An old church stands in Adak. Photos taken by Chris Peloso during a trip to the mostly abandoned city that formerly housed a military base will be part of the “I’m Lost here w/o you” exhibition at Devil’s Club Brewing Co. (Courtesy Photo | Chris Peloso)

An old church stands in Adak. Photos taken by Chris Peloso during a trip to the mostly abandoned city that formerly housed a military base will be part of the “I’m Lost here w/o you” exhibition at Devil’s Club Brewing Co. (Courtesy Photo | Chris Peloso)

‘Weird, eerie’ photos of Alaska’s old abandoned buildings on display in Juneau

Juneauite’s trip to Adak part of First Friday happenings

When Chris Peloso moved to Alaska eight years ago, he wasn’t sure how long he’d stay.

Peloso said in an interview with the Capital City Weekly that made him particularly interested in getting to parts of the state he would never visit if he didn’t live here and have access to frequent flyer miles.

“I realized Alaska is very big, very remote and kind of strange,” Peloso said.

Chris Peloso peaks out from behind a rusted door during a trip to Adak. Photos from that trip will be part of the “I’m Lost here w/o you” exhibition at Devil’s Club Brewing Co. (Courtesy Photo | Chris Peloso)

Chris Peloso peaks out from behind a rusted door during a trip to Adak. Photos from that trip will be part of the “I’m Lost here w/o you” exhibition at Devil’s Club Brewing Co. (Courtesy Photo | Chris Peloso)

That realization rang particularly true during a trip to Adak, Peloso said. The city of about 330 people is located at the far southwestern tip of Alaska and was formerly the site of an Army base and home to more than 6,000 people.

“What Adak really reminded me of was the TV show ‘Lost’ or if you were making this zombie apocalypse movie, it would be perfect for that,” Peloso said. “It’s just a really weird and eerie experience. You can really see what the world would be like after you left.”

Photos Peloso took two years ago during that trip will be featured at a First Friday showing 5-8 p.m. at Devil’s Club Brewing Co. This is the first time the photos will be publicly shown, and they will remain up throughout the month.

Peloso said he’s not normally into urban exploration, but he does take photos for his webcomic, “tiny ghosts,” which like the collection hews toward the macabre and spooky.

During his time in Adak, Peloso said a couple of experiences stood out.

One was a letter he found, which will be incorporated into the show.

“It’s just the saddest letter about how alone and isolated she feels out there,” Peloso said.

… on this stupid rock; rotting in the galley and your there in Gainesville getting bounced around. I should be there w/you; Even if I was just holding your hand down the hallway leading to a classroom. I hope we never have to go thru this again… I won’t let it happen again. I’m lost here w/out you. This place has be so far gone it’s not even worth getting up in the morning anymore. All I can do is dream of the time when I’m home & in your arms again planning out wedding together. Then, & only then, will I be happy. I mean, planning a wedding by myself won’t be fun. I want you there too, to help. I want your input on this one honey. Remember, it’s not just my wedding it’s your’s too. Anyway, always remember that I not only love you, I adore you! You’re my whole existence. I didn’t feel this way about anyone before you. Believe me honey, nobody has ever taught me, to just be me the way you have. No, Arnie didn’t teach me that. He only wanted a piece of pleasure, nothing more. He never really made me as happy as you have. The happiness you have brought me can’t be equaled by anything anyone else has given me.

I love you, remember that & I’ll believe you care about me; deal?!

– a letter found in Adak

However, someone who embraced the isolation was also memorable.

“There’s one restaurant in town, and it’s a Mexican restaurant,” Peloso said. “I asked her why she had a restaurant in Adak. She said she used to live in Portland, and she moved out there because she liked the solitude.”

First Friday schedule

Peloso will be far from alone on the First Friday schedule.

Here’s a full run down of the art, music and more that will be part of the Friday night happenings.

JAHC: Carole Baker, 350 Whittier St, 4:30-7 p.m. Carole Baker has at times concentrated on still life or botanical paintings, but the meadows, forests and shorelines of Gustavus, her home of almost 45 years, have been her most constant subjects. Baker decided to return to an old practice: painting a small watercolor every day. Although she didn’t paint every single day, by the end of the twelve months she had over 300 little paintings. For this show, she will have temporarily mounted over 200 of these together in large frames.

Exhibit up through the month.

The Davis Gallery: JACC Artist Spotlight, Centennial Hall 101 Egan Drive, 4-7 p.m.

The Davis gallery will feature artwork from some of the JACC’s Lobby Shop artists and vendors. Swing by to check out what’s new this First Friday and get 10 percent off.

Exhibit up through the month.

Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum: Portable Planetarium shows with the Marie Drake Planetarium, 395 Whittier St., 4:30-7 p.m. July 20 is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Kick off the moon celebration with a portable planetarium show for kids with the Marie Drake Planetarium. Shows start at 4:30, 5:15 and 6 p.m. The Alaska State Museum will offer free admission from 4:30-7 p.m. and is featuring the continuing summer exhibit Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline by Ray Troll and Kirk Johnson.

First Friday only.

Coppa: Crystal Cudworth, 917 Glacier Ave. No. 102, 4-6 p.m. Paintings on display by Crystal Cudworth show her ambitious body of work since moving to Alaska three years ago. Large and small-scaled paintings immerse one into the natural environment surrounding the city of Juneau. Coppa is also soliciting entries for its Summer Kids Art Show which will displayed in its cafe for the month of August. To enter, artists should submit their work here: https://forms.gle/Nv3CWdqSxxSTKoZy5 . For more information, contact Marc Wheeler at marc@coppa.com.

Exhibit up through the month.

Sealaska Heritage: Featured artists Ricky Tagaban and Renee Culp, 124 Seward St., 4:30-8 p.m. Sealaska Heritage will feature two Tlingit artists in the lobby of the Walter Soboleff Building: Ricky Tagaban and Renee Culp. SHI will also offer free admission to its two exhibits — “Our Grandparents Names on the Land,” and “Yeil Yadi-Raven Child: A Nathan Jackson Retrospective.” The Sealaska Heritage Store will offer 10 percent off some items that are red, white or blue.

Exhibit up through the month.

Annie Kaill’s: Arnie Weimer, 124 Seward St., 4:30-8 p.m. Annie Kaill’s featured artist will be Arnie Weimer. Weimer is a local artist who can usually be found outside on any nice day working on a drawing or painting. He works in many mediums including oil paintings, watercolors, embossed prints, sculptures, jewelry and more.

Exhibit up through the month.

Rainy Retreat Books: Book Readings by Katie Bausler, Ann Boochever, Jim Hale, Sarah Isto, Bridget Smith, Jennifer Ward and Summer Koester, 133 Seward St., 4:30-7 p.m. This will be a collective book reading hosted by many Juneau authors. Snacks and drink will be provided.

First Friday only.

Rainforest Yoga: Lindsey Bloom, 171 Shattuck Way, Suite 202B, 5:15-6:15 p.m. This month’s free first Friday tasting will be with Lindsey Bloom. Bloom will lead a non-traditional movement practice for all levels including yoga first-timers. The 60-minute session will offer a sampling of cross-body patterning movements that are always incorporated in Bloom’s weekly classes on Thursday nights at Rainforest Yoga.

First Friday only.

Sequence Boardshop: Jason Vonda x DJ Cuco, 167 Shattuck Way, 4-7 p.m. Bro Model Shop Deck for a influential skateboarder of the mid to late ‘90s and early 2000s. Chopper was known for skating the streets of Southeast, hitting rails, gaps, stairs and eventually our local skatepark known as the pipeline. Sequence is presenting the first tribute board to someone that has influenced the streets of Southeast.

Exhibit up through the month.

Rainforest Custom Gallery: 1; Henry Webb, woodworker 2; Liam Penn blacksmith, Pop-Up by Sweet Song Chocolates, 406 S. Franklin St., 4:30-7 p.m. Woodworker and commercial fisherman Henry Webb will show his techniques for handcrafted furniture, blacksmith Liam Penn will be in discussing and showing tools and hand-forged knives along with other items, and there will be a pop-up store with handmade Sweet Song Chocolates. Locals receive 10 percent off.

First Friday only.

Harbor Tea & Spice: Bouquet of Flavor, 175 S. Franklin St, 4:30-7:30 p.m. People are invited to stop by and see how creative this unique bouquet of flavors can make their own kitchen creations blossom.

First Friday only.

Amalga Distillery: Eric Nyffeler, 135 N. Franklin S.t, 4:30-7 p.m. Eric Nyffeler is a designer/illustrator/human/living denim jacket who specializes in editorial and commercial illustration, screen printed posters, branding and tasteless jokes. He is currently based in the Pacific Northwest, but spent his formative years in American Heartland.

First Friday only.

Kindred Post: Sound Bar with Jacob Pickard, 145 S. Franklin St, 4:30-7 p.m. People can make noise, drum rhythms, and push buttons on our Sound Bar as local artist Jacob Pickard mixes a live community soundtrack.

First Friday only.

Juneau Artists Gallery: Lue Isaac, Painter, Senate Building, 175 S. Franklin St. 4:30-8 p.m. Award-winning artist Lue Isaac is the featured artist for the month of July. Her paintings and sketches have eye-catching movement and quality. Lue has started Saturday morning painting classes from 9 a.m.-noon at Gruening Park.

Exhibit up through the month.

Lue Isaac’s artwork will be featured at the Juneau Artists Gallery for First Friday. (Courtesy Photo | Lue Isaac)

Lue Isaac’s artwork will be featured at the Juneau Artists Gallery for First Friday. (Courtesy Photo | Lue Isaac)

Lue Isaac’s artwork will be featured at the Juneau Artists Gallery for First Friday. (Courtesy Photo | Lue Isaac)

Lue Isaac’s artwork will be featured at the Juneau Artists Gallery for First Friday. (Courtesy Photo | Lue Isaac)

Barnaby Brewing: Jacqui Tingey, 165 Shattuck Way, 4:30-8 p.m. This is Jacqui Tingey’s first ever art show. Tingey is self-taught and loves experimenting with different techniques. Her show titled “Mermaids” uses watercolor.

Exhibit up through the month.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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