Artist prepares last gallery show

KETCHIKAN — A Ketchikan artist and former gallery owner is getting ready for her last gallery show at Main Street Gallery.


Diane Naab’s show, titled “Muse: A Solo Show,” will feature a vast array of her work, including photographs, mixed media sculpture, abstract painting and beadwork.

“My thing is being inspired by one (subject), and doing it in several media,” Naab said, while holding a small framed piece showing the dark center of a poppy constructed of beads next to a large oil painting of a bright orange poppy.

That theme repeats a number of times in the show, including a set of acrylic dishes styled after a large painting which hangs in Naab’s office and a photograph of wildflowers that became the subject for an impressionistic painting.

Aside from the portraits and photography, there is plenty of abstract art to tickle the eyes. A collection of small pieces is made of rusted metal gathered from Ward Cove and attached to textured and painted canvas with wires and adorned with beads.

Naab described her muse as her own creativity. The painting titled “Muse,” used in the promotional material for the show, is a self-portrait and is a picture of the person looking inside of her, she said.

Soon after arriving in Ketchikan, she was became involved with the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council and had her first solo show in November 1998. It was titled “A Muse In Every Corner.”

Naab doesn’t stick to one type of art, but allows her art to drift wherever her creativity takes her. She said she has been creating art “since I was born.” She is not traditionally trained, but instead learned from her mother, who was a professional artist. Naab has let her attention to shift during her art career, allowing her to try many types of art, from developing her photos in a darkroom, to sewing beads to canvas before splashing them with paint.

“It doesn’t matter what my job is, I always find a way to get my art into it somehow,” she said.

The upcoming show will feature more than 100 pieces of Naab’s art. The display will be retrospective, celebrating the 16 years she and her husband, Michael Naab, have lived in Ketchikan.

On display will be some of her graphic design work, as well as a collection of the Monthly Grind posters she has created over the years.

The Naabs came to Ketchikan when Michael got a job as the director of the city’s museum. Their upcoming move in September is bittersweet since their move to Suquamish, 30 minutes outside Seattle, Wash., will bring them closer to children and grandchildren. But she will be leaving many friends behind.

“I will certainly miss the people here, and the lifestyle,” she said. “It’s such a huge arts community. You see so many people who thrive on their art and that is hard in a big city. That change will be different.”

She has hope that Seattle won’t be too far away for people traveling through.

“Every single person in this city goes to Seattle, either on their way somewhere, or for medical (services) or just for shopping. All they have to do is just call me and I’ll meet them for a drink of wine,” she said. “Come and stay at my house. I know I’ll see people again.”

Naab will be setting up the show this week, gearing up for the big opening Friday. A visit to Paris last year is the inspiration for the food and drink to be served. She has procured a liquor license and will serve wine and champagne, along with “French-style tapas.”

The show will run at Main Street Gallery at 330 Main Street, though July 26.


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