Artists' rely on nature in annual Kenai exhibit

Earthly goods

Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2001

The "Earth, Fire and Fibre XXIII" exhibit, open through Oct. 26 at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, offers viewers a chance to see the best of the best craft pieces being produced by Alaska artists in several mediums.

"Earth, Fire and Fibre" is a traveling juried art exhibition that represents work in the craft media of clay, fiber, wood, stone, bone, ivory, glass and metals. The show consists of 84 pieces. In this exhibition, 64 artists from 17 communities throughout the state submitted 331 pieces for consideration.


"Font of the Ritual," by James Dault

"Bone Boat," by Brenda D. Milan of Anchorage, is an example of the creativity and eclecticism of Alaska's sculptors. The boat is created from hog intestine, sinew, moose rib and Capiz shells.

Another sculptor, Linde Kienle of Fairbanks, created a fish set against a painted background, titled "Movement Forever," from painted paper and a Slinky.


"Lucky Tanana Treasure," by Fran Reed

There weren't many examples of glass crafts, but the one blown-glass piece shown at the Kenai exhibit was well worth attention. It is a hand-blown glass bowl with blue and red shaded facets by Cynthia D. England of Anchorage. The bowl has a stained-glass appearance and casts a halo of jeweled prisms from the lights in the room.

For those who appreciate the unusual in art, there are several offbeat pieces to be viewed. One is a woman's high-heeled shoe covered in a festive display of beads. The piece, titled "Heart and Sole," was created by Paula Rasmus-Dede of Chugiak from uncountable peyote stitch glass beads.


"Too in Paradise," by Josetta of the North Country

Another beaded piece, created by Ella Johnson-Bently of Juneau and titled "Private Eye," is an eye wash cup covered with seed beads and complete with a glass eye beads staring back at observers.

Branches, silk ties and birch bowls were used to create "Perhaps He Had Been in the Woods Too Long," a sculpture by Alma and Buz Blum of Palmer. The branches are tied into the shape of a comical elongated face with the birch bowls positioned to look like bulging eyes.


"Rock Oyster Pitcher," by Carla Potter

The "Earth, Fire and Fibre" exhibition is organized biennially by the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. It is held to foster new work and showcase the talent of Alaska artists.

The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center at 283-1991.

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