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ArtBeat: Wayne Price sweeps formline division in Sealaska art show

  • Author: Mike Dunham
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published June 11, 2014

The winners of the Sealaska Heritage Institute's seventh Juried Art Show and Competition were announced on Wednesday in Juneau. Juror David Boxley selected "Dancing Raven Hat" by Wayne Price as Best of Show. The same piece was the third-place winner in the Formline Art category, in which Price's paddle titled "Quantum Raven" came in first and another of his pieces, "Mother Whale," won second prize.

In the Northwest Coast Customary Art division, Pauline Duncan's "Raven's Tail Set" was first, Price's "Quantum Raven" was second and "Echoing Traditions," a basket by Deborah Head-Aanutein, was third.

Teri Rofkar took first place in the Northwest Coast Customary-Inspired Art competition with another raven's tail weaving, titled "Caprini Tribal Regalia." Della Cheney and Lily Hope took second and third place, respectively.

Price's Best of Show prize earned him $1,500. Prizes of $1,000, $750 and $500 were awarded for first, second and third place in each of the other categories. Twenty-one pieces were chosen for the show.

The art show is held in conjunction with the biennial Celebration dance and culture festival, sponsored by the Sealaska Heritage Institute. Some 7,000 participants and 2,000 dancers were anticipated for the event. The art show will remain on display at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center through June 30.

First Friday rambles

Stephen Gray's "Fractured Fairy Tales" solo show at the International Gallery of Contemporary is my pick for the most entertaining exhibit of the month. "Solo" isn't quite the right word, since some of the paintings on the wall are by spouse Lisa Gray and at least one is a collaboration. The lurid, sometimes grotesque revisiting of children's characters like Red Riding Hood and Bugs Bunny may be too much for some viewers, but Gray's technique is quite good and the tongue-in-cheek messages (or tongue-out-of-cheek in the case of "The Last Flight of Tinkerbell," which shows the imp snagged by a hungry frog) contain a lot of sardonic humor.

A miniature mounted head of Bambi seems to be one of the first things that sold. Several of the larger paintings have ornate gilded frames and texts, like this for "Hansel and Gretel":

"The witch turned red... Her blood began to boil up like Coca-Cola. Her eyes began to melt. She was done for. Altogether a memorable incident."

Continuing the theme, UAA art students have their own tribute to Grimm Brothers tales in the gallery's guest room.

At the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, there's an exhibit of containers, clothing, jewelry, masks and other designs made from fish skin by participants in a workshop recently conducted in Bethel. Things like June Pardue's beautiful bracelets or Michael McIntyre's practical guitar strap may attract the most buyers, but for me the show-stopper was Moses Tulim's wild mixed-media mask form titled "Ircenrraq" -- one of the legendary "Little People" of the tundra.

More news regarding Native art -- the Two Spirits Gallery has moved across the hall from its previous location in the 4th Avenue Market Place. That space is the new home for the Diann Hiost Gallery, which specializes in Alaska paintings.

"Native Voices: Native People's Concepts of Health and Illness" opened at the Dena'ina Center on Monday as part of the National Congress of American Indians conference. By early afternoon it was already coming down, but it can be experienced at the Alaska Native Heritage Center through mid-September and at Southcentral Foundation Anchorage Native Primary Care Center Oct. 6 to Nov. 9 before traveling to out-of-state venues. A set of screens and headphones lets members of the public explore connections between culture and health via interviews and interactive media. Several Alaskans were among the Native health care leaders who helped pull the "show" together.

Funeral processions

The first of three "Stories from the cemetery" events will take place at 7 p.m. June 21 at the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery downtown, sponsored by the Cook Inlet Historical Society. Organizers Audrey and Bruce Kelly will be joined by assorted actors depicting the deceased at their grave markers. Historical personalities in this first installment will include Alberta Adams, instrumental in ending discrimination in Alaska, George Palmer, who founded the town, politicians Thelma Bucholdt and Clifford Groh Sr., miner David Strandberg, U.S. Marshal Harry Staser and others.

Park outside the cemetery gates. The tour will start at the John Bagoy entrance on Seventh Avenue. Future tours will take place at 6 p.m. on July 13 and August 10. There is no charge, though donations are always welcome.

'BOB' unwinds

After a series of delays caused by family or medical issues, Cyrano's has decided to indefinitely postpone the opening of "BOB: A Life in Five Acts." The run was most recently scheduled to start on June 20. At this writing, the creative management team at the company is still deciding how to fill the hole. We'll announce the replacement show when we get word.

Alaska best-seller now in paperback

Homer author Tom Kizzia's study of the late "Papa" Pilgrim and his clan, "Pilgrim's Wilderness," comes out in paperback July 15, published by Random's Broadway Books imprint. The original version came out last year and is cited as a New York Times best-seller, one of Amazon's Top Ten Books of the Year, an Outside Magazine Best Adventure Book of the Year and a Mother Jones Best Book of the Year.

Free e-book of Alaska writers

"The Alaska Sampler 2014" is a new collection of work by current and former Alaskans focusing on their home state. Contributors include Don Rearden, Ned Rozell, Dana Stabenow and Howard Weaver. Two authors and one off-beat idea--let's make it easy for readers to discover the real Alaska, minus the hype and minus the cost.

The collection is available as an e-book from major online vendors. You can also download it for free at

Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the release date for the paperback version of Tom Kizzia's "Pilgrim's Wilderness." It's out on July 15.


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