeks at Alderworks in August 2015, when she was one of our early residents testing the Mary Jane cabin (she also returned for a second two-week stay in Margaret in late August 2016):