Arts Scene: Godlike gals, modest men, and tomorrow's Casals

Arts Reporter
"Butcher," by Christina Fenner, in "UNmanly" at Out North.
Print art by Mike Houston in “UNmanly” at Out North
"Dancing Guadalupe" by Siobhan O'Hara

Godlike gals

The Middle Way Cafe, 1300 W. Northern Lights Blvd., is showing work by Bayley Barton, Betany Porter and Siobhan O'Hara through Oct. 8. "My work is about women," says O'Hara. Among her paintings on the cafe walls are images of the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele, a feminized Buddha, a Virgin of Guadalupe engaged in what looks like a Hindu temple dance and other manifestations of what she calls "the Divine Feminine." More at her website,

Modest men

Despite the closure of Out North, a plucky band of artists is going ahead with a show there. "UNmanly" opens with at reception 5 p.m. Friday. Participants include Mike Houston (prints), Sandi Gillespie, Keren Lowell, Mike Conte (mixed media) and Ellen Frankenstein (video). Curator Michael Walsh says, "Since I've moved to Alaska, I've felt the intimidating pressure of the masculine spirit throughout the state ... This show flips off masculinity in favor of the feminine." He adds, "I think because so much work was being put into this show and it was not going to cost them anything, the (Out North) board asked me if I was willing to still move forward with the exhibition. I asked the participating artists and they all said yes, so we are IN, not OUT." The gallery at Primrose and DeBarr will be open noon-4 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 15.

Tomorrow's Casals

Jari Piper, the 22-year-old winner of the Anchorage Festival of Music's 2013 Young Alaskan Artist Award, will present a recital 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 3900 Wisconsin St. Piper, student of the late Arthur Braendal son of the Anchorage Symphony's principal oboist, is working on his master's degree at McGill University in Montreal and has spent this summer traveling around the country giving performances. Admission is by a suggested donation of $25, $10 for students, which goes to support the festival's scholarship program benefitting the next generation of Alaska musicians. Check his website,

Compiled by arts reporter
Mike Dunham