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Alaska Life

Big sculpture is delayed until next spring

  • Author: Mike Dunham
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published October 4, 2009

The installation of "Habitat," a 20-foot tall cubist construction resembling a squatting man created by British artist Antony Gormley, has been postponed.

The sculpture was supposed to be set up this fall as part of the Anchorage Museum's expansion project. But the steel needed for the piece was delayed, the weather started to get cold and project organizers decided to push back the date until spring.

"It's a very complicated project," said Jocelyn Young, the municipality's curator of public art. The steel had to be laser-cut in Seattle and by the time it arrived, the local contractor didn't feel they had enough time to do justice to the project.

"They didn't want to rush it," Young said.

At this point the components for "House" are at Steelfab where they will be assembled slowly and carefully. Without further delays, in mid-April it will be transported to the permanent site on Sixth Avenue and put in place by means of a very large crane. It will double as piece of art and as a bus stop shelter.

Walker's WOW prize bigger than thought

Last week we reported that David Walker of Juneau had won the "Supreme Award" at the 2009 Montana Wearable Art contest in New Zealand. At that time our information was pretty limited by what we could find at the event's Web site. There we found numerous categories and Walker's opulent "Lady of the Wood" was more or less in the mix. It could have been one of several winners from the looks of things.

This week, however, the folks at Montana -- an arts supply company -- contacted us to confirm that Walker's "Supreme" prize is the one "awarded to the garment considered by the judges to be the most exceptional of all entered."

In other words, the top prize, blue ribbon, Olympic gold, Best Picture. Walker receives $10,000 -- and a trophy.

Governor's Awards are announced

Speaking of winners, the 2009 Governor's Awards for the Arts and Humanities have been made public. They are:

Wanda Chin of Fairbanks, Arts Advocacy Award. Chin is the Exhibition and Design Director at the University of Alaska Museum of the North where she has worked for more than 25 years.

Koniag, Inc., the regional Native corporation for Kodiak, Business Leadership in the Arts Award. Koniag has stewardship of the Alutiiq Museum.

Sheila Wyne of Anchorage, Individual Artist Award. Since 1984, Wyne's work has been selected for numerous public art installations around the state.

Pauline Lee of Petersburg, Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award. The 86-year-old visual artist is a founder of the Petersburg Arts Council.

Florence Pestrikoff of Kodiak, Margaret Nick Cooke for Native Arts and Languages Award. Though she did not speak Alutiiq as a child, Pestrikoff has become a fluent Alutiiq speaker, beginning the first Alutiiq classes at Kodiak college.

Lynda Leal of Eagle River, Alaska History Teacher of the Year. Originally from Grayling, Leal now teaches World History and Alaska Studies at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.

James Kari and Rudolph Krejci, both of Fairbanks, Governor's Awards for the Humanities. Kari is professor emeritus with the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, having served on the UAF faculty from 1973 to 1997 as a linguist specializing in the Alaskan Athabascan languages. Krejci taught philosophy at UAF from 1960 to 1997 and founded the philosophy department.

The awards will be presented at a reception and dinner Oct. 22, at the Hotel Captain Cook. Admission is $80 per person ($1,000 for a table of 10), with reservations available through the Alaska State Council on the Arts, Call 269-6610 or, outside Anchorage, 1-888-278-7424.

Fairbanks symphony season opens

Best wishes to musicians and music lovers at the other end of the Parks Highway today, when the Fairbanks Symphony -- the furthest north symphony orchestra in the world last we looked -- will open its new season with music by Richard Strauss, Wolfgang Mozart and John Corigliano in Davis Hall at the University of Alaska Fairbanks at 4 p.m.

Other highlights will include international piano star Ilya Yakushev performing Prokofiev's Concerto No. 3 on Nov. 1 and Zuill Bailey in the Elgar Cello Concerto on Feb. 21.

Bailey, who has previously been a guest artist in Anchorage, has been tapped to take over direction of the Sitka Summer Music Festival when Paul Rosenthal retires in the next year or three.

Find Mike Dunham online at or call 257-4332.


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