Avery Skaggs works on a painting. Skaggs’ work will be featured in an exhibit at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum that is opening on First Friday. (Courtesy Photo)

Avery Skaggs works on a painting. Skaggs’ work will be featured in an exhibit at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum that is opening on First Friday. (Courtesy Photo)

Here’s what’s happening for First Friday

The first Friday of 2022 brings a handful of arts-and-culture-connected events to downtown Juneau.

Here’s a schedule of events provided by the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, which organizes the monthly events.

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council: Clayton Hamilton & Liyuan Zhang, 350 Whittier Street, 4:30-7 p.m.

The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council presents “Fishing Line Design” by Clayton Hamilton and “Winter Sunshine” by Liyuan Zhang, which will open during January First Friday and be on exhibit through the month.

“Fishing Line Design” features new works by artist Clayton Hamilton. His repurposed retired fishing line finds new life as rugs, bowls, and baskets — and hopefully makes viewers think about marine debris and the trash we leave behind. “Winter Sunshine” features new and past works by artist Liyuan Zhang. In addition to a selection of Juneau landscapes, this exhibit looks at some of her early works, primarily still-life pastel paintings, which for the first time have been displayed in public.The exhibit will be up through the month.

Proof of vaccination and masks are required to attend.

The Juneau-Douglas City Museum: Avery Skaggs | Home: Disability & Creativity in a Pandemic Lockdown, 114 W. 4th St., 4:30-7 p.m. The exhibit will be up through the month.

For First Friday the city museum will host an opening reception for an exhibit by Avery Skaggs titled, “Home: Disability & Creativity in a Pandemic Lockdown.” This exhibit will be on display at the City Museum from Jan.7-28th. Masks must be worn inside the museum. Artwork will be for sale and other items by the artist will be available to purchase through the museum store.

Skaggs was born and raised in Juneau and began exploring paint as soon as he could sit upright in his wheelchair. His style is a form of action painting, often called abstract expressionism. He is non-verbal and his physical expressions through his paintings are both subtle and bold. Each piece engages Skaggs’ energy, which is at times close and contained to small hand gestures and at other times broad and reaching, sweeping across the canvas. The final outcome is a representation of his physical presence as captured over the course of days and months of work. Each piece is its own living entity, constantly in motion long after Skaggs has released his last stroke. He has exhibited for numerous solo and group shows in the capital city since 2010.

For over a decade, Skaggs has been able to create his art alongside friends and support staff at REACH’s Canvas studio four to five days a week. That continuity came to an abrupt halt on March 16, 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak shut everything down. Skaggs’ shared home, which includes a live-in support family, went on lockdown for six weeks. Additional staff moved into the home to provide healthcare services. No one came in or out during that strict quarantine time.

“Home: Disability & Creativity in a Pandemic Lockdown” is a body of works Skaggs created almost entirely in a newly-fashioned art studio in his garage, created by his health care professionals. It was a journey of figuring things out: wasting paint and going over canvases again and again. Much of his staff didn’t have experience with or aptitude for the art process. They learned and grew alongside Avery during this time. The pandemic year of 2020 was a strange year of simultaneous isolation and coming together.

Juneau Artists Gallery: Artist Search Event, 175 S. Franklin St., 4:30-6 p.m. Creating art is good for the soul and buying local art gives you good Karma, according to Juneau Artists Gallery. The gallery believes in fostering a creative spirit where Juneau artists support and inspire one another. It makes a space for quality art to be displayed and sold locally.

The Juneau Artists Gallery is inviting artists to come by to meet some of their artists and talk about joining their group. They will have information and applications on hand. Customers are invited to see the new, locally made creations of our talented members.

The gallery is on the ground floor of the Senate Building, 175 S. Franklin St.

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