I was one of 20 artists selected for a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship! This is an awesome opportunity and honor! Many thanks to the NACF for this award and for supporting my work. Here is a link to the NACF website with more information on this fellowship opportunity and profiles on the other 2018 fellows. Congratulations to fellow Alaska NACF awardees, Brian Adams and Alison Akootchook Warden.
I am honored to be one of 8 artists selected to show my work at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau, Alaska. This is the first solo exhibition series in the beautiful new ASM building. Many thanks to Jackie Manning, exhibition curator, ASM staff, and the Friends of the Museum.
Here are a few images of my solo exhibition at the Bunnell Arts Center in Homer, Alaska last August 2017. This show featured a new body of work, Russian Orthodox icon inspired portraits of Alaska Native women. A quote from the artist statement: " Rediscovering culture and recovering lost religious traditions are first steps in decolonization. I replace the symbolic elements of the symbolic elements of the Christian icon with those of the Alutiiq/Sugpiak people. My ancestors are of Russian and Alutiiq heritage. Colonization by Russian and the US greatly impacted the language and culture of my Alutiiq ancestors. In these paintings I acknowledge the assimilated symbols of the colonizer and elevate, as equals, the spiritual symbols of my native ancestors."
Many thanks to Asia Freeman, director of Bunnell and her wonderful staff. Also, a big hug to owners of the Bistro Wild Honey, originally from Kodiak, who catered the reception with traditional salmon pie, "Perok," a favorite dish of my Alutiiq grandmother.
Inspired by German photographer, Karl Blossfeldt, black and white plant photography, students at Lake Otis explored plant forms of all varieties. We started with monochromatic studies, learning how to mix a range of values and later moved on to using limited color palettes. Each class day used a distinct color palette, Monday Blues etc. The students were encouraged to create their own imaginary plants and the results were stunning! Many thanks to Graham Dane for helping me assemble all 300+ paintings in a grand hallway mural.
Graham and I painted a dumpster last week, a pilot project with the Anchorage Downtown Partnership and the Anchorage Municipality. These painted dumpsters are will be deployed in the community of Mt. View. Graham painted a colorful abstract design and I worked with layered traditional tile pattern stencils and faux painting techniques. We were able to work on these inside, in the Anchorage Artist's Co-op.
I'm honored to have one of my photographs selected out of over 600 entries for this local annual juried photography contest. The juror this year is the esteemed, New York City photographer, Amy Arbus, daughter of the photography legend, Diane Arbus. Amy is known for her photographs of the East Village during the 1980's and her work for The Village Voice.
The image selected for this show is of a scene in the Railroad/Industrial sector of Anchorage near Ship Creek. I've long been fascinated with the juxtaposition of structures of old Anchorage and modern downtown structures in this area. The Quonset huts, sharply angled industrial storage buildings, the shiny downtown hotel and business buildings, traversed by railroad tracks and bisected by the king salmon filled Ship Creek meandering through the city, emptying into the treacherous mudflats and tidal flux of the Cook Inlet. Add to this the menacing flocks of nesting seagulls that patrol and launch attacks from industrial rooftops.
The curves of the Quonset, the adjacent block shaped building, separated by a feral tree, the evocative perspective of the railroad tracks....repeatedly caught my eye and begged for a deeper look.
My father worked for the State, DOT, once located near Ship Creek. I have memories, as a child piling into the station wagon with my mother and three siblings to pick him up after work. The area hasn't changed much, keeping my memories intact, something for which I am grateful....
The exhibit opens at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art, tomorrow, Friday 11/4.
I recently painted four concrete road barriers located on a vacant lot near our studio on Mt. View Drive. With the blessing of the property owners, the Cook Inlet Housing Authority, I set out to add a little color to this busy stretch of the street, full of pedestrians and the site of a popular bus stop.
I was overwhelmed with well wishers, people stopping to chat, curious school children and cars honking with a big thumbs up, shouts of thank you and "so f'n awesome!" This was an unpaid gig, but well worth the effort, giving me a chance to experiment with faux painting techniques and layering stencils of traditional tile patterns from Spain, Portugal, India and Northern Africa. I was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba, the beautiful architectural layers of the aging city of old Havana. I hope to stimulate support for more public art and plant the seed, the idea of the endless possibilities of art in this diverse community.
I'll be working with the Municipality of Anchorage to paint dumpsters for Mt. View. Yes, dumpsters! The plan is to pair artists with local middle school students. mentor and help create, compose and execute positive art with the theme of healthy sustainable environments. I'm a big advocate for well conceived quality public art, so my students will spend time researching our theme, gathering images, creating a solid, meaningful and stimulating composition, practicing good painting practices and techniques before we apply paint to the dumpsters. I'll blog an update with images as this project progresses this winter (dumpsters will be housed indoors during the painting process).
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I've been commissioned to print and frame 8 black and white photographs for the Boney Court House. The photographs were taken this past year and are a product of many forays into Ship Creek Industrial Area and the Alaska Railroad yard. Ship Creek is a river that runs through the heart of downtown Anchorage and empties into Cook Inlet. Downtown professionals really can take a lunch break and catch a King Salmon at the mouth of Ship Creek.
The Ship Creek industrial area was once home of Tent City, the new city of Anchorage. Although the makeshift tent structure of long gone, the ubiquitous Alaskan Quonset Hut can be found in this area. The old Ship Creek Power Plant is an interesting subject for photography. Many junk and scrap yards live in this area as well. Here is the selection of photographs chosen by the Boney Court House art selection committee.
Karluk is a small Alutiiq village on the southwest side of the island of Kodiak. My mother was born here and many descendant's of her family still live here. I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit this village and paint with the students.
I am spending three weeks on Kodiak Island, an artist residency in Main Elementary School and one week visiting the villages of Karluk and Old Harbor. I am leaving today for Karluk. Here are images of the mural project at Main. Students were inspired by abstract patterns in nature, specifically abstract patterns in tree bark. We also looked at paintings by various abstract artists. The students produced paintings on canvas that I assembled and installed in the school library as trees.
The Water is Life project is an Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium program to promote awareness and appreciation of healthy community water resources. I was contracted by the ANTHC to produce a mural for the Yup'ik community of Russian Mission with a focus on cultural traditions surrounding water. The ANTHC team met with the community for a visioning session, to receive feedback on the mural design. I was moved by a session of Yup'ik dancers, led by a village elder. I am impressed with the respect for elders and their place in the continuity of village history, language and culture. The mural design features a Yup'ik dancer representing the continuity and flow of village culture and a river landscape honoring the Yukon River which brings life and sustenance to this community. The piece is made up of four 4 x 6ft and one 6 x 8ft canvas, total dimensions: 8 x 18ft. and will be installed in the school cafeteria.
I am working with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to create a mural in the remote Alaska village, Russian Mission. The mural will focus on the community resource of water. Our crew of three engineers, a film maker and myself, the artist, traveled to Russian Mission to meet with the community and to gather ideas and inspiration for the artwork. We will return, the week of March 28th. I will design and paint the mural and the rest of the crew will be involved in community water activities and projects. The flight to Russian Mission from Bethel was spectacular, with frozen rivers and lakes and snow free tundra.
I collaborated with my friend, biologist, Delia Vargas Kretsinger to produce a piece that addresses the issue of invasive plants in Alaska. I used vintage USGS AK maps, acrylic paint and pen and ink to render this piece. Delia provided images and documents of her work and I had the privilege to meet with her in Fairbanks to discuss her work with invasive plants. The piece will be in the exhibit, Arctic Perspectives, during the Arctic Science summit in Fairbanks.
Last spring 2014, Graham and I drove North to Denali to install "The Source" a 36 x 40" oil painting at the Denali Park Visitor's Center. This painting was product of a 2014 Denali Park Residency. Jay Elhard, the Park Residency program coordinator met with me to help hang the piece.
In collaboration with the Anchorage Community Land Trust, a generous grant from the Atwood Foundation, and the assistance of artist, Graham Dane, the Mt. View Hispanic Cultural Center Mural emerged. I had just returned from a two month residency in Santa Fe and was on a strict timeline to produce the mural before the weather turned. As long as the temps stayed above freezing and the paint did not freeze the project was on. We were blessed with a week of sunshine, enough time to set up scaffolding and paint the mural. The design was made with the residents of Mt. View in mind, the Hummingbird a universal good omen for this diverse community.
I was honored to receive a Rasmuson Foundation Fellowship, one of four residencies awarded annually to Alaska artists. During my two months at the Santa Fe Arts Institute, I set up a studio, painted oil paintings and made charcoal landscape studies. I built several oil painting panels at the Institute of American Indian Art. I was fascinated with the cloud formations during the northern New Mexico monsoon and took a series of black and white photographs. I was able to print these images at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. I also visited many state parks and historic sites, such as Georgia O'Keeffe's Ghost Ranch. stopping to sketch with pen and ink.
I'm pleased to announce that one of my photographs now showing the Rarified Photography Contest show, has been purchased by the Anchorage Museum of History and Art as part of the permanent collection. This photograph won an honorable mention and was the acquisition was funded by the Rasmuson Foundation.
A two week stay in the studios of Mayer of Munich, Architectural Glass Studio with the possibility of translating my work, painting and photography to glass and mosaic for future public art projects. Many thanks to the Alaska State Council on the Arts for travel funds to Munich and the warmth and hospitality of Mayer of Munich staff and artists.
November 2015 Cuba. I traveled to Cuba on an educational/cultural visa a few months before President Obama announced the USA would open diplomatic relations. US citizens were allowed to travel to Cuba under this visa and under a state guided tour.
Our group was asked about our specific interests before we travelled and one of the things I requested was to meet Cuban artists and to visit the Cuban National Art Museum. I was not disappointed! I wasn't allowed to take photographs in the museum, but I can tell you the Cuban art, from classical colonial, modern abstract-expressionism and contemporary was very impressive. I visited once with a guide and the second, alone in which I spent an entire afternoon absorbing the art. Cuban modern art is unique, as the artists spent time in Europe with their contemporaries, artists such as Picasso that were keenly interested in what was "primitive" from Africa.
Artists such as Picasso appropriated, almost copied the art of "primitives" without interest in origin and spirit of the work. Cubans, on the other hand were a rich mix of European, African and the original indigenous, pre-Colombian people, the Ciboneyes, the Guanahatabeyes and the Taínos. I could see the European modern art influence in the Cuban paintings, but their work is somehow more authentic, deeply moving and spiritual in a way Picasso's work is not.
I will have landscape oil painting classes starting up in September. These classes are designed for all levels of expertise; beginners to oil as well as experienced painters are welcome.
In my painting classes we explore landscapes through simple value studies using only a chromatic black and white.
Once we're familiar with value we add an additional color and paint a tonal study. This limited palette approach allows the student to become aware of the importance of value contrast and the subtle shifts in tonality. Students gain confidence in using the paint and mediums, as well as, paint mixing and application before tackling the challenges of a full color palette.
In my classes we'll spend time looking at reference photos of landscapes and discuss composition. Landscapes contain a lot of visual information and it is important to find the big shapes and the essential elements that are important and to eliminate the rest. Quick sketches with an ink pen are a good way to experiment with composition. I encourage students to create unique compositions instead of attempting to copy nature.
When it is time to delve into a full color palette, we will have good understanding of composition and tonal contrast as our base. We will spend a lot time experimenting with various palettes, discussing the use of color in landscapes to produce the illusion of distance and atmosphere.
I will have two sessions, twice a week, for three wks. $250 for six classes, supplies not included.
I will also have an Open Studio Sunday afternoons 4-7pm. This is for people interested in bringing a painting project they would like to work on and get my feedback. Non-structured, with no instruction, these sessions are designed to allow artists time to paint, receive my advice and to meet other students. I have lots of new resource material from my Denali residency!
Magpie Artworks 3601 Mt. View Drive. 99508
Infante Lyons Studio #103
Mon/Wed Sept.16-Oct 2 6-9pm Landscape Oil Painting $250
Tues/Thurs Oct 6-Oct 22 6-9pm Landscape Oil Painting $250
Sunday Sept 14-Oct 26 OPEN STUDIO 4-7pm $20 per session
Feel free to call or email questions or to sign up for classes.
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