Not long ago, someone who follows my art suggested an “old” Albany Georgia Landmark, the Arctic Bear restaurant as an art subject. I remember this landmark from my childhood although I don’t have any firm memories of eating there, but I have a clear memory of seeing that great vintage sign.
In my early years we went to Albany frequently. My grandmother was in a nursing home there and my Mom’s brother and his family lived on one of the avenues just off Slappey. In fact until the year my grandmother and uncle passed we were down there just about every weekend. So Albany of about 40 years ago has a solid place in my memory. Those visits faded and I wasn’t aware that the old Arctic Bear drive in was no more. In fact, it lasted from 1950 to 1995 which is an impressive run for a restaurant, I think.
As I said, it was the vintage polar bear and ice cream cone sign that has stuck in my mind from all those years ago, and I decided that was what I would focus on in an artwork honoring this Albany landmark on the corner of Slappey Drive and Oglethorpe Boulevard .
I’m not sure why but my very first impulse was that this great old neon sign would look good against a starry night sky. Maybe it’s a memory packed somewhere in the back of my brain? Or maybe it’s simply a visual that would have clicked for me regardless. What do you think?
These old mid-century modern signs are just priceless and it’s my understanding that the one for the Arctic Bear still exists despite the restaurant having been closed for more than two decades. I’m told it belongs to the Thronateeska Heritage Center in Albany.
Hope you enjoy this Arctic Bear art featuring an Albany Georgia landmark. I’d love to hear what brought you hear to look at it. Memories? A love of old neon signs? I hope this captures your imagination either way.
I hope you’ll share your memories of the Arctic Bear. If you have comments, questions about my work or for that matter suggestions for future art subjects, you can always leave a comment down below or send a message.