News Release

Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) Celebrates 25 Years of the Kenai River Classic



Nicolosi Portraits of Senator Ted Stevens and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor To Be Auctioned Off to Benefit KRSA Stevens Hooked On Fishing Program

Honor the legacy of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, support the next generation of anglers and take home a valuable keepsake by participating in the Kenai River Sportfishing Association’s (KRSA’s) Kenai River Classic auction. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Classic, KRSA is auctioning off two signed portraits by Celebrity Portrait Artist Nicolosi. One portrait is of Sen. Ted Stevens and the other is of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The O’Connor portrait is especially valuable since it is the first item she has signed after a ten-year mandatory moratorium where she was not allowed to sign items for sale after serving as a Supreme Court Justice. Proceeds from the sale of the portraits will benefit KRSA’s Stevens Hooked on Fishing Program, which offers angler education and hands-on fishing events for youth on the Kenai Peninsula.

“Senator Stevens and Justice O’Connor enjoyed a friendship and passion for fishing in Alaska for many years. We want to re-create that experience of friendship and days of fishing together for the next generation of anglers,” said Ricky Gease, KRSA executive director.

Nicolosi was commissioned to create two enduring images of Stevens and O’Connor to honor Stevens as a co-founder of the Kenai River Classic, as well as to support Stevens’ vision of bringing people to the Kenai River to celebrate its magnificent resources. For 25 years, the Kenai River Classic has been one of the country’s leading conservation events that allows businessmen and women, policy advocates, elected officials and Alaskans to come together as angler to honor the Kenai River and to support KRSA’s conservation efforts.

Portrait bids are being taken online now, and will be finalized at the Kenai River Classic Banquet on Thursday, Aug. 24th. Online bids for the original portraits and a special lifetime KRSA membership offer (which includes a limited edition artist print of either Stevens or O’Connor) can be made at KRSA’s website. Nicolosi also is generously donating a limited edition, signed print copy of each portrait to the Ted Stevens Foundation.

Artist Nicolosi is a top name in contemporary art circles for creating his signature Pop Art portraits of many celebrities in the entertainment, sports, political and corporate arenas. His paintings are saturated with color using explosive, bold strokes. He is included on Guggenheim’s list of the “Top 100 Most Influential Artists in America.” Follow him on Facebook.

In addition to the online auction, a Senate Commerce Committee chaired by Senator Dan Sullivan will hold a full committee hearing on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act on Aug. 23rd, in Soldotna, Alaska in conjunction with the Kenai River Classic. Listen to the Livestream at 1 pm Alaska time (5 pm Eastern) here.

KRSA is a nonprofit professional association dedicated to ensuring the sustainability of the world’s premier sportfishing river – the Kenai. Learn more at and “Like” us on Facebook.


Signed, original portraits of Stevens and O'Connor, by Pop Artist Nicolosi.

Signed, original portraits of Stevens and O’Connor, by Pop Artist Nicolosi.