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Jean Bundy

Jean Bundy is a writer/painter living in Anchorage. She holds degrees from The University of Alaska, The University of Chicago and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a member of AICA/USA and an ambassador to The Portrait Society of America. Jean recently began a PhD program with IDSVA. Her whaling abstracts and portraits have been shown from Barrow to New York City.

She can be reached at: 38144 [at] alaska [dot] net

The Armory Show: Art Fair Meets Avant-garde

Running Shoes

After my romp through the 2014 Whitney Biennial this past March, I took a crosstown bus from Fifth Avenue to the Armory Show on display on the remodeled Hudson River Piers 92 & 94 .

With two hundred and five exhibitors, the Armory Show is the largest art fair in New York and really Disneyland for art lovers.

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April 11, 2014 - 7:00 am

An Alaskan Goes to the 2014 Whitney Biennial

Dona Owen, "Okie Dokie", (2008)

About a year ago, I received an email that professor Michelle Grabner would be one of the three curators of the 2014 Whitney Biennial Show. I asked Grabner if I could shadow her on her year long adventure of artist selection.

The Whitney press office dismissed my project.

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March 18, 2014 - 12:20 pm

In The Dark of Winter Don’t “Kiss It All Goodbye”


Artists love to exchange their wares with fellow craftsmen. I still have chimes my older daughter, Jenn, made in kindergarten almost forty years ago.

So when my friend Lawrence Vescera mailed me his sci-fi tome, Kiss It All Goodbye, I was thrilled to turn off reruns of The Borgias, pour some tea and begin the enchantment while forgetting icy roads outside my cozy nook.

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February 5, 2014 - 7:00 am

Dena’Ina Way of Living, at the Anchorage Museum

Arrows for Sea Otter. Fort Kenai (1883).

Hurry, you can still make it to Dena’Ina Way of Living with its preserved artifacts and dioramic recreations. But not to worry, the exhibition catalog will be available after the show closes.

Dena’inaq’ Huch’ulyeshi, the Dena’Ina Way of Living illustrates how a population lived thousands of years ago without electricity, running water and modern medicine; be humbled by those who came before.

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January 9, 2014 - 11:20 am

December in California: Take Mittens When Searching for Art

Fishermans Wharf (December 2013)

The internet said eighty degree weather in California the first week of December. So, husband Dave and I left our mittens in the car before flying to Los Angeles for a bankruptcy conference and Fall art.

Sitting in our hotel room later, I kept hearing Sinatra singing, “hate California, it’s cold and it’s damp.” Catalina Island looked like a cake submerged in whipped cream.

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December 24, 2013 - 7:00 am

Aesthetic Energy, Autumn back East


It takes five years to organize an art exhibition which means this year’s fall lineup was created in 2008, the big financial dip. With that in mind I headed East to hug grandchildren and see what was aesthetically pleasing.

Our fall art tour took us to Philadephia, Washington, D.C. and New York City.

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November 12, 2013 - 7:00 am

The Art of James Gurney: Part 2

Gurney works while observing the scene out the window of a train.

James Gurney’s famed Dinotopia series, enchanting adventures juxtaposing mythical creatures and humans against fantasy backgrounds, morphed into his how-to book, Imaginative Realism.

Imaginative Realism’s sequel is Gurney’s Color and Light. Written in a convenient cookbook style, he imparts artistic elements, rules-of-the-road, that take painters on a journey, becoming keener observers while perfecting their artistic endeavors.

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October 1, 2013 - 7:00 am

The Art of James Gurney: Part 1

Dinotopia Book Cover

The Portrait Society of America held its annual conference in Atlanta and featured illustrator James Gurney. As a parent, I was familiar with his book Dinotopia but had never looked beyond the bedtime story scenario.

I chose a Gurney break-out session and began to learn how approachable he was.

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September 3, 2013 - 7:00 am

A July Art Vacation

Barry McGee Installation (Exterior, 2013)

While some relax rafting or playing 18 holes of golf, I spent a portion of my summer on campus. When not writing essays for Town Square 49, or painting with acrylics, I attend low-residency PhD classes at The Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.

This program allows students to absorb classical philosophy while never getting out of their pajamas.

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August 6, 2013 - 7:00 am

Art Comes as a Refuge for June’s End of School Puzzles

John Singer Sargent - In a Levantine Port (1906)

The Brooklyn Museum of Art is a short subway ride from Midtown and although it competes with Manhattan’s museum trifecta: Metropolitan, Guggenheim, and MoMA, lately it’s been packing a mean punch.

John Singer Sargent could paint anything, as noted in his seafaring compositions where canvas sails soften wooden boats which lap up reflections from the water.

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July 2, 2013 - 7:00 am

Discover Yourself at Clark James Mishler’s Portrait Alaska Exhibition

On a May afternoon while our spring blizzard was slowly melting, I sat in the atrium of the Anchorage Museum eating my sandwich and looking.

I was looking up and around at Clark James Mishler’s portraits of Alaskans. Old, young, tattooed, the local famous and infamous, were all staring down at me and I returned their piercing glances.


May 31, 2013 - 7:00 am

The Civil War as Surreal

Our country is celebrating the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the Civil War (1861-1865).

On a recent trip East, husband Dave and I tried to remove the surreal when imagining neighbors killing neighbors or our non-white relatives as slaves.

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May 8, 2013 - 7:00 am

Finding Realism Coast to Coast


Rodd Ambroson and Mickalene Thomas portray women in different ways on opposite sides of the country.

Both show women as independent beings while pushing and pulling beneath surfaces of their chosen media to proclaim inner strengths and to express beauty.

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April 5, 2013 - 9:00 am
Winter With Color And Texture In Anchorage

Winter With Color And Texture In Anchorage

Ed Mighell's Studio in Fairview

It’s winter and I really needed to get out of my studio and find some color and yes, some texture. I love being a studio hermit but visiting with other artists is essential for continual artistic growth.

Entering AK Starfish Co. is like skidding onto a painter’s palette.

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March 2, 2013 - 7:00 am

Embracing Reading with “A Pet Named Sneaker”


What does it mean to enjoy reading? When do you get the curiosity to read Sunday book reviews, or re-read that classic you breezed through in high school?

I know what it’s like to be that kid who finds reading an insurmountable task. In third grade my parents must have been told I couldn’t read because cartons of books began appearing in my bedroom. My cousin Joan Heilbroner began writing stories for Random House Beginner Books in the early sixties.

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February 1, 2013 - 9:00 am

Reconnections, Coincidences and “Coastal Governance” by Richard Burroughs

Coastal Governance is an informative, yet sensible book about coming to terms with overcrowded coastal communities and depleted off-shore fishing banks.

The author, Richard Burroughs isn’t preachy, commenting that “incorporating the needs of individuals for seafood and livelihoods while respecting the biological limits of coastal waters form the core of the ecosystem-based management challenge for the fisheries.”

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January 8, 2013 - 9:00 am

Ruth Gruber, Photojournalist at the Anchorage Museum

This show, at the Anchorage Museum, came from Ruth Gruber’s reporting adventures in the Soviet Arctic, Alaska, and then in Europe and Asia after World War II.

While some of Gruber’s images, people staring directly into her lens, seemed overly posed, other works, where she caught subjects off-guard, delve into the human psyche and are haunting.

Read the full review.

December 10, 2012 - 9:00 am

Autumn in New York (Playing the Ponies at Belmont)

When I was a little girl, my father promised me a trip to the racetrack when I turned twenty-one, which never occurred as he suddenly died. Fast forward forty years and I’ve been researching the lower East Side of the late nineteenth century and discovering that off-track betting was the poor man’s stock market.

So, I finally made my trip to Belmont Park, named for a Rothschild cousin, who moved to America to manage family holdings.

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November 1, 2012 - 9:00 am

Finding My Song at the Anchorage Museum

It was approaching the third week of heavy winds and rain outside the Anchorage Museum as I strolled through their canary yellow lobby on my way to “Finding My Song.” Artist Da-ka-xeen Mehner has combined his Native and European heritages to produce a show packed with color, texture and fun along with a poignant message.

It’s clear Mehner understands Tlingit craft and twenty-first century Eurocentric Conceptualism.

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October 1, 2012 - 10:00 am

Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center to Open in Style

The Anchorage neighborhood health Center is moving to a new facility in Midtown Anchorage on September 17, 2012.

The Health Center had local artists paint “Health Center Hero” medical lab coats for a future benefit — coats will be displayed around town this fall. Here’s the story of how I created mine.

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August 28, 2012 - 9:00 am