The Copper River Fish Wheel Original Painting SOLD

Original painting by artist Gail Niebrugge


“Fishwheel” original painting

acrylic on canvas 16″ x 20″ SOLD

After a year of renting strange and poorly insulated mobile homes the Niebrugge family built a solid frame home of their own on an acre near the Copper River. During summer Alaska artist Gail Niebrugge walks the trail through Birch and Cottonwood trees to the rocky shore of the river where the handmade Fishwheel quietly turns in the current, scooping salmon with its chicken wire baskets and depositing them into the wooden box that is attached alongside. An ingenious, efficient way to gather enough fish to sustain a family during the winter.  Every day the fish box is emptied, the fish gutted and cleaned, their heads and entrails thrown back into the river to feed the Bald Eagles and occasional bear. Fresh salmon fillets are vaccuum sealed and frozen, smoked and canned, or roasted on the Bar-B-Q and eaten immediately. Artist Niebrugge says, “it is a good life.”


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