The big event this weekend is the Gathering of the Tribes - Pow Wow 2001. These celebrations have been growing steadily bigger over the five years they've taken place in Juneau. Drum groups from Canada and the Lower 48 will perform this weekend at the National Guard Armory, following a picnic and concert tonight. The picnic takes place at Sandy Beach at 5 p.m.; it's free to the public, but bring a dish to share. The concert, featuring country and western music by Canadian Don Harris, will start at 9 p.m. at the armory. A $5 cover charge can be paid at the door.
On Saturday and Sunday, powwow events will take place at the armory from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. The public is welcome to watch all the dances and participate in several of them; event organizers ask those who can to bring food to share with the dancers. Admission is $10 at the door.
Juneau residents who made it to the downtown parade on the Fourth of July got a chance to see one of the drumming groups in action. They were wonderful, and the assemblage of different groups during the powwow promises to be memorable.
Those who can't make the Saturday and Sunday events can attend Friday night's Concert in the Park at 7 p.m. in Marine Park, where the Lone Creek drum group from Regina, Saskatchewan, will perform. Also featured on the night's program is Reid Tippets, who will play guitar and sing original songs. Sybil Davis will serve as master of ceremonies, and there's the possibility of a guest appearance by a female singer. Even in rain, the shelter area stays fairly dry, and Friday's acts are certainly worth checking out.
Two new art shows have their opening receptions this weekend. The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council's July show, by local artist Detlef Buettner, is titled "Lifesize Fish 2001." The paintings are just that - to-scale drawings of fish Buettner has caught or observed. Examples are posted on Buettner's Web site at home.gci.net/~lifesize.fish. It's striking work. The fish look remarkably lifelike, particularly in the colors and details Buettner uses, and the occasional use of backgrounds offsets certain fish well. The pieces will be on display at the JAHC gallery, 206 North Franklin St., until July 31. The opening reception for Buettner's collection is from 4:30 to 6:30 tonight.
Alan Munro opens his show at Portfolio Arts at 493 S. Franklin, Suite 203, in a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Munro, who will take selections of his work to New York City for a showing in SoHo later this summer, has made a departure from his usual style in this show. His work often emphasizes color, but here he's made a conscious choice to use almost entirely black and white. The 10 pieces are intriguingly abstract, leaving the viewer plenty of room for interpretation. For my part, I saw nature shapes in many of them, and thought they were lovely. Munro's show will run until July 27.
On Sunday, two authentic World War II aircraft arrive in Juneau. The B-25 and the B-17 are part of the Wings of Freedom Tour, put on by the Collings Foundation. They visited Juneau last year to good response, and will be available for tours and flights until July 11. Looking at artifacts is a great way to experience history - it makes the experience more relevant.
The planes have been restored to the quality they enjoyed in the 1940s, and the tour could prompt interesting discussions and sharing of memories amongst families. My grandfather served in WW II, and I never got tired of hearing his stories. The planes will be at the Juneau Airport from arrival to 8 p.m. Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesday. The cost is $7 for adults and $3 for children to tour both aircraft. Adventurous souls can arrange a flight for a $350 tax-deductible donation.
The Panhandle Crabgrass Revival Band will play on Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Alaskan Hotel. Their music, a blend of bluegrass and old time tunes, fits into the bluegrass revival taking place in country music.