Friday, January 02, 2009

I had a terrible night's sleep. I gave up at 4am, stoked the wood stove, fed the cat, read a lot....

Finally, I realized that I just needed to breathe some fresh air and get my limbs moving. At -32F, this seemingly simple idea takes some consideration. I bundled up and went for a sunrise (9:30am) 2 mile stroll.

Can you tell I'm smiling for the camera?? LoL!

Hopefully, I get get in a nap this afternoon so I can be a little more alert for the opening tonight at Well Street Art Company.

Everything is on schedule at the gallery and the weather has warmed up a bit (it's all relative at this point) so all I have to do is figure out what to wear....yikes.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I spent some time at the gallery today getting a good look at what came in from the artists in the Countenance show. Although there was an incredibly wide variety of materials present in the masks, they all seemed to fall into one of three catagories: creepy, serious or funny. The trick in arranging the artworks for the show was in NOT having too many creepies in one place, or funnies taking over an entire wall, etc. You get the idea.

My very favorite was an abstract mask sculpture by Hanna Stevenson. I'll have to post a picture of it sometime. It's so damn beautiful!

The gallery folks agreed with me that we shouldn't expect much of a crowd at the opening. The partial solution to this is to have a closing party at the end of the month, as well. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate then.

Speaking of weather, the lowest temperature I saw on the reader signs around town was -43. There is heavy ice fog all over the valley and visibility is down to a quarter mile, I'd say. This is a shot outside the gallery lot, 4:00pm.

This cold is surreal!

Regardless, Fromage and I are going out to meet some friends at the local watering hole for some New Years festivities. The Golden Eagle Saloon always has fireworks and a giant pot of moose stew on the woodstove to share on this night. I don't like bars as a rule, but this one has a specific kind of rough charm. Everything is made of plywood and dogs were only recently banned from hanging out indoors (they got into too many fights). A lot of miners hang out here, so there's a friendly, dirty, hairy and very Alaskan crowd all the time.

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2009 bring you the best of whatever it is that you hope, search, dream and work for.



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My show opens on Friday---my year-long curatorial project! "Countenance" will be around 25 artists showing approximately 35 masks. My aim in creating this exhibit was to get artists of all kinds, materials, styles, etc., to make a mask. My initial name for the show was "Making Faces." Ha ha! The gallery owner poo-pooed it because he said that the serious mask artists in the area wouldn't participate. Ah, well.

Personally, I love masks and am fascinated by their appearance in just about every culture in every period of history. Being in Alaska, there was some initial reluctance to approach this subject, as the artform of the mask is seen as the property of Native Alaskans. Regardless, I set a date and got a gallery and the idea was born.

I invited almost 100 artists---my initial plan for the show was to be BIG; 100+ artworks, all hung salon style so that the gallery would, literally and figuratively, be a crowd of faces! Quite a few artists (to my total surprise) declined the invitation, saying that they had no interest in making a mask. (Huh!?) Also, many people were booked up, art-wise, at this time of year---others said they'd be out of town.

So----it boils down to these 25 or so. The interesting thing I have learned from previous curating efforts is that people will say they're participating and that their work is done, ready to go, ready to hang.....and then they just never show up. I never know the true aspect of the show until opening night!

This Friday the 2nd is it: the opening party. Sadly, I doubt there will be much of a turnout. The temperatures have been cold in town. For the last week, it's been -20F to -40F. There is no end in sight at this point. The forecast for Friday boasts 'highs near 40 below.' Needless to say, who is going to venture out to look at art? My only hope is that people will be so stir-crazy with cabin fever that they'll need to get out of the house, you know?

It's been a difficult year for me. I haven't been able to devote the time, energy and passion towards this show as I had hoped and planned. I just didn't have it in me. I guess it's just as well, since the timing of the show, the weather and dearth of artist interest were against the idea.

The show must go on.