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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. More.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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.” Read more.
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.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.