Celebrate award-winning Native artists on First Friday

Posted: Thursday, June 05, 2008

The opening of the biennial Sealaska Heritage Institute Juried Art Show and Competition, occurring in conjunction with Celebration 2008, will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center at 350 Whittier St. and will feature the work of some of the region's premiere Alaska Native artists.

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Courtesy Of John Hudson. Left, And Malcolm Miller, Right
Courtesy Of John Hudson. Left, And Malcolm Miller, Right

The opening features 39 pieces by 19 artists selected by juror and artist Steve Brown for inclusion in the show, which is scheduled to run through June 27.

Entries were judged in the traditional or contemporary categories with four awards given in each one: $1,500 for Best of Show, $1,000 for first place, $750 for second and $500 for third.

In the traditional category, winners include Anna Brown Ehlers for Best of Show for "Dawn of the Love Birds," John Hudson's first place "Tsimshian Bear Frontlet," Anna Brown Ehlers' second place "Chilkat Frog," and John Hudson's third place "Man from Dundas."

In the contemporary category, winners include Della Cheney for Best of Show for "Woman of Justice," Mike Dangeli's first place "Manifesting the Intangible," Chloe French's second place "Swimming Killer Whale apron," and Shgen George's "Yeil Taakw."

Sealaska will also sponsor a Native Artist Market beginning Thursday, June 5, at the arts center. The 2008 market will offer art for sale made by 45 Native artists and will be open for the duration of Celebration.

Juneau Artists Gallery, 175 South Franklin St.: Mark Vinsel, whose new watercolors will be featured at the Juneau Artists Gallery, will be on hand to discuss painting, fishing and the Alaska commemorative quarter from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Most of Vinsel's watercolors are painted outdoors with a simplified palette of three primary colors. He mixes subtle hues through layers of brush strokes, and often combines hand-ground ink in the oriental technique with watercolor. He uses oriental brushes because he likes the liveliness of stroke and the range of fine and weighty line that they are capable of in a single stroke.

Vinsel, who has painted with watercolor for over 30 years, is also an avid fly-fisherman who works in the commercial fishing industry. He often carries his art materials into the outdoors with him on angling adventures, finding time to sketch and paint in between fishing. His work can also be viewed at www.vinsel.com.

In 2005, Vinsel was appointed chairman of the Alaska State Commemorative Coin Commission to lead the public design process for the Alaska state quarter. This coin will feature a brown bear and salmon with the slogan "The Great Land," and will be released into circulation in the fall of this year.

Vinsel's paintings can be viewed alongside the work of the other member artists of the Juneau Artists Gallery in the Senate Mall Building downtown.

Artifacts, 237 Front St.: Artist Jim Hopkins has returned to Juneau after a three-year absence and will show his work and celebrate the opening of his new downtown gallery, Artifacts.

Influenced by time spent in the Southwest the past several years, Hopkins' new space features jewelry that combines ancient ivories of Alaska - both walrus and woolly mammoth - with colorful combinations of natural stones from around the world. His work features necklaces and earrings in a rainbow of hues mixed with fossilized and mineralized ivory. Hopkins also incorporates an stone inlay technique, setting stones in ivory as simple pendants on sterling chains.

Back Room at the Silverbow Inn, 120 Second St.: University of Alaska Southeast student Rachelle Miller will be featured from 4:30 to 8 p.m. The display includes a collection of her artwork in a variety of media including batik, photography and paintings.

Annie Kaill's, 244 Front Street: Sherri McDonald, who uses handmade papers and paper materials to create her unique artwork, will have prints and originals featured from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

McDonald owns a bookbinding art business, Bound to the Word Bookbinding, and in her Douglas studio she creates handmade books and paper collage landscapes.

The Canvas Community Art Studio & Gallery, 223 Seward St.: David Riccio's exploration into the possibilities of printmaking in two and three dimensions and the trans-dimensional boundaries between them will be featured at The Canvas from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

His images are "printed" on and in a variety of media, including video displays, commercial paper, handmade paper, fabric, food, ceramic tile, and other ceramic objects. The primary objective of his artistic exploration is "to investigate how images are transformed by the method and media used to instantiate them, and how translation from one media/method to another alters the nature and interpretation of the image."

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