Eros makes an appearance at First Friday

'Art and Eros' show returns for a third year to Juneau Arts and Humanities Council gallery

Posted: Thursday, February 03, 2005

For the third annual Eros and Art show, Juneau-Douglas City Museum director Jane Lindsey decided it would be fun to go back to the roots.

She began to research Greek sculpture, until she discovered a Hellenistic piece including Aphrodite, Pan and Eros.

"When I started reading about it, I learned that piece is actually considered the motel art of Greek sculpture," Lindsey said. "Art historians who look at it don't necessarily like it. I thought that was kind of edgy and it would be fun to put in that vein."

The resulting "Let's Play," an acrylic painting of the sculpture on an actual Scrabble game board, is one of approximately 40 works in the third annual show.

"Eros and Art" opens at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, and shows at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council gallery, 206 N. Franklin St., 586-ARTS, through February.

"The subject of eros and art is just a really fun one from an art history perspective, certainly in contemporary art and the whole idea of the model and the nude in paintings," Lindsey said. "The whole idea of play was part of what I was thinking about. I'm not sure how the Scrabble board got in there."

Ken DeRoux's "Sexual Misconduct," a charcoal and pastel on paper that he calls, "R. Crumb meets Dr. Seuss," takes a more surrealistic approach. It includes a variety of cartoonish, phallic shapes - a departure from his usual paintings.

"I guess I was just trying to do something like we used to do in art school, in the heyday of underground comics," said DeRoux, a curator at the Alaska State Museum.

DeRoux attended the San Francisco Art Institute.

• ALASKA STATE MUSEUM, 395 Whittier St., 465-2901: No Juneau photographers are represented this time, but the Alaska Photographic Center's best of 2004 will visit Juneau through April 16.

"Rarefied Light 2004" opens at the Alaska State Museum from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4. The show opened in September at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art and has also visited Fairbanks and Kenai. Its final stop is Cordova, after Juneau.

Guest juror Ryuijie of Monterrey, Calif., picked 52 photographs by 35 artists. More than 300 were submitted by 73 artists.

• LITTLE CITY GALLERY, 171 Shattuck Way, 586-4048: Twice in the last year, Juneau potter Mike Janes has journeyed to Zamboni Springs, Calif., a high-desert oasis 10 miles southeast of Doyle, and eight miles west of the Nevada border. There, potter Paul Herman and friends have built a wood-burning kiln, based on ancient Asian tunnel models.

Janes heard about the site, Great Basin Pottery, while studying biology and art at Gonzaga University. He earned an apprenticeship from January through April 2004, and returned for a month in the fall.

"It's a traditional method of doing pottery that dates way back," Janes said.

Janes will exhibit an assortment of his wood and salt-fired pottery from Great Basin during February at Little City Gallery. The space, upstairs in the Emporium Mall, will also show a small collection of works by Juneau painter Rob Roys, and a few antique paintings from the 1860s through the early 1900s. The opening exhibition starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4.

Janes' work includes pitchers, mugs, bowls, casserole dishes and various functional items. He recently started selling at Bear's Lair, in the Senate Building at 175 South Franklin St.

• FRIENDLY PLANET, 200 Seward St., 586-2471: Upon graduating from Juneau-Douglas High School in 2003, Dani Byers set out on a trip through Australia, partly wondering what to do next. She met a woman who recommended the Aegean Center for the Arts, a small art school in the port town of Paroikia on the Greek island of Paros.

Its fall sessions begin in a villa in the Tuscan town of Pistoia, 30 kilometers from Florence. Students spend the first month studying art history at museums and churches during day trips throughout the country. The school accepts 20 students per term and extended Byers an invitation for the fall of 2004.

"Only a certain kind of person would want to go to a school like that," Byers said. "I've never spent every moment of my day thinking about participating in the process. And so, participating that intensely really changed how efficient I am."

Byers, 20, a part-time student at the University of Alaska Southeast, will show a selection of work from her 3 1/2 months at the academy, mostly oils and acrylics. She's the featured artist at Friendly Planet in February. She also has a few newer and older pieces, and a couple drawings. An opening reception begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4.

The exhibit will include her first attempt at impressionism - a very large still life of pears. She will also display three portraits -one of herself, one of her best friend, and one of local artist John Leo.

• ANNIE KAILL'S, 244 Front St., 586-2880: The gallery will host its "Heart Art" show, a collection of works with hearts or other romantic subplots.

• JUNEAU ARTISTS GALLERY, 175 S. Franklin St., 586-9891: Local jewelry maker Rowan Law is the featured artist at the Juneau Artists Gallery in February. A Juneau resident since 1998 and a JAG member since 2000, Law describes his work as "wabi-sabi."

"It is a Japanese concept of looking at things differently and finding beauty in the imperfect, unpretentious and unconventional," Law said in a press release.

Law constructs his own wire and sheet metal. He melts down scraps from previous work, rather than buying sheets ready-made.

• JUNEAU-DOUGLAS CITY MUSEUM: The museum will exhibit eight pieces from "Rampaging Imagination," the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council's 2004 Wearable Arts Extravaganza.

Forty-four pieces entered the show, Feb. 22, 2004, at ANB Hall. "Another Gown From Wood Lying Around," a wooden Southern belle dress designed by Davis Walker and modeled by Dawn Pisel-Davis, took the grand prize.

The exhibit includes such pieces as "Porky Love Project," a driftwood porcupine by Lea and Jeanette Francis; "Not Quite Ticketless Travel," a dress made out of silk, faux fur and airline tickets by Laura Gregovich; and "Swan Song," a princess-like dress modeled after a swan, by Gustavus students Monica Kunat, Hannah Berra and Neva Schafer.

The show opens from 4:30-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, and will be on display throughout the month. This year's fifth annual Wearable Art Show is Saturday, Feb. 19, at Centennial Hall.

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