by Michael Conti
November 14, 2014 - January 9, 2015
From the era of the ancient Greeks to modern times, sports have functioned as a "safe" form of stylized warfare with rules and boundaries.
Hockey is the only sport where the game is stopped to let the players duke it out with bare knuckles.
I think there must be a primitive, cathartic human need for violence, as old as the need for art: To experience it and to watch it.
This kind of activity takes its toll.
Michael Conti is a photographer and video artist based in Anchorage, Alaska. He was born in San Francisco, raised in Pennsylvania and came to Alaska at age 23 in search of adventure. He earned a BFA from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and an MFA from the Art Institute of Boston. He has received numerous awards for his photography and video including Best of Show in both No Big Heads 2011 and Rarified Light 2006. He has earned numerous honorable mentions in statewide juried shows such as Alaska Positive, Rarified Light and the All Alaska Juried Show.
Michael Conti's video work has been shown at the Nam June Paik Art Center in Seoul, South Korea, ContainR at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada and won awards at the Anchorage International Film Festival. In 2012, he will be mounting solo shows at both the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut and at the Student Union Gallery at UAA. He received a project award from the Rasmuson Foundation in 2006 and is a Connie Boocheever Fellow from the Alaska State Council on the Arts in 2011. He presently teaches photography, video and color at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
by Margret Hugi-Lewis
September 12 - October 31, 2014
This exhibit is entitled "Utopian Dreams" because that term captures, for me, the essence of the eclectic line drawings on walls and objects in the style of tattoos, presenting a surrealistic tableau.Mundane objects and familiar animals become bizarre in unfamiliar contexts.The exhibit is an installation done as a stage set to dramatize the objects as though they were props in a play.The scene is a tattoo parlor.
Margret Hugi-Lewis was born in Switzerland and trained at the Basel School of Art. She moved to the Ein Hod Artists’ Colony in Israel at the invitation of Dadaist Marcel Janco and worked in her studio there for over two decades before moving to Alaska in 1984.
In Alaska, Hugi-Lewis found inspiration in Native arts and saw her work becoming more and more three-dimensional and mixed media. She has been commissioned to produce a number of painted steel and/or aluminum metal sculptures in public buildings and parks in Alaska, Hawaii and Switzerland. In Bern, Switzerland, “The Guardian” is a painted totemic steel sculpture over 30 feet tall, 14 feet wide, and 2 ½ tons in weight. Hugi-Lewis has also produced numerous sculptures and paintings commissioned for private homes. She sells her work out of her gallery at the Hugi-Lewis Studio, 1008 W. Northern Lights Blvd., in Anchorage.
Hugi-Lewis is also a theatrical stage designer. She has designed and fabricated sets for Cyrano’s Theatre Company, the Performing Arts Center and UAA Theatre & Dance. It is the combination of her experience as a visual artist and a theatrical set designer that inspired the “Utopian Dream” installation here at UAA.