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Arts and Entertainment

First Friday is back in Anchorage, with events both in person and online

"Summer Harbor" by Faith Revell. Oil on canvas. (Photo courtesy of Georgia Blue Gallery)

Alaskans have been stuck inside social distancing, cut off from the creative world that is Anchorage’s art scene. This Friday, some galleries are opening up their doors and monitoring capacity, while others are offering virtual shows.

Whether you’re itching to get into the gallery or happy viewing from your screen, there are new paintings, photography and mixed media pieces from Alaskan artists to see.

(Note: As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and change, be sure to check ahead and confirm events you want to attend and get more information about health and safety protocols.


Orgami paper birds on a board by Kassandra Mirosh. (Kassandra Mirosh/2 Friends Gallery)

2 Friends Gallery — Kassandra Mirosh will be showing her work using origami paper. She creates a mix of free hanging and canvas origami pieces. Angele Jones will be displaying some of her watercolor paintings. To practice social distancing, the gallery will be at 25% capacity, but people can attend the showing anytime between 11 a.m.-6 p.m. There will be live music between 4-6 p.m. as well as individually wrapped refreshments. (341 E Benson Blvd)

’Aesthetics of Laundry, ’ by Andreas Hoffmann. The images in this exhibition taken were in Disko Bay area in northwest Greenland and are on display at the Anchorage Museum.

Anchorage Museum — Reopening to the public June 5, the Anchorage Museum will allow entry through advanced-purchased, timed-entry tickets. Entry times are 9-11 a.m., 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-4 p.m., 4-6 p.m. The Museum will be open Wednesday through Saturday from June 5-27. Hours for July will be announced later this month. To review the museum’s reopening guidelines you can visit their website. Despite its limited reopening, the museum will continue hosting First Friday events and other programs online. See below under the “Online” section to get information about their virtual events. (625 C St.) The new exhibitions available to be viewed are:

  • East Wing, Level Three: Andreas Hoffmann’s photography series “Aesthetics of Hanging Laundry” from the Disko Bay area of northwest Greenland is on display. The project is available for viewing at the Museum and online.
  • West Wing, Level Two: Kerry Tasker’s photography of Alaskans surfing the Turnagain Arm bore tide in “Bore Tide Surfers: Catching Alaska’s Longest Wave” debuted online during the COVID-19 closure, but is now available to view in-person.
  • West Wing, Level Four: “To Become A Person” is a photography project by photojournalist Ash Adams and Iñupiaq writer Laureli Ivanoff that documents indigenous coming of age in rural Alaska. The photos capture everyday life in Utqiagvik, Arctic Village, Kivalina, the Pribilof Islands, Newtok and Sitka.
  • East Wing, Atrium: “Nkenaghch’: Good Words to Never Forget” is an exhibit of illustrations by Ted Kim from the Anchorage Museum’s Dena’ina language book by the same title. It’s an ABC book of the 1,000-year-old Dena’ina language.
  • East Wing, Level Two: Amanda Strong is an indigenous media artist and stop-motion director whose films are being screened this summer in the Northern Narratives gallery and online. Owner of Spotted Fawn Productions, Strong focuses her films on themes of reclamation of indigenous histories, lineage, language and culture in “Circumpolar Cinema: Amanda Strong Films.”
  • East Wing, Galleries 1-4: “Houseless” is a combination of the National Building Museum’s exhibition “Evicted,” Portland State University’s Center for Public Interest Design’s “Partners On Dwelling" and Willie Baronet’s “WE ARE ALL HOMELESS.” Together, these projects explore how design can generate solutions to housing insecurity through micro-dwelling prototypes, signs from those experiencing homelessness, images and audio interviews.
  • East Wing, Level Two: “Cameras from the Anchorage Museum Collection” includes archival photographs and camera equipment from the 20th century and explores how over time photography and the lens through which Alaska’s history is viewed have changed.
  • West Wing, Level Three: “Snow Flyers” showcases the innovation of Northern peoples as they’ve found creative ways to travel across wintry landscapes. The exhibition includes slang, subculture, gear, equipment and machinery for survival and recreation in the frosty north.
  • ’I Can't Breathe ’ by Jovell Rennie. Photograph from the I Can't Breathe protest May 30 in Anchorage. (Jovell Rennie/Akela Space)

    Akela Space — Partnering with Showdown Productions, the Akela Space is hosting the #ICantBreathe Community Fundraiser. The exhibit features the work of photographers and protestors from the May 30 I Can’t Breathe protest in Anchorage. Featured photographers include: Ryan Chernikoff, Jovell Rennie, O’Hara Shipe and Kerry Tasker. The funds raised will go to black, indigenous, people of color and LGBTQ organizations on a grassroots and nationwide level that are actively working against police brutality and fighting for equality. Attendees will be required to wear masks, and there will be limited capacity in order to practice social distancing. For those who cannot attend in-person, donations are being accepted online at The event is from 6-9 p.m. (320 W 6th Ave #132F)

    Mugs made by Jenny Ditto also known as the Midnight Potter. Glazed functional pottery. (Jenny Ditto/Clay Art Space)

    Clay Art Space — A pop-up shop in the parking lot outside Clay Art Space, Jenny Ditto and Iris Boser will be selling their glazed functional pottery such as mugs and bowls. The event is from 6-8:30 p.m. every Friday weather permitting. Gloves will be provided to ensure safe handling of the pottery. (5861 Arctic Blvd)

    Georgia Blue Gallery — Valdez artist Faith Revell will be displaying her show “Rise and Fall” — a series of paintings that embody living, dying, observing nature and finding ways to navigate the environment. Revell draws inspiration from the world around her whether it be a visit to the town dump or a hike through mountain trails. There is no formal reception, but guests can visit the gallery from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (3555 Arctic Blvd. C-5)

    International Gallery of Contemporary Art — The ICGA is closed for the month, but is optimistic about reopening in July.

    ’Winter ’ by Scott Clendaniel. Oil painting. (Scott Clendaniel/RealArtIsBetter)

    Midnight Sun Brewing Company — Oil paintings inspired by Alaska’s Boreal forest will be on display as part of Scott Clendaniel’s “Four Seasons” show at the Loft. Clendaniel will be tapping a firkin of 2014 Sloth imperial Belgian-style stout cask-conditioned with blackberries to start the show. No reservations are required, but there is limited availability to follow social distancing. There will be a waiting area to keep the number of attendees down in the Loft area. The reception is from 5-8 p.m. (8111 Dimond Hook Dr.)


    Anchorage Museum — The launch of Jonathan Keats’ Alaska River Time includes events and installations that address how time can be measured through nature. A Zoom talk with the artist and Anchorage Museum Director and CEO Julie Decker is from 5-5:45 p.m. which can be registered for online. Then on Facebook Live there is a chess game between players from the Last Frontier’s Chess Club where the flow of rivers dictates the strategy in this virtual game from 5:45-6:15 p.m. The Chamberliners will play a concert with rivers conducting the tempo on the live stream from 6:30-7 p.m. Finally, there is a concert with Carmen Gordon-Rein and Jennifer Gordon from 7-7:15 p.m.

    ’Shapes on Magenta ’ by Andre H. (Andre H./Sparc)

    Sparc — An interactive virtual event, Sparc will have a live painting session with Sparc artist Andre H. beginning at 5:30 p.m. Following that there will be a printmaking demonstration of a dandelion by a Sparc class instructor Susie H. Then, the live stream will finish with a portfolio viewing of Sparc artist Brandan F. The event will be hosted via Facebook Live from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

    ’Meet Zinnia ’ by Tami Phelps. Cold wax painting. (Tami Phelps/Tami Phelps Fine Art)

    Stephan Fine Arts — In a virtual live stream via Facebook Live, Stephan Fine Arts is showing off mixed media pieces by featured artists: Gayla Ranf, Tami Phelps, Sheary Clough Suiter, Nard Claar and Becky Stephan. Phelps will demonstrate cold wax painting while Ranf will demonstrate encaustic, or hot wax, painting. The event will also feature jewelry by Sara Murr, Dolores Barrett, Robert Arrington and Rachel Klein. There will be art giveaways during the show and this month’s fundraising is going to Cyrano’s Theatre. View the stream on Stephan Fine Arts’ Facebook page from 6:30-8 p.m.

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