Book surveys Alaska painters

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2000

The history of painting in Alaska spans Frances Davis' scenes of Juneau's earliest days and Sidney Laurence's grand canvases of Mount McKinley to Ray Troll's offbeat originals.

"Painting Alaska," a new book by Alaska Geographic, offers a thorough overview of Alaska painters and includes 10 Juneau artists.

Kesler Woodward, an artist, writer and retired University of Alaska Fairbanks art professor, wrote the book. Other Alaska artists contributed short pieces detailing aspects of the artistic process and the value and conservation of historic paintings.

More than 100 artists are included in this overview, with scores of full-color reproductions of artwork. Woodward offers insights and biographical details on the artists, many of whom he has encountered personally in his 23 years of working in Alaska.

Juneau artists have contributed to the diverse body of Alaska artwork, which ranges from classical renderings of landscapes, wildlife and people to impressionistic, expressionistic and highly stylized interpretations of Alaska themes. Juneau artists featured are Dan DeRoux, Ken DeRoux, Rie Munoz, Jane Terzis, Jakki Kauffman, (now in New Mexico), Dale DeArmond (now in Sitka), John Fehringer (now in Seattle), James Schoppert (died 1992) and Frances Davis (died 1932).

The Alaska Geographic Society is a nonprofit educational group. Each year it publishes four books devoted to Alaska or Northern topics. The animals, natural history, culture and communities of the region have been examined, and books have looked at prehistoric Alaska, World War II in Alaska, marine mammals and Juneau.

"Painting Alaska" is the 106th book in the series.

It is available at Hearthside Books for $21.95. Rainy Day Books has a number of back issues of Alaska Geographic publications. For more information on the books and the Alaska Geographic Society, call 1-888-255-6697.

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