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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been forty-five years since I rode in a London taxi. Summer ’68 I worked in Hoxton, the East End, while boyfriend Dave counted checks for Barclays Bank.
London seemed more crowded than we remembered as we taxi’d to a Club Quarters Hotel near Trafalgar Square. With McDonald’s and Starbucks everywhere, London felt more like another Manhattan borough.
I’ve been in love with art history since 10th grade when I got to dump my Latin textbook for Janson’s “History of Art.”
Now that my last child is a senior at NYU, it seemed time I visited those French works in Janson. With that in mind, husband Dave and I left Berlin on an easyJet for Paris—warning, hungover passengers and no pre-assigned seats on budget european airlines.
To a baby boomer like me who grew up in the fifties learning how to crawl under a desk in case of nuclear attacks or being told to watch out for Communists lurking under everyone’s bed, the idea of vacationing in Berlin this past June seemed daunting.
Husband Dave and I landed at Tegel Airport, then taxied to a Best Western located in the Mitte section of formerly East Berlin.
There was still ice on Pike Lake in front of Richard Ellmers’ house as we recently chatted about his new book over the phone. He had just put his King Salmon house up for sale and was planning to move to Anchorage after this winter’s record snowfall.
Ellmers is a mesmerizing story teller both vocally and in print.
Amazing, no snow, the first week of April in New York City! The thermometer read mid-thirties, surprisingly colder than Anchorage as I subway’d around Manhattan in search of art. A former professor once told me “find me something I haven’t seen before.”
It took some scrounging around as the downturned economy has reduced exhibitions. Good news: many shows are staying up longer and there appear to be bigger crowds in galleries and gift shops than last fall.
Grandmothers are no longer sitting in rockers, knitting socks or being an annoyance to their daughters-in-law—well let’s hope! In reality, grandparents have been economically necessary throughout history. In agrarian times they raised children and boosted family incomes by engaging in cottage trade while parents worked the fields or kept the local shops. I remember the exact spot I first became a grandmother.
Portraiture is a timeless art form and my favorite. It has never been super popular as a genre but none the less has lasted through time. Today’s social media has turned digital photography into a form of cheap and accessible portraiture.
The human face is the foundation of portraiture which conveniently comes with built in narratives, often revealing ongoing dialogue between the artist, his material and the viewer.
Winter blahs are the Alaska norm after New Year’s. With kids back in college and tax time approaching, my husband and I have traditionally ignored the cold and dark by spending January cleaning our office, putting labels on manila envelopes and rummaging through the shoe box we use for accumulating tax information (actually we have upgraded to a Rubbermaid container).
The first weekend in December was the American Bankruptcy Institute’s conference in Palm Springs and Dave’s turn to find an excuse for us to travel. But before driving through California’s desert, we flew into San Francisco to view Pissarro’s People.
Pissarro is considered a father-figure to Impressionists as he empathized with those who wished to take their easels and palettes outdoors observing the sublime of nature – wind, rain and changing light patterns.