Two art openings, one evening

Munro and Buettner exhibits will run through the rest of the month

Posted: Thursday, July 05, 2001

Alan Munro is fascinated by birds. Detlef Buettner finds inspiration in fish.

Both local artists explore wildlife and other themes in art shows opening this week. Buettner's work will be on display for the month of July in the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council Gallery, while Munro's work can be viewed at Portfolio Arts from Friday to July 27.

Munro, former director of the Alaska State Museum, has been painting since age 9. His first subjects were birds.

"I've always been particularly interested in the bird form," Munro said. " Specifically birds of prey ... I haven't been doing too much of that lately. Bird forms interject themselves occasionally."

His works for the upcoming show are more abstract, he said. In another departure from his usual style, they're in black and white.

"I'm particularly interested in color," he said. "(But) you do what turns you on. I think a downhill skier would tell you, 'I follow the hill.' So that's kind of what I do. I follow what I feel like."

Munro has been exhibiting at Portfolio Arts for a number of years, with other shows at the state museum and other locations.

In October, he'll display pieces in a gallery in New York City's SoHo, a popular shopping and gallery-browsing area near Greenwich Village.

"There's 800 galleries in New York," Munro said. "This is not one of the big-time galleries. I'm just happy to have been invited."

Munro prefers not to title his work.

"I like to have people see in them what they see in them," he said. "That's what I want my work to do - inspire the viewer to see things they want to see."

Buettner will display life-size watercolor fish paintings at his JAHC gallery show. A native of Germany, he began painting at 18.

"I usually paint the fish that I catch that I'm interested in, so they're usually sport fish," Buettner said.

He catches his models himself, pulling them from the water, photographing them and taking their measurements.

"I'm very particular about the colors that go into the painting, so I like to see the fish - if possible - when alive," Buettner said. "I like to be out there taking the photos of the large fish."

Though Alaska fish are his most common subjects, Buettner has painted fish from around the world. His subjects include a "peacock bass" from South America, captured and painted in Hawaii, needle fish from Mexico and a number of fish from Europe, particularly members of the "hucho" genus.

"It's the largest salmon-like fish in the world," Buettner said. "They say the largest one on record was 230 pounds. I have seen photos of huchos up to 100 pounds."

One of his hucho paintings - of a hucho taimen - will be on display in the show. At 4.5 feet-by-1 foot, it's the largest fish Buettner has painted. The smallest fish was about 12 inches.

Buettner doesn't sell his original artwork, but he does make limited-edition prints and cards available. Subjects include a king salmon, an "October steelhead," a "13-pound steelhead," a sockeye, a Dolly Varden and a trout.

The JAHC gallery is at 206 North Franklin St. and is open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Portfolio Arts is at 493 South Franklin St., Suite 203, and is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Opening receptions for both events will be held July 6 - 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. for Buettner and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Munro.

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