Arts news and views

ArtSnob is your site for fast postings of Daily News reviews, local art happenings and reader feedback.

Drop your comments here, e-mail us at, or call Arts and Entertainment editor Mike Dunham at (907)-257-4332 or toll-free in Alaska, 800-478-4200, ext. 332.

2 for 1 deal for new musical premiere - 1/7/2013 5:11 pm

'Troyens' repeats Sunday - 1/6/2013 10:19 am

FIRST FRIDAY RAMBLES: Treasures at Two Friends - 1/5/2013 10:53 am

REVIEW: 'FREUD'S LAST SESSION' - 1/4/2013 10:49 am

New CIRQUE is out - 1/3/2013 2:08 pm

Bald soprano to be seen in Anchorage - 1/2/2013 9:50 am

Photographer Mishler looking for Kickstarter boost - 1/1/2013 3:09 pm

REVIEW: 'LAST DAY ON EARTH' - 12/22/2012 2:01 pm

Literary readings at UAA

The Northern Renaissance Arts & Sciences Readings, held in association with the 2012 UAA MFA Summer Residency, are underway. All readings will take place at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building Recital Hall and are free and open to the public. Book sales and author signings will be ongoing during the series.

The series began on Tuesday. Here are the upcoming authors:

Thursday July 12: Rich Chiappone, Zack Rogow, Linda McCarriston
Saturday July 14: Ernestine Hayes, Sean O’Grady, Carolyn Turgeon
Sunday July 15: Anne Caston, Craig Childs

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'Denali' debuts in Denali

Mt. McKinley: aka Denali.Mt. McKinley: aka Denali."Denali," a composition for 16 strings by Texas composer Stephen Lias, will be presented at The Denali National Park Visitor Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 21.

A press release says the work was inspired by Lias visit to the park last year. I'm still waiting to hear back from the composer, but his website suggests that the piece may have been premiered last year at Stephen F. Austin State University where he is an assistant professor.

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"bobrauschenbergamerica" opens this week

"bobrauschenbergamerica," a non-linear play informed by pop artist Robert Rauschenberg written by Charles L. Mee, will open with a preview at 7 p.m. on Thursday night. The show goes through July 15 with performances at 7 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. and 3 p.m. Sundays. The set, by Margret Hugi-Lewis, is said to be worth the price of admission.

Tickets are available at

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Comedy in Talkeena

Denali Drama celebrates “the myriad absurdities of love and romance Alaska style” with sketch and improv comedy for a second year. “How to Make Love Like an Alaskan — Sleepless in Soldotna” continues at 6 p.m. Sundays-Wednesdays through Aug. 29 at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar in Talkeetna.

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Storytelling class Saturday

Will HornyakWill HornyakMaster storyteller Will Hornyak will present a storytelling class and workshop Saturday. In "Storytelling from the Inside Out: Cultivating an Authentic Voice as a Storyteller," Hornyak "will guide students to consider the three languages of storytelling (voice, gesture, facial expression) as well as practical tips for developing stories for performances or professional presentations. Participants are encouraged to bring a short traditional story or personal narrative.

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Philip Glass' new overture follows Alaskan's piece

This spring we reviewed the world premiere of Anchorage violinist Lee Wilkins "An American 1812 Overture." (See "Review: Anchorage Civic Orchestra" posted April 30 on this blogsite and a related piece in "ArtBeat" published in May.)

Now famed minimalist composer Philip Glass will have his own "1812 Overture" premiered at two performances on Sunday, June 17, in Baltimore and Toronto.

Washington Post critic Anne Midgette notes that Glass has previously written a riposte to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" titled "The American Four Seasons."

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"Snow Child" signing today

Eowyn Ivey: Photo: Steve NowersEowyn Ivey: Photo: Steve NowersEowyn Ivey, Mat-Su author of "THE SNOW CHILD," a retelling of a Russian folk town in the form of a novel, will sign copies of her book from 6-8 p.m. today at Barnes & Noble, Between Benson and Northern Lights Blvds. on A St.

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Jazz at SubZero tonight

Dan McElrath: Chilling in the Chugach.Dan McElrath: Chilling in the Chugach.
Pianist Dan McElrath will be joined by jazz vocalist Katie Strock in presenting standards and McElrath's own pieces at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, in the SubZero Microlounge, 612 F St.
Have jazz, will travel: The McElrath sextet performs afloat in Halibut Cove.Have jazz, will travel: The McElrath sextet performs afloat in Halibut Cove.

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Four Alaska groups receive $1 million in art grants

Four Alaska art groups received over $1 million in grants announced on Tuesday. The four — Sitka Arts Campus, Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage Museum and Out North Contemporary Art House — were among 47 projects selected from nearly 2200 inquiries received from art organizations in the 50 states and several American territories.

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New Jazz on Saturday

The John Damberg and Mark Manners Jazz Quartet will highlight the second installment of original work by Alaska jazz musicians on Saturday as the Spenard Jazz Fest wraps up. The music starts at 5 p.m., with six bands playing for about one hour each, in this order:

5 p.m.-Alex Cruver trio
6 p.m.-Elite 9 from Seward
7 p.m.-Lee Pulliam-Alto Sax
8 p.m.-John Damberg & Mark Manners Jazz Quartet
9 pm.-Tyler Desjarlais-Tenor Sax
10 p.m.-Phil Knowlton

Admission is: $15-Adults, $10-Students, Seniors & Military

The Damberg/Manners ensemble is configured thus:

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Sealaska juried show winners

Arthur Nelson's Raven Bowl: courtesy Sealaska Heritage InstituteArthur Nelson's Raven Bowl: courtesy Sealaska Heritage Institute
Arthur B. Nelson’s “Raven Bowl” was selected for Best of Show honors in the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s sixth Juried Art Show and Competition in Juneau.

The winners, chosen by jurors Nathan Jackson and Peter Corey, fell into two categories, as follows:

Northwest Coast Customary Art
· 1st Place—Archie J. Cavanaugh, Ch’aak K’aa, “Eagle Man Mask”
· 2nd Place—Sonya Koenig-Johnson, “Spruce Root Hat”

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Once more for 'Fourplay'

Three Wise Moose Theatre will present one final Anchorage performance of "Fourplay: Four Short Plays by Alaskans," the edition that first ran at Anchorage Community Theatre last fall. The performance will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 7 and then move on to the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez on June 10. Get your tickets online or call 868-4913. The show will be at ACT's studio theatre, 1133 E. 70th. It's recommended for mature audiences. We particularly enjoyed David Haynes as Godzilla getting in touch with his tender side.

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Woodward leads Rasmuson arts awards recipients

Kes Woodward receives his Rasmuson Distinguished Artist award on June 5, 2012: Photo: Frank Flavin PhotographyKes Woodward receives his Rasmuson Distinguished Artist award on June 5, 2012: Photo: Frank Flavin Photography

The Rasmuson Foundation announced awards to 37 Alaska artists on Tuesday. Painter and art historian Kesler Woodward of Fairbanks received the 2012 Distinguished Artist Award, which includes an unrestricted grant of $25,000.

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Sara Loewen: "Winter in June"

Kodiak during the 1912 ashfall.Kodiak during the 1912 ashfall.
Note: On June 3, the Daily News presented an excerpted version of this elegant essay from Sara Loewen's upcoming book "Gaining Daylight: Life on Two Islands," published by University of Alaska Press. Here is the essay in full:

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Performance at Muse tonight

First Friday is usually about visual art, but at 8 p.m. tonight, visual artist Nicholas Galanin - aka musician Silver Jackson - will perform "lo-fi indie" music on the patio of the Muse cafe at the Anchorage Museum.

Other First Friday events at the Museum include a lecture by solar chef Antto melasneimi at 7 p.m. and a talk by Anchorage artist Amy Johnson starting at 5 p.m. Both Johnson and Galanin have work in the "True North" exhibit currently on display on the third floor of the Museum.

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Music video deadline looms

F Magazine is shosting F-Action, a regional music video competition.

The deadline for entrants to register is June 1, 11:59 p.m.

"This just means we need to know who plans on submitting a music video on September 1 - so we can better plan venues and judges," says the press release.

Find the forms and guidelines at

Music videos don't have to have be made this summer; they can be be from prior to 2011 - permission waivers need to be signed by the music representative.

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Nicholas Galanin talk rescheduled for May 31

Tlingit artist Nicholas Galanin discusses his work in the True North exhibition at noon on Thursday, May 31. The Sitka artist explores contemporary issues of Native identity and artwork. Note that this event has been rescheduled; it was originally announced for June 7.

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Mat-Su art festival starts Tuesday

The Machetanz Arts Festival will take place at Mat-Su College next week. It consists of a series of classes in a variety of artistic disciplines and will begin with a four-day water media workshop led by Judi Betts of Baton Rouge, La., starting Tuesday, May 29.

On Saturday, June 2, there will be a range of classes covering subjects like painting, photography, interior design, silk painting, sumi-e and more. Prices for most classes are $25 and space is limited.

For more information call 907.745.9746 or go to

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Jazz tribute tonight

Rick Zelinsky and crew present the next in their “Tribute to Jazz Masters” series at 8 p.m. Thursday at Tap Root Cafe, 3300 Spenard Road. The master being honored this time is hard bop pioneer Horace Silver.

Expect Zelinsky to toss in a sample or two of his own compositions from his recent “Icy Grooves” CD. Previous tributes to giants like John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins have been well worth the $10 cover — plus you can eat and drink.

Also tonight, Perseverance Theatre tryouts at Out North. Details are posted in an entry below.

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Emma Hill performs Thursday

Alaska songstress Emma Hill is next up in the Anchorage Music Coop showcase, performing at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Out North's listening room. Originally from Sleetmute, by way of Palmer, Hill is noted for her "honeyed voice," pleasant melodies, quirky ballad style and tart lyrics.

Admission is $15, $10 for coop members.

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