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Like many who grew up in Alaska, this time of year reminds me of a bitterly cold string of grade-school Halloweens when my mother sent me out dressed like a chubby, runny-nosed Tinkerbell in a "fairy costume" (read: wire-hanger/panty hose wings and ballet tutu) pulled on over a dingy lavender snowsuit. Luckily, this year's Juneau Halloween for grown-ups promises to be much more glamorous.
For those of you who won't be busy thrusting your candy pillowcases at the neighbors, there are many opportunities to spend Halloween enjoying art shows, dancing and, for the willing, taking a sip or two of brew. At some events, you can even wear you wings and tutu, or any other costume you like.
I'm going to the Halloween dance where the C Notes and the Panhandle Crabgrass Revival Band will play on Halloween night, Thursday, Oct. 31. The dance starts at 8 p.m. and will be at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. It costs $20 and you have to be 21 (imbibing witch's brew requires an ID). There will be prizes for the best costumes.
Riley Woodford, who usually writes this column, says the C Notes are the best dance band in town. Myself, I'm partial to Crabgrass, most especially for the Dolly Parton-esque riffs sung by bass player Maridon Boario. The dance is being organized by Moira Smith for the Fran Ulmer/Ernie Hall campaign. She'll be the one dressed like a scary harried campaign worker (note: that is not a costume).
Put this in your Palm Pilot: Friday, Nov. 1, is the first Friday art walk for November. The art walk last month was a great success with live music, downtown galleries open late, and new exhibits at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and the Alaska State Museum. Participating galleries this month will display red balloons to let art walkers know they are open. The walk starts at 4:30 p.m. and will go to 7:30.
For this Friday's walk, Rock Paper Scissors is featuring watercolors by Asha Falcon. Annie Kaill's will show jewelry by Colleen Goldrich, stained glass by Beth Shober, botanical candles by Bebhinn Mcllroy, and photography by Pat Costello. Some of the other participating galleries include Focal Point, Talisman Rug Gallery and the Juneau Artists Gallery.
Also on Friday's art walk, the Alaska State Museum is hosting an opening reception for two exhibits featuring the work of Anchorage artist Don Mohr and North Pole artist Carol Hilgemann. Mohr and Hilgemann have constructed sculptures with found objects. Both participated in last year's quirky found-object sculpture show "Found and Assembled." The state museum has free admission and extended hours every first Friday in the fall and winter.
The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council will hold a reception for a joint show of work by ceramicist Lisa Blacher and graphic artist Kathy Hocker.
For a hair of the dance-party dog that bit you on Halloween night, I'd recommend spending Friday evening after the art walk at the "Fs Loose" dance held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall. Dee-Jays Chedda (Joel Bergsbaken) and Pickles (Glenn Merrill) promise to spin danceable selections "from trip-hop to afro pop." The dance is open to rock-hard partiers of all ages and costs $5.
For those who prefer a more organized dance experience, there's a salsa workshop with Antonio Diaz and Heather Haugland on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1 and 2. Diaz is from Peru and lives in Seattle. Haugland has studied dance in Cuba and is talented at dancing and teaching, according to those who have shimmied hips with her previously.
Haugland and Diaz's workshop will be at the Terry Miller Legislative Office Building gym at Sixth and Main. There will be an introduction to salsa session from 7 to 9 Friday night, with follow-up classes from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Beginners are welcome and no partner is necessary. Contact Heather at 586-8685 or firstname.lastname@example.org. for more information.
If dancing is not your bag at all, you might instead go to the University of Alaska Southeast's Evening at Egan presentation on Friday, Nov. 1. Kevin Bales will talk about "Slavery in the Modern World" at 7 p.m. in the Egan Library. A film based on his work, "Slavery, Global Investigation," won a Peabody Award. His book "Disposable People" was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2000.
Art-lovers should take note that the Empire Gallery, a pet project of artists Miah Lager and Heidi Reifenstein, will be open again soon. The Empire Gallery occupies the empty storefront downtown on Second Street across from the Observatory bookstore. Work by high school students, which could not be displayed because of the Juneau-Douglas High School renovation, will make up the Empire's first show. After that, Lager and Reifenstein say, they will show work by new artists.
Riley Woodford contributed to this column. Julia O'Malley can be reached at email@example.com.