Fine Arts in Town

'A Taste of Broadway' in Skagway

On April 4, the Skagway School hosted a spaghetti fund-raising dinner and a tour of Broadway songs called, “A Taste of Broadway.” The seniors provided the dinner to help pay for their senior trip to Hawaii. Departure time: the next day.
Elementary and middle school students performed in the Elma McMillen multi-purpose room in front of a large crowd of receptive family and friends.
The Broadway tunes ranged from “There’s No Business Like Show Business” to “Do, Re, Me” from “The Sound of Music.”
“We wanted to do something different,” said Blaine Mero after the performance. “We wanted to expose the kids to Broadway and art.”
There was a short amount of time to gather the cast together and the different tunes, he said, especially with spring break right before the performance date.
Mero feels the kids did well nonetheless, “There have been several positive comments from the parents,” he said.
“It’s just good to have an art outlet instead of just athletics for the kids. Many kids are just not into athletics. Here’s a way for them to still participate in school activities and other students, without being in athletics.” Mero said.

From top to bottom: The finale of “A Taste of Broadway”; Aviera Vogel pitches in; from left to right, Tess Korsmo, Amanda Jensen and Emily Herbig sing “Tell Me More.” -DL

International Folk Festival time again
The 13th Annual International Folk Festival, sponsored by the Skagway Fine Arts Council, is coming to the Presbyterian Church April 25 at 7 p.m. The traditional potluck will be held that night at 5:30 p.m. to give the audience a chance to have dinner with the performers.
Spinning off from the Juneau Folk Festival from the weekend before, the festival is international because on April 26 at 7 p.m. Yukon Time, it moves across the border into Whitehorse for a performance with Yukon folk singers at the Union Church.
This year, the council’s Barb Kalen says, a full blue grass band will play here for the first time ever!

The new mural created by Barrett and students can be seen at the end of the hallway leading to the music room and rest rooms. -DL

Muralist combines Alaskan past with present

Muralist and art instructor Lisa Barrett recently came to Skagway from Newington, Conn., as an Artist in Residence at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. She presented her work to the public and talked about her art March 25 at the parks visitor center. Her presentation, “Touched by Art,” told about her life with art and how she came to Alaska, and showed several of her pieces and described the different techniques she used.
Barrett has worked for over a decade with communities, schools, and institutional audiences though her art. Skagway’s rich history captured her attention, and her final artwork for the park was a painting about Dead Horse Gulch with three horses hovering over a mountain scene. This program is funded by the National Park Service with support from the Skagway Fine Arts Council.
“My favorite subjects are animals and scenic images, and to work with children to bring these images alive though artistic awareness to make their lives is truly meaningful,” said Barrett.
She collaborated with the children at Skagway School and painted two totem poles by the music room, titling it “Time to Bind the Generations.”
The subject of the totems is represented by historical Native Tlingit symbols as well as modern symbols of the “newer” generation. The larger totem pole represents the older generation of Tlingit members, using mainly Tlingit symbols, with the Raven on top of this totem pole, stealing the sun. Below the sun is a traditional Elder wearing a chief’s hat with three bands, representing how many potlatches he has attended.
On the bottom of the totem pole is the modern symbol of a clock, to “bind together the generations.”
The smaller pole is the newer generation. The main symbol is a panther holding a basketball. At the bottom is a musical note, with panther paws going across the base.
Barrett lived here for a month to “get the feel of the place” and to come up with a theme for the painting she donated to the Park.
While reading up on Skagway’s history, she saw the tale of Dead Horse Gulch: “It hit me hard,” she said.
“When I read that 6,000 horses died on that trail, I knew that’s what my painting had to be about,” she told her audience.
She wrote a poem about the tragic tale and how they are now commemorated through her painting, which is now on display at the Park’s visitor center.
And Barrett loved Skagway.
“I would love to come back again to enjoy everything all over again,” she said. “This place is so special, people just don’t realize how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful place.”