AD Main Menu

Mike Dunham

1914.

The world went to war. But the fighting between the great powers of Europe was not America’s problem. Not yet.

The U.S. was enjoying a wave of prosperity and change. Henry Ford opened his assembly line to make horseless carriages and doubled the wages of his workers. The first passenger paid to take a trip on an airplane. The first ocean-going ships passed through the Panama Canal. “The Perils of Pauline” debuted at movie houses and Charlie Chaplin starred in the first full-length film comedy. A kid named Babe Ruth threw his inaugural pitches for the Boston Red Sox. Young white couples danced the fox trot to the blues of black bandleader W.C. Handy. It was a world their parents could not have imagined...

Mike Dunham

The workmen erecting Anchorage’s latest piece of public art had just set in place a 30-foot steel pole when the 6.24-magnitude earthquake hit at 9:51 a.m. Thursday.

Nuts holding the support pole to its base had been hand-threaded into place but not yet tightened. Cables on the crane that had raised it only minutes before swung back and forth. Skeins of honking geese took to the air as mirror-flat Westchester Lagoon abruptly rippled with waves.

Sculptor Rebecca Lyon nervously watched the swaying pole critical to the outcome of the biggest art piece of her career, “Transformation,” a vision that required years of planning, collaboration and a labyrinth of paperwork and approval from sponsors, public agencies and the municipality...

Mike Dunham

The last time we checked in on the Alaska-Japan mural story, seven artists from Seward had traveled to their sister city, Obihiro on Hokkaido, and created a 32-foot mural for the town with the help of artists on that side of the Pacific Ocean.

This summer the Japanese returned the favor (this swapping of gifts has been going on for 40 years or so) by sending six artists to Seward to create another work of wall art for that much-muraled Alaska city. They worked with Seward folks in Seward City Church for about 10 days to complete the project.

The new piece is 32 feet long and will be found on the Rae Building on Third Avenue. It includes various symbols of Obihiro, including a skylark, white birch and black lily...

Mike Dunham

The Anchorage Symphony’s first concert of the 2014-15 season will likely draw oohs from the audience before a single note gets played. Patrons heading for their seats will see an impressive new addition to Atwood Hall. Instead of the plain, tan, ill-fitting acoustic shell that has been positioned behind the orchestra for the past 25 years, elegant maple walls will frame three sides of the stage.

The $1.7 million Diva acoustic shell will be capped by a roof made of three separate “clouds” supported by rust-colored “tusks.” The angles of the roof over the performers will reflect the diamond arrowhead pattern of the ceiling above the seating area. The overall effect will be to tie the stage into the auditorium visually...

Mike Dunham
Illuminating cloth

Fabric artist Keren Lowell has had her work featured in the statewide Earth, Fire and Fibre and All Alaska Juried art shows. Her solo exhibition, “Groundwork,” will open Sept. 26 at the Anchorage Museum. Lowell uses “reclaimed” fabric and paper, assembled and backlit. “There is something humble, heroic, even tragic” about the previously used material, Lowell says. “The holes and abrasions are beautiful to me. They reveal an accumulation of use, of work, of neglect and time.” “Groundwork” will remain on display through Nov. 9. She will present a lecture at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, and be available to talk about her work at 8 p.m. on Oct. 3 during the museum’s free “First Friday” happenings...

Mike Dunham

When concert-goers listen to a Bach suite or a chaconne by Couperin, they’re usually only getting half the show. An enormous amount of Baroque music -- perhaps most of it -- was written with the expectation that it would be danced to.

The Anchorage Festival of Music will present a workshop and then a rare concert featuring both tunes and steps from 300 years ago under the guidance of Betty Bang Mather, co-author of “Dance Rhythms of the French Baroque” and an internationally recognized authority on period dances and their connection to the musical scores that nowadays are still heard, but seldom seen...

Mike Dunham

Eleven women will be honored as YWCA/BP Women of Achievement in upcoming ceremonies. The names were announced at a press conference on Sept. 16 at the YWCA ’s Anchorage offices...

Mike Dunham
Primary Category: 

It’s easy to walk into the Alaska State Fair through the Yellow Gate and miss the biggest addition to the fair grounds this year. A few heads may turn toward the fish wheel near the pathway and several fairgoers will feel their appetites aroused by the aroma of grilling salmon....

Mike Dunham
Primary Category: 

In Anchorage, the Alaska State Council on the Arts unveiled the 11 new pieces recently added to the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank at a reception on Aug. 7....

Mike Dunham

In her program notes for “4000 Miles,” director Krista M. Schwarting says the play has “no dramatic shifts in character.” But shifts are there, though they come about incrementally over the course of the low-key but engrossing story.

“4000 Miles” is a sad and poignant piece convincingly dressed as comedy. The central character is a self-absorbed and pampered young man whose conflict with his family -- notably his mother -- has manifested in a lust for adventure and physical action. Leo hits climbing walls, lives on sailboats and rides a bike from Seattle to New York, where he finds that his girlfriend Bec doesn’t want him any more. So he crashes at his grandmother’s apartment...

Mike Dunham

Pages