Community Art Show exhibits Aleutian artists’ photography, woodworking, and more
Unalaska’s 31st annual Community Art Show is on display at the Museum of the Aleutians.
Organized by the Aleutian Arts Council, the show features work by nearly 30 artists, all of whom live or have lived in the Aleutian Islands.
The exhibit opened last month, with a reception attended by dozens of Unalaskans and a musical performance by artist Tori Guadarrama. She debuted an original song, on the ukulele, that she’d worked on it for about a year.
“I always write songs for other people, because it’s fun and I think it’s really cute,” said Guadarrama. "But then I was like, no one ever writes a song about me. And I was like, I’ll just write a song about me! It’s the song I wish someone would write for me.”
The self-expression, skill, and diversity of local artists has made for a strong 2023 show, said Stacy Alvarado, one of the lead curators.
“We have so many new artists that are new to our community, and they have new art up, and we have different mediums this year,” said Alvarado. “So I was really, really excited.”
In addition to work by Guadarrama and Alvarado, the show includes pieces by Albert Burnham, Amy Dandridge, Asusena Alvarado, Audrey Southworth, Beth Whitaker, Brenna Aliment, Brie McGrath, Carlos Tayag, Carolyn Reed, Christine King, Cyri Thompson, Jennifer Heller, Jim Paulin, Karley Parker, Kim McNett, Kristipher Salvador, Lea Edwards, Loren Eakins, Lynda Lybeck-Robinson, Matt Lightner, Shelby Shaishnikoff, Teresa Worthy, and William B. Malpass.
Artist Reise Wayner also has several pieces in the exhibit: a necklace strung with beads and cow’s tooth; a frame that holds a painting by artist Katherine Finn Wayner, his wife; and a detailed bone carving of a feather.
“I’ve got a couple of different bone types and some different teeth that I work with,” said Wayner. “The natural materials — they have a life of their own, and they have beauty inherently in them. I like to try to showcase that.”
Wayner said his inspiration often comes from the natural qualities of his materials, collaborations with his family, and the world around him.
“I just like making patterns and matching colors, and I don’t think about it too hard. Because I think about things that are difficult the rest of the part of the day,” he said. “When I’m creating, I want it to be just pure expression.”
Open until May 20 at the museum, the Community Art Show features paintings, photography, poetry, woodworking, fiber arts, ceramics, and more.
Some of the artwork is for sale at an online auction, and the bidding is underway.
Some artists have pledged to donate the proceeds from their pieces to the family of the late Charlene Malepeai Mamea, an Unalaska resident who died shortly before the exhibit opened.