A&E Briefs

‘Cost of War to Alaska’ exhibit opens eyes to human loss

More than 100 pairs of combat boots were displayed in Town Square Park on Oct. 13. The traveling exhibit “Eyes Wide Open: The Cost of War to Alaska” memorialized Alaska residents and Alaska-based servicemen and women who died in war. The exhibit had more than 250 pairs of shoes that represented Iraqi civilian casualties.

Tyler Brelsford, who serves on the National Board of The American Friends Service Committee, part of the local Quaker Meeting, said he’s been overseeing the exhibit circulate nationally since it first opened 2004. There were 3,700 pairs of military boots on display this year, compared to 500 pairs in 2004. He said that they tried to bring the exhibit to Alaska last year when it was held in Seattle, but with over 3,000 boots, the logistics of traveling across Alaska put a halt to those plans. In May, the exhibit was spread out to circulate in separate cities.

“I think to some extent when you move to the state level, it personalizes it more, that people see the small towns in Alaska on the nametag,” said Brelsford. “In that respect, I think it brings it a little closer to home.”

Brelsford said that the primary reaction from the exhibit is that people are quiet in response to the number of boots attached with names, ages and hometowns. The exhibit is meant to be a quiet reflective of the event rather than a protest. He said that a number of families expressed appreciation about raising awareness on the extent of loss and brought mementos such as uniforms or family items as part of the national exhibit. Breslford stressed that the important message of the exhibit is to be conscious of the human costs, financial costs and costs to the next generation that come from a war.

Alaska Bead Society event demonstrates creativity in beadwork

The Alaska Bead Society held their annual bead event at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center Oct. 13-14. More than 50 Alaska Bead Society artists presented handcrafted beaded jewelry, glass beads and other beaded items for sale. The event featured beading and lampworking demonstrations, as well as a make-it-take-it table for participants to make a beaded item.

Lampworking is the art of making glass beads by heating rods of glass with lamps. The featured artist of the event was Terri Atwell, a local lampwork and free-form bead artist known for her complex and colorful beadwork.

“There’s a wide variety of talent,” said Alaska Bead Society member Elise Strauss. “People want to see unusual and unique, and this is the largest gathering of glassmakers at one time. People will never see this many lampworkers under one roof, so that’s really unique.”

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Clarinetist Mark Wolbers performed solo concert

UAA music professor Mark Wolbers performed a solo concert of clarinet works on Oct. 14 in the Fine Arts Building Recital Hall. His performance highlighted clarinet etudes, violin etudes, cornet solos and clarinet solos by Shih-Hui Chen and Miklos Rozsa.

Wolbers has an extensive background in performing and teaching music across Alaska. He serves as the division head for percussion and wind studies while also serving as the conductor of the University Wind Ensemble. Wolbers has performed with the Sitka Music Festival, Cross Sound, DeVere and Southwest String Quartets. During October, Wolbers offers a yearlong series of clarinet classes for sixth-grade students to excel in school music programs.