First Friday: panoramas, freezing oils, shadows and deer legs

Posted: Thursday, March 02, 2006

Douglas artist Rachael Juzeler has been experimenting with rust, wood, ceramic, rope and sand assemblages for years.

Now she's added a few more media: deer legs and wax. "Rust, Dirt and Deer Legs," up this month at Two Crow Studio and Gallery, 245 Marine Way above the Paradise Cafe, will include about 13 of the large, dark, multi-media creations.

"I was interested in exploring more textures and different materials," Juzeler said. "Most of them do start with an idea, and I go ahead and make some ceramic piece that I think would fit them, and then they change. Occasionally I get what I envisioned."

Juzeler scored 24 deer legs - knees on down, fur and hooves intact - after a friend returned from a successful hunting trip. To erase the smell, she salted them for about two months, placed them in the smoker for four days, left them in the kiln, covered them with baking soda and re-positioned them in the kiln. She incorporated two of the legs into her Halloween costume: a gut-shot deer.

Most of the legs are coated in white wax. Juzeler was inspired by a wax-covered ax she saw in a piece at the Alaska State Museum's recent "Earth, Fire and Fibre" exhibition.

The show also includes six or seven masks, one of which evolved into a deer-like form. It's Juzeler's first solo show since her summer 2004 exhibition at the now-defunct Rock Paper Scissors.

• KTOO, 360 Egan Drive: Juneau photographer Ron Klein, perhaps best known for his sweeping, 360-degree shots of public gatherings such as Celebration and the Alaska Folk Festival, will be featured in the halls of KTOO during March. It's his first solo show in roughly 15 years and will include about 30 of his rarely seen and more-personal panoramas. Very few have people. Some are digitally restored versions of damaged images.

"Hopefully they'll get across what a panorama really is," Klein said. "It's a different way of seeing things. When you look at them on a wall, there's some strange lines and shapes and forms that carry through to each other, and that's what will be kind of fun."

The collection will include a few pictures from Klein's recent trip to Italy, and a few more from his trip last summer to the East Coast. Some will recognize his 20-year-old panorama of a Mendenhall Valley circus. The site is now the location of the northern arm of Mendenhall Mall.

Klein will also show a few of his cowboy panoramas, taken at a cattle drive in 1989 on the edge of Billings, Mont.

• JUNEAU ARTS AND HUMANITIES COUNCIL, 206 North Franklin St.: Don't bother telling the Plein Rein painters it's cold. Juneau's outdoor painting cooperative, now numbering 15, is still managing to meet Saturday mornings, even with temperatures around 15 degrees.

"We've struggled with frozen water colors," group member Cristine Crooks said. "And many of us have opted for pastels and oils, because they don't freeze."

Plein Rein returns to the JAHC gallery as the featured artist in March, this time with a collection of "recent works from the great outdoors," Crooks said. Much of it is from the winter, but quite a few pieces were inspired by the wet summer. A few months ago, Plein Rein enjoyed a two-week outdoor painting workshop with Marsha Connell, an artist from Santa Rosa, Calif. She has also sent up a painting for the exhibition. This May, 10 of the group's members are traveling to Turkey.

"What our show offers is sort of this really nice view of Juneau through the seasons," Crooks said. "Really, the reason we're happy to do this show is to share with others. We're all amateurs, and we just enjoy the camaraderie and encourage other people who are interested to come out."

• JUNEAU ARTISTS GALLERY, 175 South Franklin St.: Juneau photographer Steve Christianson, a resident since 1990 and a counselor with Juneau Youth Services, will exhibit his nature and travel photography as the featured artist in March.

Christianson has visited Russia, Tahiti, Israel, New Zealand, Mexico, Hawaii and Canada. He began documenting his two daughters with a 35mm camera and has moved into digital photography over the last four years. He uses a Canon digital and a 75-300mm telephoto lens.

"(Photography) is the one thing which drives me," he said in a news release.

• RUBY ROOM, Emporium Mall: The glass-enclosed gallery will host "Shadows," its latest themed exhibition and its final themed-show before it explores other venues this summer. Expect a variety of multi-media paintings, drawings and installations somehow related to "shadows."

• Korry Keeker can be reached at

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