by Greg Lincoln

Alaska is known for inspiring beautiful art. Art can be found wherever you want to find it. In nature, at home, in the sky, or even close up. With all this inspiration around us, your Alaskan-motivated art creation can be the next design to be used on Alaska’s upcoming license plate.

The panelists have been chosen who will decide on the design finalists. You may know some of them. In fact, one of them is from right here in our area – Phillip Blanchett, co-founder of the musical group Pamyua.

The others are: First Lady Donna Walker – Attorney, ex-surfer, doting grandmother; Senator Mia Costello – Pilot, teacher, Olympic Trialist; Roy Agloinga – Author, Inupiaq speaker, Rasmuson Foundation Program Officer; Pat Race – Filmmaker, artist, political satirist; Ray Troll – Artist, musician, fossil enthusiast, raconteur extraordinaire; Aliy Zirkle – Musher, kennel owner; Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins – Cellist, college creator, and ultramarathoner.

These panelists have been selected based on their life-long investment in things uniquely Alaskan and their diverse representation of what it means to be at home on the Last Frontier – not to mention their publicly-recognized good taste, said a release from Rep. Kreiss-Tomkin’s office. These brave and discerning folks will sort through layers of license plate designs to choose a handful of finalists, which will then be voted on by the public to choose an ultimate winner.

The design deadline is April 24, 2017. The design guidelines, instructions for uploading, and example templates are posted at The new plate will be available for all Alaskans to put on their cars as an official DMV-issued license plate for a limited run through the next four years, before the call opens again, and a new design is chosen. Best wishes and happy artistry!