Former businessman Perry Eaton's art show set to open in Paris

Mike Dunham

Perry Eaton, former CEO of Community Enterprise Development Corp., board member of the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority and Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska, executive at Alyeska Pipeline and other serious business endeavors, traded in his corporate suit for an artist's smock some years ago. Today his work, both as a traditional carver and as a fine art photographer, is widely admired. How widely? Well, he has a big show coming up at the Gallery Orenda in Paris.

Orenda -- apparently the Algonquin word for "creative spirit"-- is the successor to the famed Galerie XX Siecle, which in the middle part of the last century showed work for Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Man Ray, Henry Moore and other masters of modern art.

It's run by the family of Gallerie XX Siecle's founder, who seems to have a great enthusiasm for Native American art. Eaton, known as a remarkable carver of masks in the Alutiiq style, and described at the website as a "sculpteur des masques, Alaska," shares the show with photos by Edward Curtis, whose turn-of-the-century portraits of Native Americans are considered classics of the genre.

Word from France is that every Alaskan in the area plans to be there for the opening Thursday. The exhibit runs through July 12.

Music winners announced

The Anchorage Concert Chorus vocal scholarship competition took place on May 14. First place in the College division went to Ivory Bodnar, who had previously taken first place in the College Music Theater and Classical divisions in the Alaska chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition.

ACC's other College division winners were Lamont Alexander Pierce (second) and Anna Tappel (third). High school division winners were Michael Tappel (first), Amanda Boger (second) and Katherine Lyle (third).

Most of the ACC winners took part in a recital that night at the Recital Hall in the UAA Fine Arts Building. They were joined by the winners of other local music competitions, including:

• Sakura Likar (first, Intermediate I division, Alaska Piano Competition)

• Sami Rose (first, Intermediate II division, Alaska Piano Competition)

• Jessen Cao (first, Junior division, Alaska Piano Competition)

• Brett Lindsay (first, Senior Strings division, Alaska chapter of the Music Teachers National Association)

• Eunice Kang (first, Junior Strings division, Alaska chapter of the Music Teachers National Association and winner of Anchorage Civic Orchestra Concerto Competition)

• Anya Gudimova (first, Senior division, Alaska Piano Competition)

• Jonathan Kaplan (winner of Anchorage Symphony Cassetta Competition)

• Micah McKinnis (first Senior Piano division, Alaska chapter of the Music Teachers National Association)

Poetry outdoors

The dedication of a "Poem in Place" installation will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Beluga Point wayside on the Seward Highway.

It consists of a sign with Kim Cornwall's poem "What Whales and Infants Know" facing Turnagain Arm. The poem will be read and light refreshments will be served.

Cornwall, of Fairbanks, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on June 28, 2010. She was 43. Her friend Wendy Erd of Homer approached the Alaska State Council on the Arts and Chugach State Park with the idea of honoring Cornwall with this poem at this particularly appropriate spot.

Erd raised money from private donors and friends, the council helped with coordination and the park provided the venue and installation.

The public is invited to the event.

'Bad Boys' proves popular

Valley Performing Arts' musical "Bad Boys Gone Gray" has been extended to May 29. A reader review is posted at

Ehling gets a 'Hallelujah'

From Port Angeles, Wash., comes word that former Anchorage conductor Dewey Ehling -- who led what is now known as the Anchorage Concert Chorus for many years, among other things -- was among six people honored with the Clallam County Community Service Award at ceremonies conducted at the end of April.

An article in the (Olympic) Peninsula Daily News called him "the county's 'Music Man' and cited his involvement in the local symphonic, light opera, musical theater and choral groups, basically the same thing he did in Anchorage.

The Music Man was introduced by the former director of the area Red Cross; but then came the good part, as reported in the article:

"Before allowing Ehling to respond, more than two dozen singers suddenly stood up at their tables and burst into Handel's 'Messiah.' "

Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.