Department of Education and Early Development
Alaska State Libraries, Archives, & Museums
Juneau – The exhibition, The Crybabies by Ketchikan artist Donald Varnell will open at the Alaska State Museum on Friday, February 1. The opening reception is sponsored by the Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum and will run from 4:30 – 7:00pm. The artist will give a talk about his work at 6:00pm in the museum.
Haida carver Varnell brings diverse themes to his art and does not restrict his work to one specific medium. Known for his cutting edge totem poles, panels and paintings, Varnell is recognized as one of the most successful contemporary Alaska Native artists whose current work challenges perceptions of tradition and meaning in Native American art. Using skills acquired through apprenticeships as well as an awareness that stems from autodidactic effort, Varnell’s work transforms traditional Northwest Coast design into something new and distinctive. With this exhibit, Varnell contributes to the ever-evolving zeitgeist of the human condition.
Exhibited adjacent to The Crybabies is a collection of artworks and objects that inspire the artist. Varnell collaborated with museum curator Steve Henrikson to include works by Jim Schoppert, Alvin Amason, Lena Amason-Berns, Nathan Jackson, Jackson Polys, Delores Churchill and Selena Peratrovich to name a few.
Varnell is one of eight artists selected for the Alaska State Museum 2017-2019 Solo Artist Exhibition Series. The exhibit will be up through April 6, 2019.
Also on Also on display in the temporary galleries: Inheritance: makers. memory. myth. by Anchorage-based artist Amy Meissner. Meissner’s textile art combines traditional handwork and contemporary imagery to explore memory, fragility and the literal, physical and emotional labor of women.
Winter hours at the Museum are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Discounted winter admission is $7, with those age 18 and under admitted free. An annual pass that allows unlimited visits to the Alaska State Museum and the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka is available for $35. Assistance is available for visitors who have special needs. Please contact visitor services at 465-2901 before the visit.
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