Juneau artist donates prints to Pioneers' Home

Posted: Monday, July 20, 2009

Juneau artist Rie Muñoz recently donated 25 Alaska-themed prints of various sizes to the Sitka Pioneers' Home.

James Poulson/ Daily Sitka Sentinel
James Poulson/ Daily Sitka Sentinel

If not for the big donation, the home probably would have been dolled up with "a mish-mash of things, a lot of pieces that are disconnected" given the home's meager art allowance, said social worker Klaudia Leccese.

Instead, "The main dining room, it's like a Rie Muñoz gallery. It's beautiful, we've got them all around the perimeter," she said. One particularly large piece that's several feet tall and several feet across has become the centerpiece of the dining room over the fireplace.

The home's art allowance, part of a renovation budget, was enough to cover framing for Muñoz's donations. The home serves up to 75 residents.

The art arrived via air freight several months ago. Muñoz spent a few days at the home earlier this month on the invitation of the home's staff so they could honor her for the donation.

Muñoz's art is known for its happy tone and colorful, watercolor style illustrating life in Alaska. The Rasmuson Foundation chose her as its 2007 distinguished artist and in March this year, she was inducted into the inaugural class of the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame for her artistic impact on the state.

Locally, her son Juan Muñoz maintains her gallery in the Mendenhall Valley and a separate gallery downtown features her work. She is originally from California but has called Juneau home since 1951.

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