Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

First Friday includes traveling exhibit touring Southeast


March 30, 2023

"Sandy Beach" by Lanie McCarry (Douglas) Oil painting, 2022 12x9"

"Portable Southeast," a traveling exhibit of 25 creations created by Southeast artists opens at the Port Chilkoot Distillery on Friday, April 7. The exhibit closes April 27.

"Everything we do is infused with this place and the entire region. It's all connected . So we're so excited to host an exhibit that helps make a visceral experience of those connections," said distillery owner Heather Shade.

Rachelle Bonnett, gallery manager for Juneau Arts and Humanity Council, said the exhibit was inspired by a similar one in Scotland seen by Meghan Chambers of Juneau, the exhibit's manager.

The idea was to create a pallet of regional art, that could be packed and shipped, and to show it in untraditional spaces. The pieces range in media, including weavings, paintings and mixed-media pieces.

Artists included in the inaugural exhibit include Mandy Ramsey and Katie Ione Craney of Haines, Pam Joy of Skagway, Peaches Wallin of Ketchikan, Anne Doyle of Sitka, Ellie Sharman of Gustavus, Suzanne Fuqua of Petersburg, Amy Kotlarov of Ketchikan and others.

Donna Catotti of Haines was among the group of community leaders and artists who curated the show.

Bonnett said organizers intend for the show to continue as a biennial event, including soliciting another round of submissions in 2024, to travel as an exhibit in 2025.

Haines is one of six communities to get the exhibit. Others include Petersburg, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, and Yakutat. Organizers plan to take the 2025 are to different communities through the region.

Other First Friday events include The Bookstore's book release party of David Simmons posthumous "50 Countries, 50 Stories." Before he died in a landslide in 2020, Simmons was working on a memoir of his travels to 77 nations around the globe. His father and friend Joe Aultman Moore helped finish the draft into complete books. Limited copies will be available for purchase.

Etch A Sketch artist Rachel Saitzyk will be featured at the Haines Brewing Company during First Friday April 7.

A massage therapist, Saitzyk is a five-year resident who studied at Mason Gross School of Arts.

"Growing up, I was terrible at Etch A Sketch, just like everyone else. I began using it as a medium when I was 23; On impulse bought a cheap, old one at a Goodwill store one day and started drawing on it while I was bored one evening, only to discover that I have a natural ability to control and create pretty cool drawings on it. I attempted to make a living as an Etch A Sketcher for a brief time. They often take an incredibly long time to create," Saitzyk said this week.

"My work often explores cyclical relationships, especially the perpetual relationship between death and birth. Subject matter for this show deals mostly with local imagery through highly textured oil paintings as well as art rendered on Etch A Sketch. Images include water and the living things that need it," she said. 

"The pieces in the show each took between 4 and 24 hours to complete over multiple sittings. I love the impermanence of Etch A Sketch art. Creating and erasing it is incredibly cathartic and is a powerful tool to practice acceptance, letting go, resilience, patience, and compassion," Saitzyk said.

The etch-a-sketches in this show are all fixed images and will be for sale.

Alaska Rods will host Steven Price's hand-carved Native Design Jewerly. The pieces include a pair of copper, hand-forged earrings, a copper beaver bracelet, and a three-quarter inch silver lovebird bracelet.

Price said this week he's been creating Northwest style Native art for about 20 years. The son of Tlingit master carver Wayne Price, Steven Price said he's getting back into engraving, which he learned in Sitka.


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