- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

KENAI, Alaska (AP) - Star of the Discovery channel reality show “Alaska: The Last Frontier” Atz Kilcher is looking to build up a site at Fox River where young people can gather to work on art projects.

The Peninsula Clarion reports (https://bit.ly/1HBG8wi) Kilcher, who is a homesteader near Homer, applied to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for permission to construct several permanent buildings near the Old Believer Russian Orthodox village Kachemak Selo.

The proposed campground would include a two-story barn, cabin, bunkhouse, workshop and outhouse. Camp participants would be there for several days working on singing, poetry, painting and other art forms.

“The dream as it’s unfolding, it could involve kids, youths, parents and their kids - I see it more as a writing, art retreat,” Kilcher said. “I could envision letting existing organizations use my facility, turning kids onto the wilderness.”

Plans for the site are still being developed. But Kilcher said he hopes the Fox River area will inspire children to connect more with their art.

The Fox River is a place that Kilcher holds dear. His father, Yule Kilcher, helped found the Fox River Cattlemen’s Association, which has had a grazing lease there for 60 years, he said. Much of his art - baskets, wood carvings and other works - incorporates reeds, bones and stones from the head of Kachemak Bay and throughout the river area.

“The Fox River valley for me has been for me a fantasyland, a retreat,” Kilcher said. “I call it my sanctuary. The theme of healing, the theme of getting in touch with your higher self, of being creative, of being at your best, those kind of things are what I experienced when I was up there. It still has that magic for me.”

Kilcher said being on the Discovery TV show has given him the platform to connect to a broader audience around his homestead.

“With this Discovery chapter in my life, they do some filming of me up there, I’ve put it all in perspective now and I’ve just got to go ‘Wow, I’ve been up there most of my life. Now I’m sharing it with a lot of people via television,’” Kilcher said.

“But when I think about what gives me pleasure, what gives people pleasure, whatever we do to feel a thrill, to feel connected, to feel alive, (the Fox River valley) is where it’s always been at for me.”


Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, https://www.peninsulaclarion.com

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