The Fine Art of a Fairbanks Art Fixture: Roger Black | Becoming Alaskan

About 15 years ago, Roger Black’s friend, local artist Bob Grunditz, was painting custom signs for the Great Alaskan Bowl Company and asked Black for help. Black, who has a background in fine art, had never done a sign before. So he figured out what to do and got to work. “The first time I put paint on a flat background making those Bowl Company signs,” he recalled in his shop recently, “I was hooked.” He discovered that the paint “flowed like liquid glass from the brush.”

For Black, who now operates the hand-painted sign company Hardluck Studios, it completed a journey that began in childhood and ended in Alaska, where he found the job he wanted to do in the place where he was destined to live. “I should have been born here,” he said, reflecting on his drift north.

David James is a freelance writer living in Fairbanks. Creating Alaska is an ongoing series documenting the lives of artists and makers in Fairbanks. Comments and suggestions for future interviews can be sent via email to [email protected].