Arts Scene: 'The Storms of Denali' and Autumn Classics

Arts Reporter
The sun sets as Mt. McKinley and its reflection are seen on Reflection Pond at the west end of Denali National Park road a few miles east of Camp Denali in Denali Park, Alaska.

Autumn Classics

The Alaska Airlines Autumn Classics chamber music series opens this weekend with an American focus. The program on Friday features pianist Lara Downes performing music by exiled composers -- including Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Kurt Weill and Erich Korngold, all of whom wound up seeking sanctuary in the U.S. It's part of her "Exiles' Cafe" project. On Saturday music by Samuel Barber and Lucas Foss will be featured and on Sunday, Downes will perform a solo version of "Rhapsody in Blue." Cellist Zuill Bailey and guitarist David Leisner share the billing. Programs are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday at Alaska Pacific University's Grant Hall. Tickets and details for the programs this weekend and next are available at (Scroll down the "Find by Title" field to Sitka Summer Music Festival.)

Water, Wax & Threads

Jules Wolfe, Gayla Ranf and Deanna Teders are showing their work in three separate media -- watercolors, encaustic wax and fabric -- at Blue.Hollomon Gallery, 3555 Arctic Blvd. Teders, a driving force at the annual "Trash to Treasures" event, is an expert in refinishing upholstered furniture, which may explain "a very special ottoman" included in the show.

The Storms of Denali

One of the best Alaska novels in recent years is "The Storms of Denali" by Seattle author Nicholas O'Connell (University of Alaska Press). O'Connell, a mountain climber as well as accomplished writer, will describe the experiences behind the book at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Anchorage Museum, 625 C St. Use the entrance on Seventh Avenue. Anthropology professor Ryan Harrod will discuss the "Bioarchaeology of Violence" -- how archaeological findings suggest social inequality and violence in ancient societies -- at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the University of Alaska Anchorage Campus Bookstore. And Greg Dixon will present a video talk on "Archaeology and Memory; Ancestral Aleutiiq Village on Kenai Coast South of Seward" at the Alaskan Prospectors Society meeting, 7:45 p.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church, 725 W. Ninth Ave.

Compiled by arts reporter
Mike Dunham