Friday, April 8, 2016

(Last) First Friday Review

   Actually I only managed to make one opening, so this'll be a short post. Usually try and make a good-faith effort to catch any student shows as a gesture of support, and I had no idea whatsoever about the work that was going to be on display at Sipping Streams Tea Company by two favorite up & coming talents in the UAF art department.
   Devante Owens and Tara Miracle have made previous appearances here and there on Ink & Snow on account of their stellar work in both my drawing classes and the Cartoon & Comic Arts course, but they've both rotated over into Printmaking, and true to their outstanding work ethic have been producing yet another body of work that reflects their consistent, high-caliber output, regardless of the medium.
   See/Like the teahouse's Facebook page here, and if you happen to be in our neck of the woods it's well worth the time and a cuppa badass tea to take in some awesome art sometime over the month of April.

   Last month I made part one of Brianna Regan's show at Alaska House Art Gallery (she had a second one which was good on account of how many pieces were sold). Besides having such a strong, continuing presence in the local scene with events like this (and on-line) she had some cards on a shelf that caught my eye.
   Not just for the obvious reasons, but also on account of some works by an old friend and peer from the department, Laura Hewitt. Who, as it happens, back in the beginning of the year also popped up on the internet with a piece on This Is Colossal, which was consequently reposted by a bunch of folks on the Book of Faces. What a kick in the virtual pants to see someone you know "make it big" as far as garnering attention from a major player on the web (here's hoping that exposure translates into sales as well).

   It's also super cool to share the same physical space + place with some of my favorite and respected fellow artists - mans a lot to be a part of the creative community. Check out Laura's Etsy site or visit the Alaska House Gallery in Fairbanks for more of her amazing works.

   Shout-out to BFA student Kristen Puckett in the UAF Art Department for an epic work of sequential-ish art that scored Juror's Choice at the current "Interior Artisans" exhibition up at the Bear Gallery: see some more process about the piece posted here.

Image: hat-tip Naomi

   Also a post-script of sorts here to note the migration of a long-time acquaintance in the comics community here in the Interior: Kevin Collins is up, up and awaaaay-ing and hanging up the cape as manager of The Comic Shop of Fairbanks. He's somewhat of a local hero of mine on that he's has been a long-time supporter of my teaching the comics course for well over a decade now, as well as his frequent donations for using comics as an important tool in literacy and encouraging kids to develop a lifelong love of reading. Under his management the Comic Shop been the host site for the 24 Hour Comics Day since 2007, and has long been a crucial part of the comics scene that has made Fairbanks the Alaskan epicenter of sequential art. His knowledge of the industry, championing the future of alternative + independent comics, and his support and encouragement of cartoonists like myself over the years is an indelible part of why we have such an awesome resource in our community. This was the only store in town where I could walk in and, without reservation, buy any recommended title he would put in my hands… so my bookshelves alone are testament to his influence and good taste. You will be missed – and good luck with the next adventure.

   And lastly a brief note commemorating the passage of Gloria Fisher, who was a long-time acquaintance and supporter of so many artists here and across the state for many, many years. Her gallery in Fairbanks, The Artworks, was the very first legitimate gallery I had works (woodcuts) displayed, she carried my books, and I did on-site demos and created custom cartoon cards, and it was also my go-to place for framing, advice and last-ditch desperate art supplies.

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