First Friday: Ice, primroses, Portugal and famous photographs

Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2006

A few days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, Alaska State Museum curator Mark Daughhetee was still haunted by the image of the first plane crashing into the north tower. He created a model of the building out of cardboard, plastic, foam rubber and steel wool and tried to duplicate the picture that was in his head.

"I think creating the image was my way of working through that terrible event, but it was too fresh," Daughhetee said. "I kept it covered in my studio with sheets so if somebody walked in they wouldn't see it."

Daughhetee had been thinking about recreating famous photographs for some time and eventually he returned to "911." It turned out to be the beginning of "Reconstructions," a four-year project that opens Friday at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. The exhibition includes replicas of 12 iconic photos - from Alexander Garner's July 4, 1863, "Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter" to James Rosenthal's epic shot of the flag-raising on the island of Iwo Jima to the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.

"I was really interested with these iconic images throughout the history of photojournalism and how that is coupled with the way that we see things and remember things," Daughhetee said. "So I began creating these images that are part of our visual lexicon."

Some of the photographs are intended to be pure replicas. "Earthrise," modeled after William Anders' 1968 photograph of the Earth rising above the surface of the moon as seen from Apollo 8, uses a bowling ball in front of black velvet. The moon is made out of chicken wire and tissue paper.

For "Bullet Test," a recreation of professor Harold Edgerton's 1963 microsecond exposure of a bullet piercing an apple, Daughhetee carved the entrance and exit wounds out of foam. He stuck feathers in the foam to duplicate the look of vaporized apple.

Other photographs are true to the originals' layout but take a spin on the subject matter. Many people have likely seen Eddie Adams' 1968 photograph of a Viet Cong prisoner being executed on the streets of Saigon. In "Hosed," Daughhetee's son, Zane, stands in a Boulder, Colo., subdivision, getting sprayed in the head by a hose held by his roommate.

The exhibition will travel in September to the International Gallery of Contemporary Art in Anchorage, and in October to the Well Street Art Company in Fairbanks.

• ALASKA STATE MUSEUM, 395 Whittier St.: Anchorage photographer Hal Gage spent almost six years consumed with ice. He found it in mud puddles in his backyard, small patches in alley ways and towering glaciers not too far from his home. The result is "Ice....," a series of black-and-white, pigmented-ink prints, some as large as 40 inches square. The exhibition opens from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, and runs through April 15. Admission is free, and Gage will speak about the project at 6 p.m. Friday.

"Evidently ice has great meaning to me on a lot of levels, and the way I attack these kind of projects is in kind of an Andy Goldsworthy way," Gage said. "I go out into the subject and try to live with it for an extended period of time to see if I can understand it on a more spiritual level."

That doesn't mean Gage pitched a tent on a glacier. He found all of his ice within 100 miles of his home.

"One of the parameters of this project was to find and understand ice within my home territory, so to speak," he said. "I made sure that what the project wasn't was a survey show. I did not go out and try to find every variety of ice as its scientifically designated. I wanted to be sure my experience with ice was completely emotional."

Gage has been working with photography in Alaska since the early 1980s. He's shown nationally and internationally, and opened The Gallery of Contemporary Fine Art Photography in 1993. "Ice" has traveled through Fairbanks, Soldotna and Homer since opening in October 2004 at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

• JUNEAU ARTS AND HUMANITIES COUNCIL, 206 N. Franklin St.: Sharron Lobaugh has usually worked with landscapes during her 40 years as a Juneau artist. That changed last April, when her husband's primroses started coming up at the couple's 90-acre property on Admiralty Island.

"They're just so unusual in their color schemes, it really started to attract my interest," Lobaugh said. "I began to look at them carefully. There really is quite a bit of difference in the way they seed, the way they grow, the different flower shapes, the different color patterns. There's a lot more variety than I expected."

monthly grind debuts after first friday

juneau empire

the city's first monthly grind, an open-mike-style variety show, will be held on the evening of friday, feb. 3, at the vfw hall, the building behind the baranof hotel on first street and gastineau avenue.

the event has been planned in conjunction with first friday and is intended to be a tradition on the first friday of every month. ketchikan has held a similar show for years.

the all-ages family grind starts at 7 p.m. and is $5 or free with a dessert. the pisel-davis family will emcee, and the 20-minute intermission will include a coffee and dessert social.

the 21-and-over bump-n-grind begins at 10 p.m. and is also $5. collette costa will emcee. alcohol will be provided by the hangar.

tickets are limited to 100 seats and will be sold at the door. each show will have 12 performers, all with 5 minutes to do whatever they wish. as of tuesday, all 12 spots in the bump-n-grind had been booked and two remained in the family grind.

to sign up for a future grind, or for more information, contact john at 957-2776 or

"Primula," Lobaugh's latest show, will include 15 watercolors of different primrose species and a large abstract oil. Lobaugh worked mostly from photographs at her Fritz Cove studio.

The Lobaughs spend about half a year on their 90-acre property, near a lagoon due west of Horse and Colt islands. In the 1920s, a homestead at the site supplied Juneau with much of its strawberry and green onion crop. The Lobaughs bought the site in 1970. Kliff, Sharon's husband, raises artichokes, potatoes, cabbage, peas, carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, garlic, kale, apples, plums, cherries and rows and rows of primroses.

• JUNEAU ARTISTS GALLERY, 175 S. Franklin St.: Robyn Marriott, a state worker for more than two decades, has slowly rebuilt her glass studio since the spring of 2005. On March 16, a neighboring condo caught fire and the blaze spread to her home. She lost all her kilns and 10 to 12 boxes of finished art, not to mention her clothes and most of her belongings.

Marriott now works out of a spare bedroom in her rental, which her landlord had allowed her to rewire to accommodate two new kilns - one for jewelry and one for fusing glass. But she's been holding off from making much since Christmas. She and her husband, Larry, plan to move to Sand Point, Idaho, sometime this spring.

"It has mountains, waters and trees, and I have close relatives in Canada and Larry has his kids in Washington," Marriott said. "It has four seasons, and if we can find some property, it would be nice to have a real garden. It just seems to fit."

Marriott, the featured artist in February, grew up in town and has lived here for the last 21 years. She plans to return each fall for the Public Market, and the gallery will also sell her work on consignment. She will have about 100 pieces on display for the show. A self-taught glass artist, she often uses hand-poured, hand-rolled Bullseye glass in her work.

• RUBY ROOM, Emporium Mall: Juneau artists Milo Irish and Rebecca Canaday will share a joint show at the Ruby Room during February.

• TWO CROW STUDIO AND GALLERY, 245 MARINE WAY: Corle LaForce has been working with oil paints off and on for the last 212 years, mostly in small confines. She works on miniatures usually - sometimes in the cluttered studio in her Lena Cove home, other times on her husband's 42-foot sailboat, for three months out of a briefcase while studying massage in Portugal.

LaForce's first solo show will be on display this month at Two Crow Studio and Gallery, Rob Roys' new space above Paradise Cafe. The show will include about 20 miniatures in her carved, layered style.

"There's a philosophy behind the way I paint," LaForce said. "There are a lot of layers, and oftentimes those layers are carved and you can see the original application or the original colors. There's a reason I do that. I believe that we have our intrinsic qualities, our identities or our truths, and then we layer our experiences on top of that. Generally, what we show people is a part of who we originally were, or who we even are."

LaForce painted half the miniatures while she was studying massage last spring in a small town in Portugal. She took a small briefcase overseas, packed with paints, brushes and turpanoid. Many of the works were influenced by rust and bleached buildings.

"I thought I was going spend loads of time painting, just laying on the beach and driving all over the country and taking trains, but no. I kind of forced it in," LaForce said. "I was doing a lot of introspection, and a lot of that is going on in the paintings. There are three paintings of the Portuguese light in kind of abstract form."

The other half was painted in May 2005, while LaForce and her husband sailed to Glacier Bay aboard "Amika," their 42-foot, steel-hulled sailboat.

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