By MIKE DUNHAM
The two photo exhibits at Alaska Pacific University present a hot-cold contrast. The show by the late Barry McWayne in the Grant Hall space focuses (sharply) on ice and snow scenes, including some remarkable shots of hoar frost formations. It almost made me wish that it was winter. Next door in the Carr Gottstein Building, pictures taken by McWayne and fellow Fairbanksan Charles Mason documented their travels in the desert southwest - mostly. There was at least one photo from the Badlands of South Dakota in with the mix from Death Valley and other places to warm and dry to grow much.
Traffic was heavy at Stephandales in the Hotel Captain Cook, where Terri Sloat was the featured artist. But the ever-improving egg tempra paintings by Andy Hehnlin are worth a look, too. I carefully went over all the pieces in Gina Edwards' "Be the Bike" show at Snow City and satisfied myself that there was, indeed, a bicycle included in every single one of them, at least those hanging on the wall. But sometimes you had to look hard.
Artique, Ltd. was packed for the group show on ravens. There were all kinds of takes on Alaska's favorite fowl, but the illustrations by Evon Zerbetz took the prize in my book - particularly the one of a raven doing a crossword puzzle consisting of the various sounds that bird can make.
The fish prints on display at the Visitor's Center (the old Decker-Morris gallery) was unfortunately up only for Friday night, but artist Linda Warford assured me that they would soon be opening a new space in the Fourth Avenue Marketplace. Stay tuned.
The various shows at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art had drawn a large crowd (though maybe not as large at whatever was happening at Sevigny Studios; it spilled into the street and I didn't even try to get in). The theme in the center gallery was homelessness; it seemed somewhat splintered to me. More to the point were the portraits taken of local homeless people by Clark Mishler which were not on display, per se, but instead projected in a loop in the back gallery.
Early in the evening, artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs alerted me to something unannounced going on at the Alaska Native Heritage Gallery, 500 6th Ave. Whatever had been planned had fallen through and an event had been cobbled together at the last minute. I walked over and into a First Friday opening like nothing I'd ever seen before. Industrial pop music was pumping out the door of the ordinarily sedate and generally high-end shop. A clutch of teens watched Arielo Bisco painting a killer whale with what looked like a graffiti tag on it. At 19, Bisco shows a lot of ambition, and not all of it on the pop side as his abstract "Cosmic Koi," on display in the gallery, shows.
On the other side of the gallery, 26 year old Apayo Moore of Dillingham was also painting. (Check out the "artist/activist's" work at her website, wwww.apayoart.com.) She explained that she'd flown in at the last minute to participate in the show. How do you get art training in Dillingham? "Well," she said, "they pretty much let me do whatever I wanted in art class."
Also in the space were a number of interesting masks by Drew Michael - traditional in some ways, but contemporary as well. And paintings/mixed media by Stefanie Naaftaq Cromarty, of Gambell, Her large pink paint-and-thread "Granddaughter Stitzes" reminded me a lot of some of Kelliher-Combs' work.
After hanging there long enough to get used to the music, everyplace else felt like the old peoples' galleries.
That's what I saw. What'd you see? Comment about it here.