Art Briefs

Posted: Thursday, September 30, 2004

Alaska Native cultural classes offered

The CIRI Foundation is offering classes in Native language, dance and art every Saturday during the winter at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

Language classes will include weekly instruction in Tlingit, Dena'ina, Yup'ik, Haida, Deg Hit'an, Upper Tanana Athabascan, Tsimshian, Unangax and Inupiaq. Students will learn components of phonetic pronunciations, how to introduce themselves and understand the protocols of the culture as defined by the language. Language classes will be held with sessions at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Classes will run for four to six weeks except for the Dena'ina Athabascan class, which will continue throughout the winter.

Art classes will include weekly instruction by master artists, local artists or ANHC staff. Students will create an art piece, learn the history and cultural significance of the respective art form and have the opportunity to establish mentorship relationships with artists. Classes being offered include Tlingit beading, miniature Alutiiq baskets, Athabascan dream catchers and Inupiaq mittens. Classes will be held in morning and afternoon sessions and will run for four to six weeks.

Dance classes will provide opportunities to learn the technique and cultural significance of dance and songs from all 11 Alaska Native cultures. Students will learn a new dance and song weekly and then be given the chance to perform what they have learned in front of an audience. Classes will be held on a first come-first served basis with no advance registration necessary. Dance classes will begin Oct. 9 with William Jackson teaching Tlingit dance.

The program will kick off Saturday at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Language classes will be Tlingit with Paul Marks, Dena'ina Athabascan with Donita Peter and Deg Hit'an Athabascan with Louise Winkleman and Martha Wassilie. Art instruction will consist of Tlingit beading with Mabel Pike and Yup'ik Snow Goggles with James Afcan.

For a complete listing of upcoming classes, log on to

For more information or to register, call (907) 330-8002, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day of the classes will be first come, first serve. Participants pay for admission to the center and classes are free.

Pottery classes set to begin

Adult pottery classes, taught by Charlie LaForge, are offered through Soldotna Community Schools. Classes start Tuesday and will be held for eight weeks. For more information, contact Soldotna Community Schools at 262-6768.

Ballroom dancing classes slated

Community ballroom dance classes with Norm and Annie Berg are held Thursdays until Oct. 7 at North Star Dance Studio from 7:30 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 262-6133.

Art funding awards offered

The Rasmuson Foundation is offering an Individual Artist Awards program that will provide financial awards to individual artists living and creating in Alaska. There are three award categories:

Project awards: Awards of up to $5,000 for emerging, mid-career and mature artists for specific, short-term projects that have a clear benefit to the artist and the development of his or her work.

Artist fellowships: $12,000 awards for mid-career or mature artists to focus their energy and attention for a one-year period on developing their creative work.

Distinguished artist: $25,000 annual award for an artist of recognized stature with a history of creative excellence and accomplishment in the arts.

The awards are intended to give artists the resources to concentrate and reflect on their work, to immerse themselves in a creative endeavor and to experiment, explore and develop their artistry more fully.

The deadline for submission is Friday. Applications and guidelines are available online at or by calling (907) 297-2700 or toll free in Alaska (877) 366-2700.

Pottery sought

The Kenai Potters' Guild is seeking clay work entries for its 16th annual Clay Exhibition. Entries will be accepted from 4 to 10 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Kenai Fine Arts Center in Old Town Kenai. For more information, call Cindy Finwall at 262-0903 or the guild at 283-7040.

Favorite poem project solicits submissions

The University of Alaska Anchorage is inviting all Alaskans to participate in a favorite poem project inspired by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Pinsky, a professor at Boston University and poetry editor of the online magazine Slate, will visit UAA for an Oct. 8 lecture and book signing to mark the grand opening of the new UAA/APU Consortium Library.

Pinsky is perhaps best known for a nationwide initiative inviting Americans to talk about their favorite poems. To celebrate his visit, UAA is organizing a similar project.

To participate, type your favorite poem into an e-mail message and send it to by 5 p.m. Oct. 8. Submissions must include your name, age and occupation. They also must include the name of the poem, the name of the poet and a brief statement explaining why you chose that particular poem as your favorite.

Selected submissions will be posted on UAA's Web Site beginning Oct. 13. In addition, several submitters will be invited to read their favorite poems aloud at an Oct. 21 reading.

Artwork wanted for state facility

The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is soliciting artwork for the recently constructed improvements to the Fairbanks Youth Facility. The budget is a maximum of $10,000. The work will be displayed inside the youth facility on gypsum wallboard partitions over a corridor next to the gymnasium. The bases of the partitions are approximately 9 feet above the finished floor. The partitions are approximately 8 feet wide at the base and are curved on the inward side. The dimension from bottom to top is about 11 feet.

The facility is one of seven state-owned juvenile correctional facilities. As such, safety is a concert in the facility so the accepted artwork cannot have loose, dangling or sharp protruding objects within reach, should be durable and sturdy and any 3-D proposals need to be designed to prohibit climbing or "entering." Selection criteria will be the quality, appropriateness and originality of the artists' concept; the durability, maintenance requirements and safety considerations related to the design and materials; and the quality of artists' past work.

Each entry must include a one-page thumbnail sketch with concept notes, including dimensions, materials, colors and approximate budget; no more than 10 35 mm slides of past work in clear, plastic sheets, numbered and labeled with a corresponding slide list; a current resume, four pages maximum; and a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of materials. Additional materials should not be submitted.

The deadline is Oct. 29. Submissions can be sent to Alaska State Council on the Arts, Percent-For-Art, 411 W. 4th Ave., Suite 1E, Anchorage, AK 99501-2342. A full request for proposals is available at For more information, contact Sandy Gillespie at sandy_gillespie or Michael Hall at michael_hall@

Open art show slated

The Soldotna Senior Citizens Center will hold its eighth annual fall bazaar and open amateur art show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 5 and 6. Art check in is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 2 and 3. A reception and judging will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 3. Art check out is after 4 p.m. Nov. 6.

Items will be accepted in three categories. Ribbons will be awarded for first, second and third place in each category. There will be one best of show and three honorable mention awards given. A people's choice award will be selected Nov. 5 and displayed Nov. 6. Previously entered art in this show will not be accepted. Categories are painting and drawings including in oil, pastel, watercolor, graphite, pencil and acrylic; fiber work such as quilting, needle art, beading on fabric and sewing; and #-D work including woodwork, metalwork, pottery, ceramics, leatherwork and basketry.

Entries are limited to three per artist. Thee is a $4 entry fee per item submitted. All wall hanging entrees must be framed , matted and ready to be hung. Art may be for display or sale. The center reserves the right to refuse art work. Items sold must remain until the art check out time. Items for sale will be on a 20 percent consignment to the center.

For bazaar information, call the center at 252-2322. For more information on the art show, contact Mary Lane at 262-8839.

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