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Archive for September 2008

Interview with Luke Bouvrie

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How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I am basically an everything-that’s-art promoter. I run small business called Reverse Retro. We bring new and innovative art to Alaska in the form of performance art events and musical concerts. We publish a magazine, release records, book tours in Alaska and abroad, screen films and do other various art related activities.

What is your current role with MTS Gallery?

Gallery Committee Member. The MTS Gallery and Reverse Retro also work together on performance art events like Zebbler, Universe/Juice Team, and the upcoming Powdered Wigs event.

How did you first become involved with the MTS and the Trailer Art Center?
A friend suggested we work with a man named Bruce Farnsworth, a key player in the development of the Gallery and the Trailer Art Center, to bring art to Alaska. We started talking about two years ago and have since developed a close working relationship on several performance art events. In some projects, The MTS gallery has almost become our umbrella organization enabling us to obtain the necessary resources to bring some amazing artists to the state of Alaska.

What do you like most about being a part of the MTS Gallery and the Trailer Art Center?
I mostly enjoy the sense of community and the feeling that there are other people out there working towards the same goal. I feel as though the art scene in Alaska is spread too thin or almost fragmented at times. We need to come together to achieve our main goals and the MTS Gallery/Trailer Art Center is doing just that. It is fun and exhilarating to be a part of such a movement towards cohesion in the Alaskan art community.

Have you had any work shown at the gallery and/or been involved in any performances?
I have never shown any work or actually performed at the Gallery but I have organized two performance art events in the past and I am currently working on a third for October first Friday.

Can you name one show that you have seen (either visual or performance art or both) at MTS Gallery that really made an impact on you? What did you like most about the show? I enjoyed most of the events that I attended at the gallery. They all had some sort of impact on me, but two in particular stuck out: a performance art piece call Detracted and the recent abstract painting show. Both events were very powerful in their own ways and I guess what appealed to me about them were their subtle yet strong undertones of feeling and emotion from the artist.

How do you hope the Trailer Art Center will grow and expand in the next 5 years?

I can only hope for the best! The Trailer Art Center board is working very hard to fulfill their vision. I am not so sure the TAC plan will be realized in only five years, but I would be ecstatic if we were at least a little closer to gaining control of the Gallery building.

What is Reverse Retro? What is your role with Reverse Retro? How did it get started and how do you see it evolving in Anchorage?

I am a partner in the company along with two other friends. We all take on different projects and see them through start to finish, enlisting the other partners help on the event nights and for promotion. We decided to start Reverse Retro because we love Alaska yet found that it can be culturally secluded from the rest of the world at times. This is our main inspiration for bringing artists to Alaska. Many artists are very excited to come and explore the state as well, so it works both ways. We get awesome art and give people experiences they have only dreamed about. It is a win-win situation and very rewarding in that respect.

What do you do for work? What are your hobbies? I heard you fly small planes… is this true?
I just graduated from UAA last spring and have been working in a small aircraft mechanic shop. I am currently searching for a job that is more related to my degree in Management. I have many hobbies most of which center around being outdoors in Alaska. Flying small planes is one of them. I also enjoy skiing, climbing, gold mining, biking, etc., basically anything outdoors.

What show are you most excited about to see/be involved in at the MTS Gallery this year?
I am most excited for the upcoming Powdered Wigs show. This performance is a favorite among many of the artists we have brought up in the past making it long overdue in Anchorage.

Are you a Mountain View resident? How long have you lived in Alaska and where did you grow up? Do you have children?
I am a resident of Girdwood. I have lived here all of my seven years in Alaska. I was born and raised in Boston, MA and moved up here to be in the most remote, wild and incredible landscape in the world! I am unmarried and have no children.

If you had a vision for a transportation solution in the greater Anchorage area, what would it be?
An underground subway like in Boston. HA! I really have no idea. The busses are obviously inefficient and the city layout presents a huge challenge for public transportation. I say more bike trails.

Tell me about the upcoming Powdered Wigs show at MTS Gallery on October 3rd. What kind of music do they perform and what can I expect when I go there?
Powdered Wigs is representative of a new style of music emerging around the world. This style encompasses many different types of genres yet holds to a central theme of artistic expression. Rather than traditional types of music, Powdered Wigs evokes emotion and passion much like an abstract painting; his over-the-top awkward/emotional songs are constructed of baroque opera and pop music samples, rich noise soundscapes and broken sequences and beats. His performances are filled with triumphant and pathetic gestures as he sings his songs or wrestles/caresses with his keyboards. The result is a presentation that challenges our ideas of beauty and suggests multiple meanings and narratives.

Why is it important to bring music up to Alaska?
We need Diversity!!

Is it difficult to find venues for your shows? If so, why do you think that is?

It has been in the past and still is to some extent. Some Alaskans can be very close-minded to new music or art they haven’t heard of. I think we all have experienced this and know why these social barriers exist in certain segments of our population. This is changing more and more for the better. I’d like to mention Doug and Calvin, owners of the Kodiak Bar, as examples of this positive change. Since they opened the bar a couple of years ago, the place has become the premier venue for new and innovative music in Alaska. This is not because their main goal was to achieve this designation but simply because they were accepting and open-minded.

How long has Powdered Wigs been a band and where do they come from? Are they coming to Alaska just for this show?

Powdered Wigs has been around for a few years. The band is originally from Houston but now resides in San Diego. They come to Alaska solely for this performance and workshop.

What kind of workshop are they going to lead on October 4th? Why would I want to attend and what could I learn?
The workshop is about constructing songs from contrasting materials. You would want to come because this is a very new art form that you would otherwise never be exposed to. Powdered Wigs’ music is constructed of disparate materials: 16th century opera, 21st century emo music and screeching noise from the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone distortion petal, to name a few. In this lecture he will discuss how to build cohesive narratives using such contrasting materials. Looking at larger emotional content connections, we find that the similarities are greater than the differences.

How do you promote Reverse Retro and how can we find out more information about Reverse Retro and you?
We primarily promote through newspapers, flyers and various online platforms. The best way to get current information on our events is visit us on the web at

http://www.reverseretro.com or http://www.myspace.com/reverse_retro

Thanks to Luke for this interview!


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September 30, 2008 at 3:24 am

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See you there! Next First Friday – October 3rd, 8-10pm

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8:00 – 10:00 PM


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September 30, 2008 at 3:15 am

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Upcoming Event (the one after the next)- Friday, October 17th, 5-7pm

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Opening Reception for “Clay 4 Ways,” an exhibition
of works by four of Alaska’s foremost clay artists.

Friday, October 17th
5:00 – 7:00 PM
MTS Gallery
3142 Mountain View Drive

Music by Reverse Retro

Beer, Wine, Snacks, by Tap Root Cafe

Admission Free

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September 22, 2008 at 8:38 am

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Images from “Little White Lies” by Ruby Kennell

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September 22, 2008 at 8:28 am

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Next Event – Friday, October 3rd, 8-10pm Powdered Wigs

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– ON First Friday, October 3rd, the MTS Gallery’s monthly
after hours salon, OPEN/CLOSE, will feature a performance
by Houston, Texas based Powdered Wigs.

Friday, October 3rd
8:00 – 10:00 PM
MTS Gallery
3142 Mountain View Drive

Wine, Beer, Snacks by Tap Root Cafe


– ON Saturday, October 4th, Powdered Wigs will present
a workshop at the MTS Gallery.

Saturday, October 4th
5:00 PM
MTS Gallery
3142 Mountain View Drive

Cost: $5.00

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September 22, 2008 at 8:07 am

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Interview with Clark Yerrington

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How would you describe yourself and what you do?

I’m a designer for architectural firm Bezek Durst Seiser and I’m a budding fine art photographer. Right now most of my photo work might be called offbeat urban landscapes.

What is your current role with MTS Gallery? How did you first become involved with the MTS and the Trailer Art Center?

Bruce Farnsworth tracked me down in 2005 after learning about my photographic web site – mostly a tribute to the 1940s-‘50s aspects of the Mt. View neighborhood [as they disappear]. I told him at our first get together it was fortuitous we met, and suggested I lend my architectural knowledge to development of the new art center. At the same time, Bruce and others have encouraged me to work on my photography more. I’m a member of the TAC board of directors, and active on its committees.

What do you like most about being a part of the MTS Gallery and the Trailer Art Center?

The chance to hang around with some top drawer artists working in Anchorage and Alaska. In 2005 I asked myself, am I really standing here talking to Hal Gage and listening to him compliment me on my work? [Is this for real?] One of my other longtime Alaska photographic heroes, Rob Stapleton mentioned my Mt. View Real Estate Trading Cards in a 2005 news article about the expanding fine art market. All of this was extremely encouraging to say the least – it made me think, if people like this are paying attention, I sense opportunity, and feel a responsibility to intensify my efforts.

Can you give a brief history of how the Trailer Art Center and MTS Gallery was formed? What is the relationship with the Trailer Art Center, MTS Gallery and the Land Trust?

The concept of the arts center is a longstanding idea amongst local artists to create a place where art is created and exhibited/performed in a collaborative environment, and the community is enjoined in the experience. It would represent a vast improvement over the resources and facilities available to artists individually. Something like it has been needed in Anchorage for a long time. MTS Gallery is a program of Trailer Art Center, and ACLT is a development partner.

Have you had any work shown at the gallery and/or been involved in any performances?

I’ve been part of three group invitational shows there and will have a solo photography exhibit opening March 20, 2009.

Can you name one show that you have seen (either visual or performance art or both) at MTS Gallery that really made an impact on you? What did you like most about the show?

It’s difficult to select just one. I thought the recent “Buy My Art” group exhibit and opening night performance was very well done – the artwork was edgy and smart, the treatment of the subject of art as a commodity was subtle and shocking at the same time, and the entire installation had a sort of youthful exuberance. It was rough around the edges but was all heart.

How do you hope the Trailer Art Center will grow and expand in the next 5 years?

We are talking with a design and development team about a permanent building, and working on expanding the capacity of the organization to run the facility. I hope it will be built within two or three years, and will become a well-loved neighborhood, city and state institution for decades to come.

How long have you been an artist? How did you initially become involved with your medium? How can we find out more about your work?

I was immersed in art from a young age. Both my mother and father were involved – drawing, painting, ceramics, graphics, printmaking. My dad was an architect and my mom attended ACC and UAA in the early ‘70s where she received a degree in art. At school she got to work with Alex Combs, James Schoppert and many other accomplished Alaska artists. We were constantly encouraged and provided with materials, classes and inspiration. As a pre-teen in Seattle I saw some significant gallery shows of pop art – very influential. Later I experimented in drawing, comics, graphic design, radio and underground newspapers and fanzines. I’ve been taking photos since age 7 but began pursuing it seriously in 2005 when I acquired some new camera equipment. I’m going to work on a new web site soon. For now I just have bins full of negatives and slides and a bunch of stockpiled images and work in progress on my flickr page.

What inspires you to do your work?

Our surroundings are constantly changing – and typically not for the better. I don’t necessarily like taking that attitude, especially since my architectural work is tied into development and redevelopment – but I’m concerned that we’re willing to discard old land uses and buildings casually, without fully considering their value and how they inform us about our predecessors’ lives. I don’t want to over-romanticize the past, either. But I do have a sense of urgency that everything’s changing so quickly I need to be out there all the time, trying to record various scenes before they go away forever and we can’t remember them. And I try to depict these places in a way that makes their intrinsic value apparent.

How long have you been an architect and what do you like about doing that line of work?

I have to call myself a Designer because the rules prevent qualifying for the professional exam on experience only [I have a degree in a different field]. I’ve been working in architectural offices for 25 years. It’s been a great experience with high profile local firms and some amazingly talented colleagues and mentors. The aspect I like best is that it’s not boring and routine – each project is unique, with different challenges and rewards. I like working on houses the most.

What show are you most excited about to see/be involved in at the MTS Gallery this year?

Hopefully I’m going to be working with Carolyn Kinneen on what she calls the “POP Show”, this spring. Sounds like it will merge skate/snowboard culture, pop art traditions and also include experimental music and film screenings.

Are you a Mountain View resident? What do you like most about living in Mountain View? What is the biggest misconception people seem to have about your neighborhood? Have you been involved in the Mountain View community? How long have you lived in Alaska and where did you grow up? Do you have children?

I was born in Seattle in 1960 and lived there until age 12 when I came to Anchorage with my family. I’ve been here since except for college in Tacoma and a year in Seattle in 1987-88. [I still have a great deal of affection for Seattle and vicinity and I’ve visited there once or twice a year for the past 15 years.] I’ve lived in several areas of Anchorage. I’ve been in Mt. View since 1999. I was VP of the Mt. View Community Council in 2005-06 and I’ve done subcommittee work for MVCC and have been an advocate for the neighborhood in various ways, mostly in the area of land use planning. For two years I’ve written about various Mt View issues on a blog. The misconceptions are numerous. I really like Mt. View and appreciate it on multiple levels, even if it’s still a work in progress and some social problems persist. It is lively, complex and variegated compared to most of the rest of Anchorage. I have two grown children.

If you had a vision for a transportation solution in the greater Anchorage area, what would it be?

Bicycle. It’s fun and good for you and it’s the only sensible solution in this age.

In your opinion, how can art effectively change a community?

The possible transformative effects would be difficult to exaggerate – but it doesn’t affect everybody the same way. Locating an art center in Mt View is a good idea because of the neighborhood’s multicultural resource. If a real symbiotic exchange occurs later, the art center could be cathartic in all sorts of ways. There are already quite a few people in Mt. View involved in artistic pursuits, but the neighborhood still feels transient. If more artists start living here, taking root and building interesting studio/living compounds, at some point just walking down the street will become an art experience. I’m not sure if that’s in the cards or not, but it sure seems like a good shot. I was impressed on the last couple Seattle trips to find dozens, maybe hundreds of artists’ live, work and exhibit spaces mushrooming in lots of places they didn’t used to be, such as the International District, the Rainier Valley and Georgetown.

What, in your opinion, makes a good artist?

I like challenging content, and a diversity of strengths – looking at work more closely and discovering a wealth of depth and insight. It’s powerful for me to see something that’s risky, unconventional and brash but also sophisticated and finely crafted.

Any other comments?

Keep up your fine work on this site. I know it isn’t “authorized”, but it represents MTS well.
above photo – Spenard Alley by Clark Yerrington
above photo – 5th and A house by Clark Yerrington
missed the hyperlinks in the article? check out Clark’s blog – http://mt-view.blogspot.com/
Thanks to Clark Yerrington for sharing his words, photos, time and links!

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September 19, 2008 at 9:48 pm

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See you tonight! 5-7pm MTS Gallery

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September 19, 2008 at 9:12 pm

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