Like a duck to water: In-person gallery shows return to the JACC

This month’s celebration of arts and culture includes the first in-person exhibit at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center since March 2020.

“Birds of Wood,” an exhibit of more than 50 hand-carved birds by Matt Robus, kicks off the 2021-22 gallery season and an official return to in-person gallery shows, said the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, which manages the JACC and organizes First Fridays, in a news release.

“Birds of Wood” opens to the public 4:30-7 p.m. on Oct. 1 in the gallery at the JACC, 350 Whittier St., and will be on exhibit throughout the month.

“My aim is to carve and paint wood to evoke various bird species through the use of form, color and pattern,” Robus said in an artist statement. ‘The style of 19th and 20th century decoy carvers, who created utilitarian objects without excessive detail, has always appealed to me – the challenge is to do just enough to portray the ‘feel’ of a bird using shape, color, and postural clues without fuss or formality.

“I knew about wooden hunting decoys being art objects during my youth in New York state, where old-time carvings were being offered as folk art at a few antique galleries,” Robus continued. “As a waterfowl hunter in Alaska I learned the rudiments of carving decoys and realized that the same techniques could be applied to any bird species; ever since then I’ve been wandering through the bird world (predominantly species occurring in Alaska) doing my best to turn blocks of wood into representations of interesting birds. That is what this show is about. I hope you enjoy them.”

With the community risk level at high, the JAHC is following local migration strategies closely, according to the council. Mitigation plans for First Friday include:

— Children and adults 12 years old and up, are asked to bring proof of vaccination (vaccine card or photo) for entry.

— Masks are required in the facility.

— Social distancing is encouraged while in the lobby shop and the gallery.

— People who are feeling unwell, exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, are asked to stay home.

The deal of the art

Juneau Artists Gallery, a gallery operated cooperatively by 16 artists, will kick off its annual Juneau Appreciation Sale on First Friday.

The sale is open 4:30-6 p.m. on Friday, and runs through Oct. 3. The gallery is located at 175 S. Franklin St. on the ground floor. The gallery members sincerely appreciate our local following of customers, its thanks to your support that Juneau Artists Gallery is still operating.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt

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