April showers, First Friday flowers

Posted: Thursday, April 01, 2004

Eight or 10 years ago, Juneau artist David Woodie stopped by the Alaska State Museum to see a touring narrative art exhibition. Anchorage Museum of History and Art curator Dave Nichols organized the show, which included works by Troy Dalton, Michael Ehle and Galen Hanson.

"I think that show helped influence me more than I realized at the time," Woodie said. "Dave Nichols is a great curator."

Woodie, a commercial fisherman and an art professor at University of Alaska Southeast, has been exhibiting his narrative art since 1996. He has two paintings in the 2003/2004 All Alaskan Juried Exhibit - the fifth straight time he's been chosen for the show. Most of his work is informed by the 20 years he spent as a forest laborer and logger. He dabbled in painting as a teenager in the mid-1960s, then took 20 years off while he lived in the woods.

Woodie's third solo show in Juneau, "Narrative Painting," opens from 4:30-7 p.m. Friday, April 2, at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum as part of First Friday. The exhibition runs through May 1.

"All that time I was in the woods I was really thinking about painting," Woodie said. "I banked ideas, and I suppose that's one reason why I'm not so much of a formalist. A lot of artists who don't have a life outside of art, they're not very familiar with anything but the academic world. For me, there was this experience of working in the woods and fishing."

Narrative painting developed around the turn of the 20th century when artists began exploring the idea of story, sometimes using Greek mythology.

"This work is similar to early-20th-century painting, except it's informed by the art history that's occurred between now and then," Woodie said. "I've always been interested in the relationship that people have with nature, right on the edge of the altered world and the unaltered world. Right between human nature and non-human nature."

• ALASKA STATE MUSEUM: Steve Henrikson, the Alaska State Museum's Curator of Collections, will discuss some of the museum's newly acquired artifacts in "Newly Acquired Artifacts and the Stories Behind Them," a free lecture at 7 p.m. Friday, April 2. The talk will highlight some items currently on display in "Collecting Alaska: Recent Acquisitions," which will show through April 17.

"Every object comes with its own history - as well as a story about how and why it came into the museum," Henrikson said in a press release. "For the lecture, I'll select some interesting and favorite objects, reveal the history behind them and describe how they were discovered and acquired for the museum."

The exhibit includes objects, both exotic and commonplace, representing numerous aspects of Alaska life, past and present, Native and non-Native.

The First Friday event allows free admission from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Friday. The museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $3 and youth 18 and younger are admitted free. Summer hours and fees go into effect in mid-May. Call 465-2901 for more information.

• EMPIRE GALLERY: Juneau artist and digital printmaker David Riccio will show a collection of his new paintings, prints, fabric art and mixed media creations at the Empire Gallery, Second and Franklin streets, through April. The show, which opens from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, April 2, includes mono prints and mixed media prints by Jeanette Lackey and paintings and giclee prints by John Stoll. Riccio and Terri Gamble will reprise their Wearable Art 2004 Entry during the opening.

Riccio moved to Alaska in 1975 and has participated at fine art classes at University of Alaska Southeast since then. He's studied intaglios, reliefs, silkscreen, painting, batik, silks, photography, digital art, drawing, paper making, metalworking, stone carving, jewelry, gemology, lapidary and collage. He and Ken Melville co-founded Atelier Alaska Inc., a Giclee digital printing studio, in 2001.

His recent work includes a series of etchings and digital abstractions called "Stream Dreams," an exploration on the nature of water and streams.

• FRIENDLY PLANET LOFT: University of Alaska Southeast student Alli Rosen will be the featured artist at The Loft, a new art space inside the Friendly Planet, Second and Seward Streets. The exhibition opens from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, April 2, and shows through the month.

"She's incredibly diverse," said store co-owner Richmond Kelly. "I don't know how I would peg her. Mixed media is what I would call it. Anything from oils to collages, very diverse, lots of colors."

Rosen, 18, a Juneau-Douglas High School graduate and a liberal arts major with an emphasis on art, will show 10 to 15 paintings and collages and miscellaneous works that she's completed during the last year.

"Mixed-media would be a good way to describe it," Rosen said. "It's pretty bright, a little bit of the bizarre. Mostly abstract stuff or faces."

• JUNEAU ARTISTS GALLERY: Chicago native Laurie Ferguson Craig, an environmental activist in Juneau for the last few years, will display two new etchings during First Friday, 4:30-7 p.m., at the Juneau Artists Gallery, in the Historic Senate Building at 175 South Franklin Street. Craig is the featured artist at JAG during April. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday during the spring.

Craig studied etching at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and bought her own press in 1978. She worked at family gold and silver mining claims in the Interior for years, She often etches birds and animals and can often be found observing near the Mendenhall Wetlands.

"In the animal world, it's like people - all about home and family," she said in a press release. "We have the rare opportunity in Alaska to watch wild animals go about their day to day business without paying any attention to us."

• JAHC GALLERY: The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council gallery will show the Second Annual University of Alaska Southeast Student Juried Exhibition through April. The exhibit opens during First Friday at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 2.

Forty-five pieces were selected by guest juror Mark Daughhetee, the curator of exhibitions at the Alaska State Museum.

For more information, check out http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/032504/thi_art.shtml.

• KTOO CONFERENCE ROOM: The Alaska Photographic Arts Association will hold its second spring show at the KTOO studio, 360 Egan Drive, during April. An opening reception will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday, April 2.

Fifteen photographers will show their work: Bob Armstrong, Joel Bennett, Greg Bledsoe, Jeff Brown, Shar Fox, Skip Gray, Marilyn Holmes, Jeff Jemison, Barb Kelly, Fritz Koschman, Jane Pasco, Karin Siebenmorgen, Jason Soza, Cedar Stark and Jonathon Wolfson. Photo formats include digital, gelatin silver, hand-painted black and white, emulsion lift and more.

THE APAA, an informal gathering of roughly 40 photographers of all experience levels, meets at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the Douglas Library. Anyone is welcome to attend the meetings. For more information on the group, visit http://alaskaphotoarts.org.

• RAVEN'S JOURNEY: The Raven's Journey gallery, 435 S. Franklin Street, will be showing new walrus ivory carvings by St. Lawrence Island carver Ron Apangalook. Whalebone sculptures from the village of Shishmaref are also on display.

The gallery is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Call 463-4686 for more information.

• ROCK PAPER SCISSORS: Amy Fletcher and Jenna O'Fontanella are the featured April artists at Rock Paper Scissors, 245 Marine Way, behind Paradise Cafe.

Fletcher will display new jewelry - sterling silver and flat-beadwork. O'Fontanella will display what she calls "functional art" - mirrors, clocks and one-of-a-kind items made out of beads, wire and metal. She will also show a few pieces of jewelry.

The show opens 4:30-7 p.m. Friday, April 2. Rock Paper is open 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

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