First Friday:

Hot beads, giant fish, fallen roses and birdhouse love

Posted: Thursday, May 05, 2005

Eighth-grader Molly Emerson was introduced to photography last summer at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, where her class would take pictures and watch their instructor develop and print the negative.

"I remember it was just so amazing to me," she said in an artist's statement, "the process of exposing the film and being able to produce an image of exactly what you saw around you."

Emerson chose photography as the topic for her middle-school R.O.P.E.S. project, and now she has 10 black-and-white photographs going up at the Little City Gallery as part of a May exhibit with Bridget Milligan, owner of the Kodiak Coat Co. Milligan will be showing hand-painted silk hangings and Chinese brushstroke drawings.

The exhibit opens at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, as part of May First Friday, and shows through the month at the gallery, on the top floor of the Emporium Mall.

Emerson worked with a 35 mm camera, shooting around downtown and her family's Fritz Cove home, then developing the pictures in the Juneau-Douglas High School darkroom.

"Emotions" is the theme of her show. "Pathetic" is a shadowy angle of a rose - a play on the overuse of stereotype. "Childish," or "Playful," captures a firsthand perspective of her shoes on a downtown street. "Blocked" merges an Evergreen Cemetery statue with a quickly approaching brick wall.

Emerson worked on the project with Juneau-Douglas High School teacher Mary Lou Gervais.

• AD LIB, 231 S. Franklin St.: Juneau artist Hali Denton will be displaying her latest art cards during the First Friday walk. Denton has been working with paper and glitter for years, but has had more time to explore he her art since retiring from her job with the state,

Her all-occasion cards include elaborate motifs built out of cut, colored and stacked card stock, then accented in glitter.

• ALASKA STATE MUSEUM, 395 Whittier St.: The museum will hold the grand opening for "A Northern Adventure: The Art of Fred Machetanz," a retrospective of the longtime Alaska artist's paintings and projects. Curator Kesler Woodward will lead a walk-through discussion at 5:30 p.m.

For more on the show, visit

• ANNIE KAILL'S, 244 Front St.: Sitka artist Sandra Greba returns to Annie Kaill's with her latest collection of watercolors, bird paintings and handmade birdhouses. She will stop at the store for one-night only, Friday, from 4:30-7 p.m.

Greba is known for her highly detailed paintings of plant and flower life. She draws much of her inspiration from the yard around her bed and breakfast in Sitka.

• CHA FOR THE FINEST, 289 S. Franklin St.: Cha, known primarily for her ivory work, will be showing off her recent work in glass fusing. She bought a kiln last fall and has been creating hanging flowers, masks and faces - some as tall as 12 inches.

• HEARTHSIDE BOOKS, 254 Front St.: Mark Kelley and Nick Jans will sign copies of their new book, "Alaska's Tracy Arm & Sawyer Glaciers," from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the downtown store. Jans wrote the text, and Kelley took the pictures.

• JUNEAU ARTISTS GALLERY, 175 S. Franklin St., Suite 111: Bead makers and bass players Tasha Walen and Lincoln Farabee are May's featured artists at the Juneau Artists Gallery. The couple uses oxygen propane mix torches to melt rods of glass into tiny beads. By adding shards of glass, silver and gold, they can build random patterns and designs into the bead.

Heated beads are cooled in a kiln to avoid uneven temperature change and cracks, then made into jewelry. Walen and Farabee work in the basement of their Douglas home, and plan to attend bead-classes in Venice this fall during their honeymoon.

"Bead making is a meditative process," Walen said in their press release. "You must me focused on what you are doing. Glass can be temperamental. If heated too fast it will boil and break."

"Glass can be dynamic," Farabee said. "Each color of glass is different and melts at different temperatures and viscosity."

• JUNEAU ARTS AND HUMANITIES COUNCIL, 206 N. Franklin St.: Juneau painter Constance Baltuck Hartle returns to the gallery with a collection of new works - acrylics, oils and landscapes from Juneau and White Pass, north of Skagway.

Hartle has had an assortment of shows over the past few years, including several with Juneau's Plein Rein painters.

For more, check out

• MCPHETRES HALL, 325 Gold St.: The Juneau Cooperative Preschool will hold its annual Children's Art Exhibit & Silent Auction from 4:30-8 p.m. Friday, at the Gold and Fourth space. About 40 kids have contributed artwork.

The evening includes live music, appetizers and an auction for a variety of prizes, including airplane tickets for two to Mexico.

Tickets for the night are $10, with proceeds going to the school. For more information, call Rhonda at 586-2656.

• RUBY ROOM, Emporium Mall: The new gallery, behind Heritage Coffee in the Emporium Mall, returns with "Dreams," its fourth monthly topic. All submissions in the show will have something to do with whimsical visions of the slumbering mind.

Juneau artist Heidi Reifenstein will exhibit, "(DE) Composition," a 43-inch fiberglass salmon she's painting for "Wild Salmon on Parade," Anchorage's annual downtown art installation.

The city displays roughly 30 painted salmon at various locations throughout the summer, then auctions them for charity at the end of the season.

Reifenstein's creation will be in the Ruby Room for one night only, Friday. She's painted a fish skeleton in oil, and plans to coat the body in shellac before installing it.

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