Art Beat: Woodturners turn out for symposium

Mike Dunham

The Alaska Woodturners Association 2013 Symposium started Saturday and featured the talents of two world masters, Glenn Lucas of Ireland and Michael Hosaluk of Canada. Demonstrations continue today at Hardware Specialties, 424 W. 54th Ave. (near Bailey's Furniture on Arctic). People have paid to take part in the workshops, but a gallery featuring what both the masters and learners have been up to is on display until 5 p.m. today. More information can be had at

Jazz at the museum

The Anchorage Festival of Music's Winter Soiree concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. this evening at the Anchorage Museum, 625 C St. (enter at the Seventh Avenue doors) and will showcase original jazz by Alaskans Ray Booker, John Damberg and Dan McElrath. Light refreshments will be served during the intermission. Also today, a "Tribute to Duke Ellington" takes place at the UAA Arts Building recital hall at 4 p.m.

Outta here

Today will be the final shows for Anchorage Opera's "Tosca" at the Discovery Theatre (4 p.m.), Pulse Dance Company's "Ever After" at Alaska Pacific University's Grant Hall (6 p.m.) and "Freud's Last Session" at Cyrano's (3 p.m.). With a little creative planning you could actually attend both of the two last-named events. Whoever said life in Anchorage was boring just isn't reading the newspaper.

Fairbanks firm gets museum contract

Bucher Glass of Fairbanks has received a $7.6 million contract to provide all exterior walls and windows for the new (and yet to be built) State Libraries, Archives & Museum in Juneau. SLAM, as the building is being called, is expected to be complete and open in April 2016 -- just in time for tourist season.

Bucher will begin fabricating the wall panels immediately, according to a press release from the State Department. of Education and Early Development. The company has leased a 32,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Fairbanks and expects to employ 16 to 20 people. Project architect Brian Meissner of the Anchorage design firm ECI/Hyer was quoted as saying that Bucher's winning bid, selected in open competition, was connected to cost-effective technology recently acquired by the company. "In previous years, the wall panels almost certainly would have been manufactured overseas," said the press release.

'Bigfoot' footnote

In interviewing people for today's story about the Perseverance Theatre production of "Bigfoot and Other Lost Souls," I spoke with choreographer Ricci Adan. Adan has worked internationally, mainly out of her home in New York, with show biz biggies like the Rodgers and Hammerstein Foundation and the American Dance Machine (associated with Tommy Tune), resetting classics by Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins and the like. Asked how she wound up living in Juneau, she answered, "Luck." After her mother died a few years ago, she decided she should take a sabbatical. "I needed the air, the peace. Juneau was perfect."

But not quite a sabbatical. "Then I ran into Perseverance Theatre and I've been working for them ever since," she said. Among other things, she set the big ballet scene for the company's recent production of "Oklahoma."

Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.