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State of the Arts


P.O. Box 72786, Fairbanks, Alaska 99707


Volunteer in the Arts! I N THIS ISSUE




Volunteer at Fairbanks Arts Association V

olunteers donate their time, energy and skills in many ways to Fairbanks Arts Association. These volunteers are a crucial part of ensuring FAA’s sucess. We are currently seeking new volunteers to fill a variety of positions. These positions range from meeting tourists and gallery visitors while working as a docent in the Bear Gallery to ushering at performances. All volunteer positions support the arts and directly benefit Fairbanks Arts Association by complimenting our many programs. Individuals will be trained for the area that interests them.

What can you do?


ecome a docent in the Bear Gallery and Gift Shop in the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts. We are always seeking friendly people to donate time as a docent in the Bear Gallery. This position involves working a three-hour shift while greeting gallery visitors, answering questions they may have about Fairbanks or the gallery and working as a cashier when items are purchased. This is a great opportunity for people who enjoy meeting new people, seeing the exhibits, and working as the “face” of Fairbanks Arts Association. If you are interested and available between 12-3pm or 3-6pm any day Tuesday-Saturday, please contact Sherry Faught at (907) 456-6485 ext 223.


sher at a performance or event. FAA needs a few ushers at most events and performances. There are two types of ushers we need: ushers for the FAA performances and film series at the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts and ushers for the school performance series. Ushering for FAA at the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts involves taking tickets, greeting the public and holding doors. Ushering for the school performance series involves faster paced duties. Here, ushers greet school buses full of children and teachers, hold doors and usher groups to specific seats. Ushering is an opportunity for people to experience some of the preparations and details that go into performances. One of the benefits to ushering is getting to watch the performance for free when duties are fulfilled. If you are interested in being a

volunteer usher for FAA at the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts please contact, please contact Melissa Hougland at ext. 226 and for the school performance series contact Jessica Rehfield at ext. 222.


elp with special events. During any given month FAA hosts a number of special events. These include everything from monthly First Fridays to fundraisers. Volunteers are needed at events as well as preparation including planning, decorating, advertising and food prep. If special events interest you, please contact Melissa Hougland (907) 456-6485 ext. 226.


rt EXPO is a yearly tradition held on the 3rd weekend in March, which requires volunteers to fill a number of positions. This art showcase and sale offers opportunities ranging from planning to greeting visitors. This wonderful event also includes performers, musicians and the annual Parka Parade. To help with Art EXPO, please contact Melissa Hougland at (907) 456-6485, ext. 226.


ang posters and distribute fliers. With so many events it’s sometimes hard to keep up. We always need people who are able to hang posters around town for performances and events. If this is something that interests you, let us know and we’ll give you materials to post. Please contact Melissa Hougland at (907) 456-6485 ext. 226.

Don’t have the time to volunteer? You can still support Fairbanks Arts Association in a number of ways.


ord of mouth. Spread the word about FAA events and activities to everyone you know. Getting people involved in the arts builds a stronger community and helps get people out of the winter gloom.




Fairbanks Arts Association was established in 1966 to promote and support the arts in the Fairbanks area. The Association is funded by private, corporate, and foundation memberships and donations, City of Fairbanks, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. With assistance from professional staff and charitable volunteers, the Association provides services in five areas: Visual, Literary, Performing, Community Arts and Arts Education. FAA also helps to raise funds for other arts groups, provides technical assistance and support for arts programing, encourages and advises individual artists and beginning organizations, sponsors workshops and presents educational forums.

FAA Phone: (907) 456-6485

Board of Directors Lorraine Peterson, President Marcella Hill, Vice President Leafy McBride, Secretary Myrna Colp, Treasurer

emberships. Making it your goal to bring in ten new members is like making a $350.00 donation. When people become members they receive a discount in the Bear Gallery and Gift Shop and receive our monthly newsletter. A membership is Members: a great holiday gift you can give someone Joan Stack who wants to get involved in the arts and Shane Hurd receive monthly information regarding Darleen Masiak Calaya Williams community arts. Rebecca Burns Mary Ann Fortune Martin Miller

Staff June Rogers, Executive Director , ex 225

Melissa Hougland, Associate Director, ex 226


Seth Schwartz, Program Coordinator, ex 227

Jessica Rehfield, Education Coordinator, ex 222

Meagan McMahon, Special Projects, ex 224

Fairbanks Arts Association • December 2008


deas. If you have an idea and you are ready to take the action to make it happen let us know. FAA is always open to people who are motivated about a new idea and want to see results! Contact Melissa Hougland at (907) 456-6485 ext. 226.

New Faces at the Fairbanks Arts Association Jessica Rehfield- Education Coordinator

Jessica Rehfield is a native of Juneau, AK, where she grew up loving inter-tidal zones, the clean air of the Tongass National rainforest and studying the beauty of natural objects. She is a visual artist who has received multiple awards including Best in Illustration during a semester-long program at Savannah College of Art and Design. She achieved a B.L.A. in Art from UAS in 2006. During her studies, Jessica spent a year on exchange in Lille, France. She became fluent in French and Italian and some Arabic and Senagalese. Jessica spent additional months travelling through Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Greece and England (where she discovered her favorite museum to date, the Tate Modern). Jessica employs a wide range of media, including chalk pastel, oil paint, pen and ink, clay, collage, assemblage and photography. Her artist deities include Marcel Duchamp, Henry Moore and Kathë Kollwitz. Jessica currently works from a studio in the Annex. She would like to host collaborative art-ins for artists in Fairbanks, loves color and creates portraiture that will blow your mind (as well as other commissioned works).

Seth Schwartz- Program Coordinator

Seth moved to Fairbanks from Hollywood, CA this past summer with his fiancée Liz. He graduated in 1999 from California Institute of Art’s School of Theatre with a BFA in Lighting Design. After some years working in the film industry and with computer tech, he is enjoying the calmer lifestyle up here. He is a digital photographer, making the transition from shooting at California nightclubs to shooting Wildlife (with his camera). He first started working with black and white photography 31 years ago at a Massachusetts Audubon Nature Camp, but moved to the newer digital media a few years back. He is currently working on a photo book of his experiences while driving up the Alaskan Highway (twice) and as a Cheechako looking at the Alaskan Tundra for the first time.

Meagan McMahon- Intern

Meagan McMahon moved to Fairbanks in early September from Washington State with her dog, Charlie and her boyfriend, Lincoln. She is currently interning at Fairbanks Arts Association for credit from The Evergreen State College, a liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington. After this quarter she will have a Bachelor of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Social Work and Theater. Megan plans on going back to school to earn her Master’s in Social Work from UAA. Now that she is becoming an Alaskan woman, Megan is learning to enjoy the simple things in life: talking with her boyfriend while waiting for a tow truck to pull them out of an icy ditch, watching her dog play in the snow while sitting on the outhouse toilet, sitting by the fire watching a Netflix and going to bed early. She is thoroughly enjoying herself here and has a deep respect for all tough Alaskans.

December 2008 • Fairbanks Arts Association


f a i r b a n k s

a r t s

a s s o c i a t i o n

.:: Reading Series ‘08 Gerri Brightwell Gerri Brightwell was brought up in South Devon, England. After deciding a degree in zoology was not for her, she took up literature and art history and lived on a narrow boat in Bristol. Since then she has roamed more widely, working in Spain, Thailand, Canada and the United States. She has worked as a cleaner, ice-cream seller, sandwich-maker, pottery sponger, editor, nanny and most recently, a teacher of writing and literature. She has master’s degrees in creative writing from the University of East Anglia and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, plus a doctorate in literature from the University of Minnesota. Her novel, Cold Country, was published by Duckworth in 2003. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, with her husband and three sons and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Reading will be December 6 at 7pm • Bear Gallery

Gift Shop Artist of the Month: Craig Cheledinas


I was born in Helena, Montana and raised in Yakima, Washington. The lure of the North brought me to Alaska in 1975. I spent some time traveling around doing different jobs, everything from working on the DEW Line (from Point Lay to Kaktovik) to commercial fishing in Bristol Bay. I have always had to an affection and interest in wildlife and the beauty and grandure of the land and natureespecially in Alaska. As far as my artistic endeavors- like most artists I have been interested in and tried to create art my whole life. In 1985 I met master glass engraver Arnie Ruiz. After seeing some of my drawings he showed me some of

his techniques and encouraged me to pursue working with glass. It was a dirty, dusty and noisy process, but the end results were amazing. Wildlife images swimming, flying and floating in glass. In 1997 I started working with clay, mostly functional, some sculptural. I went to Pilchuck Glass School in Washington four times throughout the years to keep up with my interest in glass. Although I can’t ever see myself not working with clay, I have been spending a lot of my time recently blowing glass and making paperweights. I love the vibrant colors and the way light is transformed through them. My work can be found in the Fairbanks Arts Association Bear Gallery Gift Shop, The Rag Company, Expressions in Glass and occasionally at the Artworks. I’m having a show at Well Street Art Company in March of 2009.

Fairbanks Arts Association • December 2008

Bunnell Street Arts Center


n the small town of Homer, at the corner of Bunnell and Main Streets you’ll find an old hardware store now inhabited by the Bunnell Street Arts Center. This nonprofit art center has grown immensely since it’s humble beginning in 1989. It has transformed physically through many renovations and has grown from a small organization to the core of the Homer art community. The center exhibits a variety of innovative contemporary Alaskan artwork throughout the year. They also offer artist lectures, discussions, concerts, artists in schools, the Homer artists’ studio tour and art workshops for adults.


s a non-profit, Bunnell Street Arts Center relies significantly on community support and donations. One of Bunnell’s latest fundraisers, “Plate Project,” is a collaboration of Alaskan painters and potters who create one-of-a-kind dinner plates, which Bunnell then uses as premiums for memberships of $100 and above. The plates, all different and original in design are a great

example of the talent and dedication of the residents of Homer and the surrounding area.


unnell Street Gallery provides an enriching environment for the community and it’s visitors to learn and grow as both artists and art enthusiasts.


or more information, please visit www.


sia Freeman, Executive/Artistic Director, speaks passionately about the center, “Bunnell Street Gallery is tingling with the pulse of industry as exciting programs sparkle through. Artists transform the space and, in doing so challenge our sense of place, identity and community…”.


very month Bunnell Street Arts Center features a new exhibit. Each exhibit demonstrates the highest commitment to fine art and craft to advance public understanding and appreciation of art in all forms.

Gift Shop Author of the Month:

Ann Chandonnet

Ann Chandonnet first encountered Alaska’s arts and crafts on Kodiak Island in 1965. Since 1973, she and her family have resided in the Anchorage area. Chandonnet’s span of interests and publications characterize her best as a Renaissance woman. She has interviewed and profiled such 20th century lights as psychiatrist Anna Freud, singer James Taylor and poet Gary Snyder. Ann has also written the first comprehensive history of the Athabascan village of Eklutna and edited an important international

December 2008 • Fairbanks Arts Association

appreciation of the arts and crafts of Alaska. Chandonnet is a food historian and author of the award-winning Alaska Heritage Seafood Cookbook (1995). Other titles by this prolific writer include Chief Stephen’s Parky (1989), Ptarmigan Valley (1980), and Canoeing in the Rain (1990). Please visit the Bear Gallery Gift Shop on the 3rd Floor of the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts to purchase one of Ann’s books!




All Alaska Juried Exhibition XXXII Juror’s Statement “First of all, I would like to thank the Anchorage Museum and especially Mr. Dave Nicholls, Curator of Exhibitions, for inviting me to Anchorage to be the juror of the XXXII All Alaska Juried Exhibition. I was surprised to learn that this important biennial exhibition for all Alaska artists had such a long history, more than 30 years. I learned also that according to its mission, the biennial was created to encourage the creation of new works by Alaska artist, and during its history it must have been an important “window” for all interested in visual arts and their development. The continuity is a force itself and creates tradition which has to renew itself time after time.

Exhibit Dates: December 5-27 Opening Reception: Friday, December 5, 5-7pm

The task for the juror was hard: more than 500 submissions arrived, and of these, less than 100 could enter the exhibition. Knowing that behind every piece of work there was a real person and a subjective view of the world expressed through art, the process of omitting was quite painful, and I had to go through several imaginary rounds in my thoughts in testing how the result would look. However, I had to judge objectively, to think about the bigger picture and about a good show that would offer a well-balanced view to the Alaskan art production of today. Although I was not familiar with any of the artists, the broad range of mediums with quite limited range of subject matter did not come as a surprise. When thinking about the magnificence of nature, and in particular, mountains, seascape, forests and those unbelievable kitsch colours utilized by nature at sunset time, it is no wonder that these motives appear in paintings again and again, in different variations. On the other hand, I was not amazed to see so many sculptural works based on native materials and traditions as a contemporary continuation of unique cultures. Several animal motifs appeared also through this path of appropriation. One thing that was quite surprising – taking in consideration the strong visual presence of nature and indigenous cultures in Alaska – was the fact that there were so few photo-based works and no video works at all. Nowadays these mediums are attainable for all, and they would be most useful in recording and expressing in artistic ways the moving world around us – the annual rhythms of nature, changing colours of sky and sea, stories and other oral histories, thoughts and daily lives of people, and our own lives. I decided to give the first prize to Stron Softi for his digital print “Silver Hand, Silver Spooner Organ Grinder,” not because of the medium used but for the message the work contains. I saw it as a kind of summary of many ideas unfolding in the 500 entries for the exhibition: the concern for survival of genuine Alaska culture, its commercialization in souvenir production, the exploitation of Alaska’s natural resources, and the maintenance of authentic identity midst globalization processes.


Stron Softi, Ketchikan, Not for Sale Poster 1; Sliver Hand, Silver Spooner Organ Grinder (Best of Show), photo by Chris Arend

Finally, I wish to thank each and every artist who sent their works to be juried; it always takes special courage to give part of your soul to strange hands, and one has to be ready for disappointments as well. Still, I hope that the exhibition will give you pleasure and joy for all art be part of the process of creating new ideas for art and its audiences.”

Fairbanks Arts Association • December 2008

-Jari-Pekka Vanhala

And the Ship Sails On

Fabricated entirely in Rome’s Cinecittà studios, And the Ship Sails On (E la nave va) reaches new visual heights with its stylized re-creation of a decadent bygone era. The movie depicts the journey of a group of European aristocrats traveling on a luxury liner to deliver the ashes of Edmea Tetua, a famous opera singer. When the liner sets sail in Naples Harbor it is destined to encounter surprises and “And the Ship Sails On” (1966) Nov 13, 2008, 7pm in the Alaska Centennial Center for the adventure. Everything goes according to plan Performing Arts Theater in Pioneer Park. for the first days, but on Tickets are $5 the third day the captain Book of 8 tickets are only $30! saves a large number of Serbian refugees from the sea, refugees who had escaped the first tremors of WWI. The friends and family of the singer react with a variety of emotions when they discover the refugees and then encounter the enormous lovesick rhinoceros hidden under deck. Matters only get worst when a threatening flagship of the Austro-Hungarian fleet sails into view. Full of laughter and suspense, And the Ship Sails On will take you on the adventure you’ve been waiting for.

The Fairbanks Choral Society presents the 29th annual Sing-It-Yourself-Messiah on

Saturday, December 20

at 3pm. This event will be held at the First Presbyterian Church. For more information contact Dr. Suzanne Summerville at 456-1144 or


December 2008 • Fairbanks Arts Association


The Tanana Yukon Historical Society and the Fairbanks Choral Society present The First Stop for Santa Claus (is Barrow, Alaska), an amusing tale by Alex Klick, Kathy Taylor Yokel, Robin Yokel and Suzanne McBride. Wednes day, December 17, 2008 at 6:00 pm in the Chapel at Pioneer Park. The Fairbanks Choral Society presents the 29th annual Sing-It-Yoursel fMessiah on Saturday, December 20, 2008 at 3 PM. This event will be held at the First Presbyterian Church. For more information contact Dr. Suzann e Summerville at 456-1144 or Fairbanks Drama Association presents Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL, November 28-December 14 with a curtain time of 7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00pm on Sundays. All performances will be at the Riverfront Theatre, 1852 2nd Avenue. For ticket reservations call 456-PL AY. Fairbanks Drama Association presents David Sedaris’ THE SANTALAND DIARIES for two performances only, December 5 & 6 at 10:30pm at the Riverfront Theatre, 1852 2nd Avenue. The performance will feature guest actor Ben Brown from Juneau. For mature audiences only. All tickets are $18. For ticket reservations call 456-PLAY.

Fairbanks Arts Association

office will be closed from December 24-28 and December 31- January 1.

The Bear Gallery and Gift Shop will be closed December 24-25 and December 31- January 1.

e! Save the Dat Forum FAA Annual Legislative

Noon, December 10, 2008

Bear Gallery, Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts in Pioneer Park

Questions? Call 456-6485 ext. 226 8

State of the Arts

Fairbanks Arts Association would like to invite you to advertise in our State of the Arts Newsletter!

Rates as low as $25 Members and Affiliate organizations receive 5% off all prices!

For more info call 456-6485 ext. 226


We need volunteers in the Bear Gallery & gift shop! This is a great opportunity to support the arts in Fairbanks while meeting visitors and sharing about life in the north. Our volunteer docents fill a threehour shift and are a vital part of our program. Find out more about how you can be part of the team at Fairbanks Arts Association by calling 456-6485 ext. 223 or 226.

Associate with the Arts Become a member of FAA!

Membership forms available online at Fairbanksarts. org

Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra presents THE DESIGN ALASKA FAMILY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION CONCERT on December 7th at 4pm in Davis Concert Hall. This wonderful concert will feature the Fairbanks Symphony, Choir of the North, University Chorus, Northland Youth Choir and the Concerto Competition winners. The Symphony’s annual Silent Auction starts at 2pm and concludes shortly after the concert. For more information please visit Radical Arts for Women is giving away the most money yet for its third annual short story contest, open to all women living in Alaska. The grand prize is $500 with publication and an opportunity to read her work. The second place winner will receive $300 and third place $100. Deadline is Jan. 15. There is no entry fee. For complete guidelines, visit www. The Fairbanks Frontier Chorus and Great Land Sounds present THE SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS under the direction of Patti Gallagher. This event will be held at Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts on Friday, December 5, 7:30 PM and Saturday, December 6, 4:00 PM. Adults $15.00; Seniors, Students and Military- $10.00; Under 5 years- Free. For Information call Mary Anne 456-6094 or contact Patti Gallagher at Fairbanks Watercolor Society meeting will be held at the Pioneer Park Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts, Blue Room on Wednesday, December 17, 2008. The annual Christmas art gift exchange and potluck begins at 6:30pm New members are welcome. For further information call 479-0804 or 389-2114.

ir Northland YouthertCho at UAF

presents their Holiday Conc Davis Concert Hall on Thursday, info December 12, at 7:30 PM. For more please contact or visit

To submit calendar information please email melissa@ or call 456-6485 ext.226

Red Beard (1984) January 8, 2009 at 7pm

December 2008 • Fairbanks Arts Association

Tickets: $5 Season Tickets: $30 For more info, call 456-6485 ext. 227



nteers: lu o V r u o YOU to arris

THANy DKubbs

Kath ory Jane Greg Pat Mack ens Cheryl Jo ueen Deb McQ an Flein Margret V dsather Shirley O Jorissen Mary Lou genlieter Helga Wa Kusick Oonaugh Burger Roxanne ar Betsy Be Voss Katherine

Lee H iatanova Tatiana P e Kira Prid Bent Elizabeth asiak Darleen M ser Genie Lo mily Nicole, E , e n n a z u S Wilson and Jack er Mariah V Mary and Hoef n nna Clayto ie S d n a a Dian amron Virginia D eledinas Craig Ch aylor d Robin T n a y th a K ivera Ramiro R

Committee Meetings: Community Writers Group December 14, 1-4pm Long Prose Writers Group December 18 at 6:30pm Annual Legislative Forum & Community Arts Meeting December 10 at Noon Literary Arts Committee December 15 at 5:30pm Visual Arts Committee December 17 at 5:30pm All meetings in the Bear Gallery, 3rd Floor of the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts, Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way. All meetings are subject to change. For more information call 456-6485 ext. 227.

unteers: l o V r u o OU to THANK Y ld akefie Penny W ith Jamie Sm akami Gael Mur g Eero Irvin th e b a z li E itmer Dennis W rnham Nancy Bu cKelvey Baggs M unt Dinane H annon Teresa Sh

Thank you for your In-Kind Donations!

s on donations each The Fairbanks Arts Association relie like you. Our needs just bers year from community mem t now we need: righ ever how , time to vary from time

Marty Russell Hade Computer Genie Loser Refrigerator and Office Supplies


Office Supplies Step Ladder Hammers 2 Drawer File Cabinet House Paintbrushes

Flat Screen Computer Monitors Fax Machine Computer w/Windows XP or newer

Thank you for your generosity in continuing to support FAA!

Fairbanks Arts Association • December 2008


Betsy Bear Betsy Bear migrated to Alaska in 1966 with her family after having spent most of her childhood in Europe and Africa, ultimately falling in love with Alaska and her Salcha neighbor, Tom Bear. The ensuing years were filled with college, marriage, children and a busy teaching career in several North Pole area schools. Retirement from teaching in 2001 provided Betsy the opportunity to dive headfirst into art, which is now a big part of her life. Her watercolors reflect her love of the natural beauty and rich history found throughout the state.  She loves to paint diverse subjects, from wildflowers to landscapes and historical scenes. Working from her home in North Pole, Betsy makes her own Giclee’ prints and note cards.  More information about Betsy, her studio and her art can be found on her web site at

Sherry Fisler

Sherry grew up in Ohio and Michigan with a mother who painted and taught art classes. When her son graduated from college, she retired from a 24 year elementary teaching career in California and Fairbanks and seriously began her artistic endeavors encouraged by her husband, Tap, and friends. 
Sherry began taking drawing and watercolor lessons from several Fairbanks’ artists and has participated in the Summer Arts Festival for the last few years. She feels fortunate to have been able to study under such wonderful teachers and hopes to continue her artistic development and career. Sherry enjoys working with watercolor and learning what she can do with it. She particularly enjoys painting landscapes and flowers. 
Sherry has also realized that she enjoys matting and framing pictures. This has been included in her new artistic career by starting a framing business out of her home.

Society Corner

Coming soon: Charlie’s Dinner pARTy and Auction Fairbanks Arts Association would like to invite you to donate to the April 30th fundraiser and silent auction. We are seeking all auctionable items from gift certificates to weekend getaways. This is a great opportunity to become involved and fund the arts! To donate call Melissa at 456-6485 ext. 226

December 2008 • Fairbanks Arts Association



State of the Arts



P.O. Box 72786 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707

Virginia Damron is one of Fairbanks Arts Association’s wonderful volunteers. Virginia is originally from Florida but has been living in Fairbanks since 1971. She moved to Anchorage with her husband and loved Alaska so much she decided to move to Fairbanks and has stayed ever since. When asked why she volunteers with Fairbanks Arts Association she replied, “I think arts are so important to our community. Fairbanks Arts Association helps keep those arts alive.” She also remarked that volunteering is one of her favorite hobbies along with reading, cooking and gardening. Virginia loves to cook anything out of the ordinary. As for her garden, well, she’s grown everything from fruit and vegetables to flowers and shrubs. You name it; she’s tried it. She still finds time every summer to volunteer by hosting with Dinners in the Homes for Fairbanks Arts Association. To join Virgina in volunteering, please call Sherry at 456-6485 ext. 223