Riley Woodford is the Empire's Arts & Entertainment editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pirate galleries, private studios, gift shops and a museum will throw open their doors this weekend for Gallery Walk.
Juneau's biggest art event of the year brings 60 or 70 artists out on the town. Virtually every gallery in Juneau will have artists on hand to sign and talk about their work.
Galleries that don't even exist will be open. Some artists have moved their work into empty store fronts for the weekend. A group of photographers from the Alaska Photographic Arts Association has set up a show in a closeddown South Franklin Street fudge shop. Follow the signs -- and the crowds -- to find these impromptu art shows; they won't be on the maps.
Gallery Walk runs from 4-10 tonight and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday, and includes galleries downtown and in the Mendenhall Valley. If you like the party atmosphere and the melee, tonight is your night. If you prefer a quieter scene, visit the galleries over the weekend.
The main drag runs from South Franklin Street near the Mount Roberts Tramway Terminal up to the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council near Second Street and North Franklin Street.
Some off-the-beaten-track galleries to check out include Rock, Paper, Scissors between Admiralty Way and South Franklin, near Paradise Cafe, and the University of Alaska Southeast student art show in the Baranof Hotel.
Be sure to include "Tell me What You See: Poems and Paintings by Women," the art exhibit at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, in your gallery tour. The collaborative show will have 12 paintings by Elise Tomlinson, with related poems by Emily Wall and Alexis Easley also on display.
In the Mendenhall Valley, The Big Picture at Lyle's Home Furnishings will feature 10 different artists. Another 10 will be in the Glacier Gallery in Mendenhall Center. Rie Munoz's Gallery, near Lyle's, also will be open.
I plan to wrap up my gallery walking by 7:30 p.m. and catch the performance by Turkish musician and Mideast scholar Latif Bolat at Northern Light United Church. There are plenty of cool things going on this weekend, but this is a one-time opportunity. Bolat will play Turkish instruments, sing, show slides and talk about Middle Eastern culture. He's gotten great reviews and it promises to be a good show.
I plan to check out "HelloHiThanks," Emily Windover's one-woman show, at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Goldtown Nickelodeon Theater. She's doing several shows this weekend and it runs next weekend as well -- I'll let you know more next week.
The concerts by the Alaska Youth Choir are guaranteed to promote the holiday spirit. I've been impressed with the talent of this group, and each year it gets better. There will two shows, at 7 p.m. Saturday at Northern Light United Church and 4 p.m. Sunday at Aldersgate Methodist Church. Tickets are $8, $5 for students and seniors and $20 for a family, and a ticket is good for one or both shows. A reception will follow each concert.
Fans of folk dancing and contra dancing may enjoy the English Country Dance Sunday afternoon at McPhetres Hall. Like contra dances, these are taught and called, and beginners are welcome. This is a different style of dance that predates the contras.
The dances are staged just a few times a year, pretty much as a labor of love by a core group of musicians and dance enthusiasts. The dance will be from 4:30-7 p.m. Sunday and a potluck will follow at the hall. Call 586-1787 for information.