There's nothing square about this square foot

City museum fundraiser attracts artists throughout the community

Posted: Thursday, March 01, 2007

Five of Jeanette Lackey's art students in the Boys & Girls Club's SMART Moves program will attend their first art opening Friday as some of the guests of honor.

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What: Communitywide art show with 53 12-inch-by-12-inch works.

When: Opens with a reception from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, March 2, and runs through March 28.

Where: Juneau-Douglas City Museum, Fourth and Main streets.

Cassie Fidler, Harris Graves, Becca Scharen, Jorge Vasquez and Ray Filip created "Punctuated Equilibrium," a bead mosaic and one of 53 community works in the Juneau-Douglas City Museum's third annual "12X12" exhibit.

"When I saw ('12x12') in the paper two years ago, I thought it was something that we could do as a group project, yet incorporate the kids into the community and get them to see other artists," Lackey said.

"It promotes the idea that going to the galleries is pretty exciting, especially if you're participating. Most 13- to 15-year-olds don't get to do that."

The museum's yearly fundraiser for its arts acquisition fund, "12X12" opens with a reception from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday during the citywide First Friday Gallery Walk. The display runs through March 28.

As is the rule, every piece must measure 12 by 12 inches.

Last year's show drew 35 artists. The first "12x12" in 2004 attracted roughly 40 artists who constructed the art in the museum.

During the citywide Cabin Fever Arts Fest, March 9 to 11, the public will be invited to color 6-by-6-inch squares as part of a 5-by-5-foot wall the museum hopes to build inside the "12x12" space.

Lackey's students - all from Floyd Dryden and Dzantik'i Heeni middle schools - spent about a month preparing "Punctuated." They based the design on a work in a book of abstracts. The beads are affixed with ATG, a sticky tape often used in framing.

"This is just so nice, because it is open," Lackey said of the exhibit. "They encourage the idea that a bunch of art students can create something."

This year's exhibition includes a series of war protests. Alan Munro's "Mission Accomplished" likens President George W. Bush to King George III. Bush is shown wearing a crown and dressed in the flight suit he wore when he landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003 to announce "major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

Fumi Matsumoto's "Manzanar" places a colorful bird against a stark black-and-white guard tower in the Manzanar War Relocation Center. Manzanar was one of the 10 U.S. camps that interned Japanese-Americans during World War II.

The Cosgrove family is back with a giant sculpture of Q-Tips, after last year's giant sculpture of toothpicks.

Jay Crondahl has entered a 12-by-12-by-12 steel cube for playing "Magnet Dominos."

Barbara Craver created "Madame Palin," a colorful spin on Henri Matisse's 1905 "Madame Matisse (The Green Stripe)." The original was a painting of the artist's wife, Amelie.

Book binder and paper artist Sherri McDonald created "Face to Face" for her first "12x12" show. The all-paper collage juxtaposes a dozen tiny figures with the giant face of the Mendenhall Glacier. There's no paint.

"It was basically inspired by a sunny afternoon with my family when we walked on the frozen lake," McDonald said. "I was just so impressed by the gothic face of the glacier, those big chunks of ice, all frozen and blue."

McDonald used a variety of papers - Asian, sheer and laced, some sparkled - to lend the ice and the scene its luminescence. She has created "paper landscapes" of downtown Juneau, Sandy Beach and Douglas Harbor. Those three are hanging at the Rie Muñoz Gallery near Jordan Creek.

"It just seemed like the form of a 12-inch square was almost like the detail of a bigger piece," McDonald said. "That's the way I looked at it."

• Korry Keeker can be reached at

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