Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Painter wins $12,000 Rasmuson grant

JUNEAU - Juneau painter David Woodie was awarded a $12,000 individual artist fellowship by the Rasmuson Foundation during a public reception Monday night at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

Woodie, a commercial fisherman and University of Alaska Southeast art professor, received the news Tuesday. He found out about the grant 10 days before the early October deadline for applications.

"I had my fingers crossed big time," Woodie said. "It's a major shot in the arm. There aren't very many individual artists grants these days."

The Rasmuson Foundation is funded by the estate of late banker E.A. Rasmuson and has supported Alaska non-profits since its first grant in 1955. This Feburary, the foundation announced a 10-year, $20 million statewide arts and culture initiative. It gave out $160,000 on Monday.

Woodie was one of seven Alaska artists to receive a $12,000 fellowship, meant for mid-career or mature artists. He plans to travel through Alaska and British Columbia and buy some supplies he couldn't otherwise afford. He's also looking for exhibition space in Seattle. Woodie currently has two pieces in the 26th All Alaska Juried Art Exhibition at the Alaska State Museum.

The other winners were: Carla Potter, a clay artist in Anchorage, formerly of Ketchikan, who entered the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council's Wearable Art Show in February; Sheila Wyne, a mixed-media artist from Anchorage who has designed sets for Perseverance Theatre and Opera to GO!, as well as a series of metal sculptures at the Johnson Youth Center; Fairbanks mixed-media artist Alvin Amason; Anchorage photographer Hal Gage; Anchorage filmmaker Mary Katzke; and Cordova painter David Rosenthal.

Sylvester A. Ayek, an Inupiaq carver from King Island, received the Distinguished Artist Award of $25,000. He creates scultures inspired by Inupiaq and Yup'ik traditions.

Judge drops charge in airman shooting

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage judge has dismissed a second-degree murder charge against one of three people accused in the shooting death of an Elmendorf Air Force Base airman last year.

Superior Court Judge Larry Card ruled today there was not enough evidence to charge Regina Bibbs, 24, in the death of Crystal St. Auburn on Nov. 25, 2003.

Prosecutors say Bibbs was jealous of the 21-year-old St. Auburn, who was dating the same man as she. According to police, Bibbs challenged St. Auburn to a fight. Around 3 a.m. on Nov. 25, St. Auburn, her boyfriend and three others drove to Bibbs' home. Bibbs, Steven Hinshaw, Dorian Dixon and another man eventually got into another car.

Legislation would change health laws

ANCHORAGE - The state health commissioner says Gov. Frank Murkowski will push legislation for measures to stop outbreaks of disease, measures that could include early quarantines and changing patient privacy rules.

State officials say their aim is to protect Alaskans' rights, but balancing public health and individual rights may be difficult when the Legislature takes up the measure.

"We're going to need your help," Commissioner Joel Gilbertson told hundreds of public health officials gathered at Alaska's Health Summit Monday. "This is not going to be an easy piece of legislation to pass during the next session."

Protecting the public could affect an individual's rights if the state collects personal health information, or quarantines people who may or may not become ill, Gilbertson said.

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