Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Show That Never Ends...

First Friday in Fairbanks had some very interesting works on display, not the least of which is the faculty exhibition up at the UAF Fine Art department gallery (including some familiar frames that migrated from downtown). Follow after the jump for more...

Some of the other venues included an effort promoted by the Fairbanks Downtown Association's Public Works Committee as an urban renewal effort: "The Window Project." A dozen local artists were chosen from a field of applicants to have their work reproduced as giant installations in the windows of various buildings which are in need of some tenants.

I provided a reference to several of the applicants, and a couple former students of mine also made the grade. Overall a strong gesture from business leaders as to the community-strengthening aspect of art and a sound investment in promoting a positive image for downtown.

Only a few, with this one piece in particular (Lucas Elliott's "Coup de Boule"), I felt fully met the conceptual criteria according to the theme for the series, which was "edge." Most successfully merged with the transformation into digital reproduction and scale. A large herd of folks met first at the Golden Heart Plaza to get maps, voting slips and many opted to follow an official guide for tour review of all the pieces. It being rainy, the Significant Otter and I struck out on our own, and also took the opportunity to drop in a handful of other galleries and shops - one of the ulterior motives behind hosting such an evening of artistic events.

One highlight was catching the opening for the works of an Advanced student I had this summer: Amara Joy Simmon's first solo show was at Keller Architecture + Allied Arts. With a provocative theme and commentary about gender issues and social sexualization, Amara's pieces operated on dual layers, seduction and repulsion/purity and loss, and the deceptively innocent style of drawings in particular perfectly illustrated the darker, more disturbing underlying content. See some samples of the work here.

Image Amara Joy Simmons

Last but not least we made a pilgrimage out to Ester and caught the end of a First Friday happening in a unique and alternative setting: Calypso Farm and Ecology Center had a wide range of activities and displays offered to the public.

From their event release:
"A collection of arts and crafts including live demonstrations in the blacksmith shop, wool spinning, spring pole lathe carving and much more! Show includes:
- a sneak peak of Calypso Artist in Residence, Sonya Montenegro's flagship project: illustrations about life on the farm
- Farmer Training Program participants’ sewing, blacksmithing, drawing, fiber arts and wood carving projects
- Folks School teachers and students projects including the new birch bark canoe!
- Calypso special fiber arts display" 

A great group of people doing wonderful things - sounds like another month of shows in the Interior.

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