MARCH 2011â€˘ Volume 3 | Issue 2
ARTS H MUSIC H CULTURE
This ThisIssue: Issue:
Inside Insidethe theLives Livesofof Helen Howarth Howarth Helen Rick Zelinsky RickHerlinger Zelinsky Ted Ted Poetry Herlinger by Kurn, Hart andPoetry Woelber by Art by Kurn, Hart and Woelber Anda Saylor, Linda Lucky and more!
Art by Anda Saylor, Linda Lucky and more!
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Table of Contents M a r c h 2 0 1 1 | V o l u m e T h r e e | I s s u e Tw o
Letter from the Editor
Of Cheese and Strings
If While Lying in Hinge a Traveler
Art by Linda Lucky Think Tanks and Hog Guts
A Meditation in Music
Collaboscope: A Collaboration in Sound
fh ide O ut.org
T. WOELBER, EMILY KURN, KENNETH HART
Portraits by Kendra Kinsey
Portraits by Anda Saylor
Staff and Production
MAKENZIE ROSE DEVRIES
Edit Barrowclough Nick Bradford Makenzie Rose DeVries Taylor Gallegos Serine Halverson Theodore Kincaid Kendra Kinsey Linda Lucky David McElroy Melissa Newton Michelle Saport Anda Saylor Jerzy Shedlock Craig Updegrove
Mosaics created by Corwyn Wilkey, A mosaic of artist Ted Herlinger at work on his latest project (front) and a mosaic of the Anchorage skyline (back), both comprised of all the sketched and photographed faces submitted for this issue.
executive editor Teeka A. Ballas poetry editor Bruce Farnsworth executive designer Hal Gage contributing designers Corwyn Wilkey copy editors Darin Swain (intern)
On The Covers
publisher Teeka A. Ballas
marketing/sales Teeka A. Ballas distribution Pamela Hatsiz Teeka Ballas Holden Attradies Bruce Farnsworth printing Service Business Printing
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teeka a. ballas, editor
IT WAS SOCRATES WHO SAID
the unexamined life is not worth living. In this issue, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to examine the lives of a handful of people in Anchorage who greatly contribute to the arts, music and culture of the city. These people all have something in common. They are compelled by an inherent passion, an innate desire to examine and explore what it is that inspires and motivates them. Socrates made his statement when he was standing trial for heresy for challenging his students to think for themselves. We no longer must choose between an unexamined life and death, but too often we opt to not examine ourselves, nor the people around us either. This month, we are breaking this trend —we are looking beyond just the faces of Anchorage; we’re looking at what lies beneath. The people featured in this issue, as well as the extraordinary talent explored and dissected this month, are the many influential faces of Anchorage. They
inspire, motivate, enthuse and move us. In accordance with the theme this month, there are precious gifts of art intertwined, portraits of others who have inspired hands to sketch, paint and draw. As many of our readers are aware, all of the content in this magazine is created and designed by people who are passionate about the arts. We are activists working hard to create a foundation of culture for the city we have chosen to make our home. Take the time to read over the masthead on the Table of Contents page and read the name of all the contributors —if you know them thank them. Support the businesses that support our endeavors by selling F Magazine and advertising on our pages. Viva las Artes!
Cyrano’s Playhouse Dos Manos IGCA La Bodega
Homer Bookstore (Homer) Bunnell Street Art Center (Homer)
Laughing Lotus Yoga Studio
Two Sisters Bakery (Homer)
Summit Spice and Tea Co.
Middle Way Cafe
Pack Rat Mall - Antiques & Collectibles
Fireside Books (Palmer)
Fromagio’s Artisan Cheese
Red Couch (Fairbanks)
Second Run Upscale Resale
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Gesturing with slender hands and long fingers — that perhaps not so long ago made strings resonate with a little something from Dvorak — she explains the genius of artisanal cheese.
PHOTOS BY EDITH BARROWCLOUGH
and Strings DAVID MCELROY
Or maybe it’s a Limburger, likened to twisted bathroom humor calling out the expression, “Who cut the cheese?” Maybe it’s just my suspicious mind asking if perhaps Fromagio’s is some kind of a front, maybe a coverup? Is that someone’s Uncle Guido sleeping in the Inlet with the fishes? There’s certainly mystery here, for how could a woman with a successful career in the arts and vaunted position in society give it all up for a life of cheese? On my guard, I walk in. It’s a clean well-lit place. To be sure, in due time the truth leaks out. Yes, this is the era of WikiCheese. It always starts with a past. Helen Howarth, a born and bred Alaskan, has traumatic memories of the industrial food sent north to our frontier —tasteless rock hard peaches and a well-known brand of rubbery cheese suggestive of recycled surgical gloves. And don’t even mention those loathsome dried apricots, each with the appearance and appeal of a dead man’s ear. It was not until she went to college in Washington State that Helen first experienced picking and eating a sweet, juicy tree-ripened apricot, its distance from the land on which it grew, a mere six feet straight up. Similarly, only when her mother returned from visiting a friend in Paris, bringing in her luggage unpasteurized artisanal Roquefort, that she had any idea how great a blue cheese could be. “Really,” she says, “that was the beginning of my exploration of cheese.” (Pardon this reckless digression, but as a point of contrast, my personal exploration of cheese began as one of several young boys at a country wedding smearing Limburger on the manifold of the bride and groom’s getaway car. Ever since then, all it takes for me to recall my youth is a whiff of matrimony.) Exploration is a word Helen uses often. A trained cellist, she got her Bachelor’s degree in music performance from Washington State University and her Master’s degree in art administration from Ohio. Returning to Alaska, she held a succession of high-level jobs with art organizations to include the Anchorage Symphony, the State Council on the Arts, the Sitka Summer Music Festival, and most recently eight years with the Rasmuson Foundation. The arts, of course, direct one to explore the senses and to perceive things in new ways. I try to see if there are cello calluses on the fingers of her left hand, but she gestures I SMELL A RAT.
a lot and I don’t wish to appear like a cat hyper-focused on a twitching piece of string. Instead, I furrow my brow with concentration as she explains her descent into cheese. Travels related to her career and on her own whetted her appetite for exploring artisanal foods in general and cheese in particular. Unlike Anchorage, almost every major city presents an opportunity for a cheese tasting safari, and so off she would go. “Paris, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland — everywhere you turn there is a cheese shop,” she says. As with any explorer, the time came for her to find something new and radically different to do in her life. Like many a professional before her, she fled a successful career to become a small business entrepreneur. “The nexus of traveling and finding cheese shops and thinking they were the coolest things The newest taste of culture in town is a few miles off the beaten path, but considering the lunch on the planet, led me to open rush, it doesn’t seem to hinder many. Fromagio’s,” she says. The name perhaps not so long ago made strings resonate with a little is her whimsical mingling of the French and Italian words something from Dvorak —she explains the genius of for cheese, which by any other name would smell as sweet. artisanal cheese. The comparison of cheese to certain kinds With a toss of her head she adds, “I also wanted to have my of music is easy to draw. A commodity (read industrial) own access.” She follows on with a postscript: “The worst that can happen is the business cheese maker is concerned with fails, I eat most of the inventory providing a popular, consistent and give what’s left to my kids.” product to a broad market in the Her cheese shop, which opened most efficient and economical last October, is located between way. To this end, production is the popular Fire Tap Restaurant large and the process is highly and the Steam Dot Cafe in the new mechanized. The raw material, complex at 1120 O’Malley Center the milk, comes from many Drive. Here you will find her sources and is pooled together, specialty, artisanal cheeses from diluting distinctive flavors. many small American farms. Artisanal cheese though, is mostly Helen committed herself to a fullhand made and comes from time study of cheese. She joined small farms. It is labor intensive the American Cheese Society and everything in its making is Helen Howarth is hands-on in her shop, and and attends their conferences and designed to infuse the cheese can tell customers about every individual cheese competitions. She also worked there, because she’s personally tasted and with its particular character. chosen them. as an intern at a cheese shop Because batches are small and in Portland. During her travels, she would buy the five often use milk from only one farm, the flavors are unique favorite cheeses recommended by the owner of each shop to each cheese. As with wine, much depends on the she explored. At first she could not evaluate any better influence of the specific soil type of the farm from which than to say one cheese tasted better than another. Through the milk comes. There are even seasonal differences as a experience and time, a working vocabulary developed result of the milk coming from animals having changes that now helps her distinguish subtleties and nuances of in feed, such as grazing on grass in summer and eating flavor, though she admits she still has much to learn. hay in winter. Of course, cheese is made from a variety Gesturing with slender hands and long fingers —that of animals and their subsequent breeds. Quality and the FHIDEOUT.ORG
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vast diversity of offerings make artisanal products an attractive alternative to the mass produced fare analogous to elevator music. For the record, Fromagio’s stocks cheese from cows, goats, sheep, and even buffaloes. (Milking those shaggy beasts —now, that must be something.) Following her mini course in Cheese 101, she goes on to say that although Anchorage has not had much exposure
insists. Like an oenophile after sipping a new cabernet, she asks herself in a manner somewhat dreamy, “Is that a hint of something mushroomy, nutty, smoky?” Quickly, she comes squarely back to earth. “This is not something you stuff in your belly to stop the growling.” Helen plans to have tastings and periodic events with specialists who will come to talk about cheese. Sasha Davies who left the world of finance to become a
Along with cheese, Fromagio’s also boasts fantastic artisan meats.
to specialty cheese shops, she is pleasantly surprised at the response to her opening. Customers range from those with admittedly no knowledge of cheese to those who are connoisseurs. “One lady who knows her stuff gets a special order of Roquefort from Murray’s in New York flown up by FedEx once a month, but even she sampled and bought something we had that was new to her.” Whether as a cognoscenti or newly evolving foodies Alaskans have been exploring on their own. Helen said she was pleased to discover that a number of the shops she visited Outside fill regular orders from Anchorage and the rest of the state. “We don’t have to feel culturally isolated anymore, and I saw this as an opportunity for the demand that is already here.” She goes on to say that her shop is a nod to the “food movement” that is growing almost everywhere. The emphasis is on healthy food produced in an environmentally sensitive and sustainable way that is also fair and equitable for the workers involved. Most artisanal cheese businesses are family owned. The emphasis on healthy food also recognizes the concept of limited consumption. Artisanal cheeses often have robust flavors so a great quantity of it is not needed. Rich aged cheddar sprinkled onto pasta may take only a quarter of what a bland variety does to make a satisfying dish. Rather than have customers buy a whole pound of one kind of cheese, Helen encourages them to explore several varieties in smaller quantities. “Eating cheese this good should be an experience in itself,” she
A cheese enthusiast cellist turned proud small business owner.
cheesemonger in Portland came up last fall. She is a board member of the American Cheese Society and is the author of “The Guide to West Coast Cheese.” She shared her explorations on the great American cheese trail. Upcoming speaker information will be posted on the website www. fromagioscheese.com. I’m increasingly convinced that Fromagio’s is a cheese shop pure and not so simple —therefore not a cover for a money laundering mob scene. For shoppers, this earthly bounty of taste, sustenance, and pleasing difference may bring to mind great enlightening debates of times past: Aristotle, Socrates, or more recently William Buckley and Gore Vidal, James Baldwin or Margaret Mead. The pecorinos, the cheddars, the chevres, and the great blues on their shelves hold forth a grand dialogue.
If While Lying in Hinge a Traveler MICHELLE SAPORT
IT’S LIKE A CHAPBOOK ,
but it’s not. It’s an abstract memoir about a narrator who finds out (or decides to confront the fact) that his sister may not be his sister. The story itself is styled after Italo Calvino’s “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler” in that both works deal with metatopics through unreliable narrators. In Calvino’s book, the main character, a reader, attempts to read a single book called “If on a Winter’s Night…” Instead, the reader ends up reading 10 separate chapters from 10 separate novels, all of which have titles that lend themselves to one coherent sentence. With “Lie in Hinge,” the narrator is consistently undercut by footnotes and the ambiguity of phrases (what does this mean?). The first chapter of “Lie in Hinge” has 27 pages and 94 footnotes. Parallel between footnotes and the way all the books read/chased after in that other book make up a great title. What is that title exactly?
Despite any similarities or influence, “Lie in Hinge” is decidedly unique. Engaging. Original. More on this. The book was officially released last December, with a public reading and party held in its honor at Katie Savigny’s Art Studio downtown. Approximately 20 people clustered around the back of the studio. Much like the book itself is collaboration between Mickey Kenny (author), and artists Apayo Moore and Taylor Gallegos, the release party performance for it was collaboration between the author and local singer/songwriter Melissa Mitchell. The evening began with an alternating pattern of excerpts from the book and original songs by Mitchell. Her music, just guitar and voice that night, was both subtle and powerful; it was an appropriate complement to the personal and rhythmic prose/poetry of “Lie in Hinge.” It’s too late to experience the collaboration between Mitchell and Kenny, but there’s still time to swim through the quagmire of footnotes and curious points of story line that “Lie in Hinge” brilliantly executes. Copies can be purchased at Dos Manos Gallery in Anchorage.
BOOK REVIEW ART: TAYLOR GALLEGOS He had a clever way of reading all those footnotes at the release party; what was it? 1
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Portraits by Linda Lucky
“When my father had Alzheimer’s disease, I lamented that I could not help my parents. But years later I had the opportunity of re-visiting the disease when a friend’s husband had it. The cathartic experience took place over a two year period when I visited and drew her husband Hannes and many of the residents at the facility,” —Linda Lucky
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Think Tanks and Hog Gut A Closer Look at the Work of Ted Herlinger JERZY SHEDLOCK PHOTOS BY NICK BRADFORD ART COURTESY TED HERLINGER
pieces are created simply because they need to be. Herlinger, who uses the pseudonym Art Attack Alaska, has always used a method that is absolutely instinctive. What often begins as a single thought can grow into a lengthy project. “It’s something I can’t help,” Herlinger said. “It’s like a handicap.” The contemporary artist’s current project is something entirely new, taking a departure from the exhibitions he has completed over the past decade. Herlinger believes that if his life were a film, 2010 would be the point at which the plot suddenly veers off into a new direction. While Herlinger’s previous pieces touched on social issues, his new project stems from the heritage of Alaska Natives. “Potential Energy” is a series of sculptures made of reed, hog gut and artificial sinew. It was in early July 2010 when the artist became LIFELONG ARTIST TED HERLINGER’S
“In physics, potential energy is energy that is stored within a system. It exists when there is a force that tends to pull an object back towards some lower energy position.”
intrigued with hog gut as an art medium. Within a couple of months, he began attending local workshops in Anchorage with hopes of gaining the skills needed to create a full body of work. Each piece is a study in patience. The reed bends easily enough, but applying the hog gut can be a painstaking procedure. Not particularly a patient man, Herlinger finds himself surrendering to the medium, as if embracing a new found meditation. “It was just so natural. As soon as I completed my first sculpture I knew I was onto something.” There is a progression to Herlinger’s projects. If someone
“The Wellspring of Fairytales is Fear” —from a series consisting of Inkjet prints on transparencies over handmade paper.
were to examine the artist’s past in full, they would stumble upon multiple instances of happenstance driven by gut reactions. Creating art since an adolescent, Herlinger cannot see himself doing anything else, but that is not to say he has not had a wide variety of odd jobs over the course of his life. In fact, it is quite the opposite. In 1963, Herlinger was finishing his last year of enlistment as part of the Third Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in West Germany. He describes his years of service as a good time in his life. From 1960 to 1963, Herlinger witnessed countries he would one day return to, particularly London. During his last year of enlistment, however, the artist’s world was turned upside down with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The shifty and shoddy nature of American politics began to solidify in Herlinger’s mind. The ongoing threat of nuclear war, the conflict in Vietnam and the Nixon Administration perpetuated the young
“Requiem for Red, White on Blue” —Inkjet print on paper, a play on Steve McQueen’s 2007 stamp series “Queen and Country.”
artist’s political ideals as he attended college. “I was doing my undergraduate work in California during the Nixon administration, so I was surrounded by young intellectuals starving to be involved. I, myself, was very involved with trying to raise awareness against Vietnam,” Herlinger said. The emphasis of Herlinger’s undergraduate work was drawing and original printmaking. He wanted to know the basics of art and was thrilled by the idea of limited edition prints. “I thought, Jesus Christ, you lay out whatever you want in a wood cut, you do the work, and you can get 100 prints off of a single piece, and they’re all original works of art,’” he said. After graduation, the young artist hitchhiked from Sacramento to Seattle with his dog Isis— a SiberianMalamute mix. Herlinger and his companion took a ferry to Ketchikan, joining friends who had established themselves as loggers. Herlinger took a puff off his pipe as he reminisced about his past; classic jazz poured from the living room stereo. He had worked as a cook in lumber camps all around Oregon—his birthplace—and California, and loved it. Herlinger loved being in nature. He came to
Alaska with the simple notion of obtaining employment as a cook, and that is exactly what he did. Herlinger arrived in Ketchikan on the Fourth of July and everything was in a state of chaos. It was Party Time. “I dropped some acid and I climbed Deer Mountain ... Beautiful,” the artist said, as he exhaled a thick, white cloud of smoke. “I came down and I got a fuckin’ job the same goddamn day. They needed a cook in a local restaurant, so I was set.” Ketchikan was the meeting ground for Herlinger and Jim O’Toole, a photographer. There was no deep art connection; the men frequented the same bar. O’Toole remembers the artist as an “absolute mad man.” Residents referred to Herlinger as Terrible Ted, and most did not know his last name. “Big. Loud. Just Nuts,” O’Toole laughed. “Those were crazy days for most of us though. That was the late ‘70s, so a lot was going on.” After this cooking endeavor, Herlinger moved to Petersburg where he fished on one of the last halibut schooners, the Silver Wave, for several years. This was followed by several more years of working as a U.S. Observer aboard Japanese longliners in the Bering Sea FHIDEOUT.ORG
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and the Gulf of Alaska. The artist was keeping records for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Several times a day, Herlinger ascended to the gurdy deck, weighing and measuring fish, taking otoliths to determine the age of fish and noting where the fish were caught, among other duties. In addition, he was an officer of the ship and tasked with bridge watches.
From the series, “Traditional Family Values” —etchings.
The work on these fishing vessels was strenuous and demanding, but he always found time to sketch. “I was drawing fish and ocean landscapes all the time. I was making gesture drawings of fish, real quick, you know?” Herlinger said. A gesture drawing is often meant to capture the action of a person or animal, and can be completed in as little as ten seconds. They are further considered challenging because the object being drawn makes no special effort to pause for the artist. Not only was Herlinger doing what he loved, but he was keeping records for the fishermen. That is to say, his drawings needed to be done. Following additional subsequent career choices, such as spending a year living off the land with his dog at Bostwick Inlet, Gravina Island in Southeast Alaska and teaching composition and art courses at the University of Alaska Southeast, Herlinger began seeking galleries to house his contemporary exhibitions. In the early ‘90s, Herlinger began work on three etchings, which he titled “Traditional Family Values,” a buzz phrase often used by both the Reagan and Bush administrations. Herlinger created the idea under a “rabid anti-Reagan mentality.” He saw the phrase as having hidden meaning, believing the traditional family values being preached by right-wing politicians was nothing more than jumble of code words. To express this, the artist began creating collages using photographs of family members. “I don’t know why I used family photos, it was just an instinct thing,” he said. The first etching of the three-piece series depicts a barefoot wedding in a rural tent city. All members of an unidentified family pose for a photo, the soles of their naked
feet upon a barren, dirt surface. The only family member wearing shoes in the etching is the father. The second piece of the series, titled “The Right to Bear Bodies,” a play on the right to bear arms, showcases the naked bodies of women hanging by their feet. A group of hunting buddies huddle around, admiring their “catch.” This expresses the hypocrisy of such values, stated Herlinger. “There’s your traditional family values. I was thinking of some of the fringe groups especially, but it translates into your regular right-wing thing: daddy’s the boss; woman, according to the Bible, can be slapped,” Herlinger lamented. “These values are tearing the fucking nation apart. Traditional family values are social Darwinism.” In 1991, “Traditional Family Values” found a home at CoolTan Arts, an artist association in London. The gallery was just establishing itself when Herlinger—in London conducting research on comics—heard of the association and decided to give them a call. After a brief meeting, Herlinger’s etchings were immediately hung on the walls of the yet-to-be opened gallery. Thanks to the enthusiasm of CoolTan and Don’t Fuck With This Gallery, another London-based art establishment, Herlinger was able to build credibility for himself across the Atlantic. At the time, the two galleries were trying to make a name for themselves. Both started out in squats with little money or recognition, but both were able to succeed by taking chances and showcasing artists who were breaking the mold. It is only natural, then, that Art Attack Alaska has found a regular spot in the local galleries Out North and the International Gallery of Contemporary Art (IGCA), Anchorage. As a member of the IGCA for more than a decade, Herlinger has spent a number of years faithfully volunteering at the gallery. Fellow member artist and gallery manager Julie Decker sees parts of her father in Herlinger. Decker’s father was an artist who would experiment with photography, painting and sculpture. She sees a similar compulsion in Herlingler, who once created an installation at IGCA made
“Potential Energy,” in progress —a series of sculptures made of reed, hog gut and artificial sinew.
from cardboard boxes. He tried covering the boxes with fabric and spent several weeks finding a chemical solution to get the two disparate materials to adhere. The artist delves
“The reed bends easily and forms quickly but applying the hog gut is a long, slow, painstaking procedure,” says Herlinger about “Potential Energy”.
into new ideas, drawn in by the materials and the process. “I don’t want to impose meaning on any of Ted’s works,” Decker said. “I think my main impression of Ted is that he is interested in materials and experimentation, and his interests are sophisticated and intelligent, which might belie a somewhat rough exterior.” Two series of work that have been displayed at IGCA, Out North and the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center are “The Weight of Death is a Mystery” and “The Wellspring of Fairy Tales is Fear.” The two series consist of Inkjet prints on transparencies over handmade paper. The idea for the two series originates from a souvenir Herlinger’s wife, Judith Moore, brought home upon returning from a summer in China. Moore hauled back a large black and white Chinese paper cut. “I unrolled it, and unrolled it and unrolled it,” Herlinger said. “And I worried about it for three months until I finally mounted it between two pieces of plexiglass.” The intricate silhouettes of the design cast a shadow on the white mounting board. Unwilling to take the time needed to learn Chinese paper cutting, Herlinger opted to print his pieces on transparencies and mount them over handmade sheets of paper. The two series are the result of those experiments. The subject matter of the series is a whole other subject. Herlinger has long had an interest in fairy tales. Fairy tales, Herlinger has researched, have deep roots. At a young age, children are exposed to a wide variety of such tales. The stories are used as instruments of education, despite their apparent dark tones. “They prepare you for a not-so-rosy world,” the artist chuckled. Perhaps that ingrained darkness is why the works in both series consist of skeletons occupying dimly lit venues, such as wooded areas. To Herlinger, the skeleton signifies the basis of the fairy tales. “I’m getting down to the bones of the tales.” These unique works have not gone unnoticed. After being featured in The XXX All Alaska Juried Art Exhibition, the Anchorage Museum purchased “The Weight of Death is a
Mystery IV” for their permanent collection. “It is a very unusual piece and we do not have anything similar,” chief curator and history research curator of the Anchorage Museum Marilyn Knapp said. “ ‘The Weight of Death…’ was chosen by the museum for its unique use of media.” When Herlinger was going through the process of producing the transparencies, his friend Jim O’Toole was there to bear witness. O’Toole found himself in bewilderment as to why nobody had ever thought of something similar before. Original and innovative in many ways, Herlinger takes measures to ensure creativity in both the process and the completed pieces. “Ted has the tendency to master something and move on, instead of what some artists do, which is master something, find out it’s popular, and just push it. He is constantly looking for new processes,” O’Toole said. Art Attack Alaska has numerous other bodies of work that have been featured at Anchorage and London galleries. Some notable mentions include “Think Tank,” a contemporary piece meant to convey the ineffectiveness of modern research institutions like the Rand Corp. and “Requiem for Red, White and Blue,” a play on Steve McQueen’s (British artist and filmmaker) 2007 stamp series “Queen and Country,” only Herlinger’s soldiers are faceless corpses, thereby asking Americans what they have died for. The work between the artist and the viewer is a conversation. Both ends bring something to the table. “The audience doesn’t always get, or agree with what I am putting out there. They bring a lot to it themselves, so I don’t always expect a clear communication to get through,” Herlinger said. So why the extreme shift away from social commentary? “I’ve gotten away from a kind of a objective work to a more subjective. It’s much more for relaxation,” the artist calmly said. “It’s a case of the material controlling the artist, and I’m all right with that.”
Ted Herlinger wears his “name de guerre” on the back of his leather jacket - a form of advertising and self-expression.
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and that could be said for his every waking minute. By day he teaches music to over 250 students, then at nigh plays live with experienced and skilled musicians. It was a declarative love for music that began his teaching and mentorship of musically inclined youth. For 10 years he has been the band director for the Anchorage School District working with band programs for many schools in the area. “It’s great,” said Zelinsky. “We’re lucky in the Anchorage School District that we’re a city that values music like it does.” He founded the Alaska Band Program, which first began with community schools, then in partnerships with the local music store, Music Man. The summer program features and array of classes including beginning band, intermediate band and jazz rock class. Upon the program’s completion, the students put on a concert at the Anchorage Zoo to show off their newly sharpened skills. Zelinsky doesn’t limit himself though —his nights are just as booked as his days. He is not limited to being just the saxophonist for the Dan Mac Quintet, which just released their latest CD “Ajazzka”, or the Power of Ten, a tribute band to Tower of Power, which played the mayor’s ball last October. He also manages to find the time to squeeze in sessions with other great musicians like trumpeter Yngvil Vattn Gutu. To back himself up, he also has his own group, the Rick Zelinsky Trio, which plays bimonthly at the Taproot in a series titled “Tribute to Jazz Masters” —every month is a tribute to a different jazz legend such as the great John Coltrane. Recently he freelanced with “The Blues Brothers,” a national act that played during the State Fair, and as a band member for the Anchorage performance of the Broadway musical, “Chicago.” In addition, lat fall, Zelinsky released his first solo album “Rick Zelinksy Live” with a seond to be released this month on his own record label “Ice Grooves.” “My wife and I came up with the name,” he said. “I thought it was a catchy title for our great northern frontier and a good name for music.” Zelinksy is not just another random workaholic; this unassuming bearded bald pony-tailed man is also a family man with three children following in his footsteps. The method to his madness is the study and teaching of the New Kadampa tradition of Budhism. This tradition entails striving for enlightenment and benefitting all living things. To satisfy this, he coordinates a Buddhist mediation group at Kaladi Brothers on Brayton Drive every Monday, 7 to 8am. Zalinsky said that if not for all this music, he would probably be a RICK ZELINSKY IS A TRUE MUSIC MAN
His inspiration for music is now a race. “The human lifespan is so short. When I moved up here, I didn’t play for many years. I was into skiing and mountain climbing and finally got back into it … and at this point I just want to do music as much as possible. It’s like a race. How good can I get?”
PHOTOS COURTESY RICK ZELINSKY
A Meditation in
Buddhist scholar or a monk —if he wasn’t married. “It’s just a beautiful path,” he chimed. Although his father was an alcoholic and died when Rick was very young, he set his sights upon reaching the highest level possible. “I didn’t have a very happy childhood. It was just growing up,” he said. “I did really well in college, but everything else just didn’t line up. I was trying to figure out the world. There were some things I missed, like my dad not being around and stuff.” “In fifth grade, Zelinsky started band class in Alliance, OH after going to a demonstration displaying all the different instruments. At the demonstration he fell in love with the trombone. There with his mother, he told her that he wanted to try it out, not knowing she had already purchased him a saxaphone. “She had a good vision,” he said. After high school, Zelinksy attended Cleveland State University on a full scholarship for saxophone, then to the University of Akron on another scholarship. Though accepted to a doctorate program at Indiana University, he became burned out and moved to Alaska, seeking a reprieve. His inspiration for music is now a race. “The human lifespan is so short. When I moved up here, I didn’t play for many years. I was into skiing and mountain climbing and finally got back into it … and at this point I just want to do music as much as possible. It’s like a race. How good can I get?” Clearly Zelinsky is a devoted man whose passion is performing, but the heartbeat of his passion is teaching. His early musical education bestowed bad playing habits upon him, which he said inhibited his progress. He now strives to help students avoid these habits so they can learn and progress more efficiently. “I have a passion for my students to learn
right away from the beginning,” he said. “So they have no bad habits, so they can learn and progress as fast as they want.” In turn, his teaching enriches his own craft by a teachto-learn philosophy. “I think it’s a helpful thing, because you really have to analyze what you’re doing,” he said. “In the process of explaining it to someone else, you gain new insights and you yourself increase and can get to the next level.” Although Zelinsky can be categorized as an “over achiever”, he more convincingly is completely addicted to the pursuit of music. To get a taste of his addiction, check it out at www.icygrooves.com.
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MAKENZIE ROSE DEVRIES I’VE HEARD IT SAID that hip hop and spoken word are the everyman’s poetry
of our generation. They are the descent of “page poetry” from the page, back to the mouth, the body and minds of the people. If this is an accurate description of the genre, then the group Collaboscope’s show (for possibly their last ever) at Tap Root in mid December not only lived up to their image as a hiphop band, but went well beyond it. Collaboscope’s second set of the night opened with MC Mickey Kenny slamming a spoken word piece into the dark of the crowd: “The ancient philosopher Pythagoras once said/ that a stone is just
A Collaboration in Sound Alaska’s Own Source for Hip Hop and Introspection Mickey Kenny and band lay down beats at one night show
PHOTOS BY SERINE HALVERSON
Mickey Kenny is one of two MCs that performed for Collaboscope.
frozen music…/a stone “It’s definitely a shame,” melting/ into a hot breath of said Kenny who is currently in lava/…a trumpet trying to Colorado finishing his Masters split the heavens open with degree in Poetry. “I do think an opus.” This is a “Music we had something special Meditation” and I wish —maybe it became too big the crowd had been quiet too quick. I’d say a reunion/ enough to truly appreciate summer show is unlikely.” what they were hearing. There doesn’t seem to be Kenny’s rhythm and any particular dirt on any of pentameter were good, but the members or a big egomore important was what splitting sort of falling out. he was saying: The difficult DJ Roan said life just alliterations and beautiful, got in the way. “It was violent images of music, not practically a miracle to get as “an old radio” but as “the all the players in the same golden ratio… / when a fire place at the same time for a speaks sparks and sparks show let alone to practice. speak fire… /music is sound So you could say logistical Bryson Andres plays a combination of styles on the electric and silence fighting inside obstacles were a significant violin. of your lungs/ firing guns.” contributing factor to the Kenny continued and the dissolution,” he says. crowd began to quiet down. One by one the instruments “I think the project dissolved the same way it formed, joined him, drums first then a keyboard. The music grew; spontaneously.” it felt like an experiment in sound as ethereal melodies Spontaneous energy equals collaboration, and the funny mixed with strong beats, jazz, even a hint of reggae. A thing about energy is it never dies —so in some way horn suddenly belched and then wailed brass funkiness Collaboscope is still alive. It’s probably not too far off to above it all —the stage lit up and the band threw the tempo think, despite what its members affirm, that there might be a into overdrive —we in the audience began to move. The spontaneous combustion of collaboration again in the future. music felt like a parachute descending around me and I Kumpus, the founder of Gorilla Dust Records echoes DJ couldn’t help but swim within it. Roan’s sentiment, but gave hope to audiophiles that all is It was a tremendous array of talent on the stage that not lost. night: Jeremy Lyke aka DJ Roan put “I know all the band members had a blast jamming and out synthetic beats and melodies on a performing together,” he said. “Many of us also had other “chaos pad” while Justin Rodda owned more focused musical endeavors.” the rhythm on drums; virtuoso Bryson Kumpus said there’s a chance that a compilation album Andres on electric violin; Tyler Shear on may be appearing this summer, featuring various different the bass and Sam Goodrich on electric members of the now defunct band. Keep posted at www. guitar; Nick Petumenos playd three gorilladustrecords.com. keyboards while Corwyn Wilkey on trumpet; and the two MCs were Kenny and Brad Hammerquist aka MC Kumpas. Collaboscope’s eight-person ensemble came together for the first time in April of 2010, after Kenny decided to expand his spoken word act and begin incorporating musicians from all over the state. Their diversity of instruments was one important facet of the group’s strength, which they used well. “Our music is about 50/50 improvisation and structured sound,” said Kenny on the night of their last show. “Since all of our members have individual musical projects, our sound is a compromise, meeting in the areas where our interests and talents collide.” The group’s ability to work together and improvise was “the gift of having insanely talented musicians.” Two months later, it has been silently announced that this MC Kumpas commands his audience during the last stellar group of musicians will not be returning to the stage. Collaboscope show at Tap Root. FHIDEOUT.ORG
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Checked my inbox, nothing there; no instant message, no email, wondering was it something i said? the orphan look in my eye? No one writes the rules on this stuff. i never know if too much talk kills the buzz, or the buzz kills itself, with time, with frittering over what matters, what doesn’t. i’m not one for twittering, and, IMHO, too much of anything can be too much. i only know that when we’re close, and i mean physically, in person, it feels good, better than anything else. yr pokes are like a fizzy drink, a bacon appetizer, you can post my wall anytime. Until then, my boo, my BF, add me, give me a status update, press send.
Upstairs, the cats had climbed into the attic, one by one, the way cells multiply. First the fat orange one, then the fat orange one, then the thin black one, three cats slipping past the boards to claw their way through the insulation. When she heard the faint rattling above that morning, as if something was closing in, my mother turned her face toward the ceiling and called out to the noise above: I know you’re in there, I can hear you coming.
THIS WAS NOT MY MOTHER EMILY KURN
This was not my mother, her mouth opaque and halved, asleep in the sterile room with its gallows. This was the partial moment of insight, the ice, the rough tongue, the blood, the silence. It had already been written near the outer edge of her memory, the rising sea water, the granite walls, the stolen ribcage of Adam, the nurse’s heavy finger pressing down on that final switch as my mother rose out of the bed, spread paste on her eyelids and stuck them with pebbles, then turned and turned her body in the yellow light of the afternoon until she reeked of death.
For years her body practiced a mute mathematics, the silent multiplication of breast tissue, the division of cells, the subtraction of breast, until my mother was fractionated in the palm of my hand- bones to dust, blood to dust, dust to dust, her existence reduced to the least common denominator, the shocking pin prick of a decimal point. Her death gave rise to a new arithmetic, the subtraction of the unsubtractable, the division of the indivisible, the calculation of strange and unbearable sums, new expressions of zero, quotients of one, the motherless multiple left to rearrange the partial integers of self one by one, back into absolute value.
When I am old and grey and full of sleep who’s going to wipe my rear and change my diaper like my mother did when I was three? I have no wife, no kids, no money saved so some underpaid immigrant can do the job. No nieces, nephews to install a handrail in the shower. I should blow my brains out before it comes to that, take that creaky walk into the woods and rest my chin upon the shotgun barrel’s lip. If you are halfway there yourself and think you’ll have no one to call but 911 when you fall and break a hip, it may not be too late to save ourselves.
LOVE AND FAME KENNETH HART
REGENERATION EMILY KURN
I tip the plastic box into one of the hollowed out trunks, the ash mixing with loam and lichen, bits of bone like teeth chattering into the wood, I put her inside of the tree as my father once put me inside of her, she divined and divided my cells, grew me a tongue, a skull, two hands with which I carry her now in weightless flecks of stone and cinder. After I came out of her, she held my naked body
When I have fears that I may cease to be I reach for a Diet Pepsi, bag of chips, the remote, plug myself into the couch for the night and click around for something books and prayers won’t fix. It doesn’t take too long, and that’s the whole point, because some kind souls with lots of cash packaged an experience for me, producing tears, as now, the dying woman who lived her life inside a shell finds true love in her final moment and wakes up from the coma. It’s predictable, easy therapy, as she embraces him who’s weeping for the life that’s just been given back, with no commercial breaks.
against hers, watched my grey eyes open and close, she lifted me up into the air to feel what it was like to hold a new life in her own two hands.
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Portraits by Kendra Kinsey
“Willie —Happy Birthday!”
“I like to bring my sketchbook with me when I go to places where I am meeting a lot of new people. I’ve had some great conversations with the people I sketch!” artist Kendra Kinsey
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Portraits by Anda Saylor
Four of the 50 sketches completed by artist Anda Saylor during her week-long stay at “House”, a temporary artists’ residency in the Carr Gottstein building on the campus of Alaska Pacific University fall 2010.
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“Herman Dune” (above) and “Lykke Li” (opposite page) by Craig Updegrove, were portraits created to accompany album reviews in the UAA campus newspaper, The Northern Light.
PORTRAITS BY CRAIG UPDEGROVE
Conforming Art to the Alternative THEODORE KINCAID
This is the rant: What defines convention between the larger societal convention vs. what is a convention in the art world, then pulling similarities between the mindset as per the human dynamic is concerned to suggest what is truly unconventional and what is adherence to the conventions of a subculture’s conventions. In the end, question what the motives of deviance are and how we can explore defiance in a productive manner. Defining the rant: On Valentines Day, I received a Valentine on my car windshield from a group calling themselves the “Guerilla Love Army.” Though I disagree with the convention of Valentine’s Day, I feel that the group both conformed and deviated from various conventions by performing this alleged guerilla love act. They conformed to the larger societal norm by celebrating Valentine’s Day in the first place, and thus deviated from the subculture norm by celebrating Valentine’s Day. But then they broke from the societal norm by printing up poems not found to be conventionally romantic and then placed them on windshields at night when they would not likely get caught, yet they conformed to the subculture norm by creating this guerilla art and doing it in a fashion that is contemporary for the subculture. Ultimately, even though I disagree with the institution of Valentine’s Day, I like that this self-ascribed guerilla group had the courage to conform to the larger societal institution and thus reject the subcultural institution to do so. FHIDEOUT.ORG
ARTS H MUSIC H CULTURE
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