Mat-Su College commemorates Machetanz's 104th birthday

by Jamie Gonzales  |   

Fred Machetanz 104th birthdayOn Monday, Feb. 20, Mat-Su College commemorated what would have been artist and college supporter Fred Machetanz's 104th birthday. The party was hosted and sponsored by TEAM ART, a student art club. Machetanz died in 2002, leaving behind an art legacy with his many generous contributions to the college. A video of his life was shown during the reception.

Mat-Su College also hosts an annual Summer Arts Festival in Machetanz's honor on June 2 to encourage all art lovers to increase their artistic skills.

Photo by Kerry Johnson. Johnson says, "I had always been a fan of Mr. Machetanz-his capture of light and likeness is something I endeavor to do with film. I photographed him at his home on High Ridge near Palmer, Alaska. It was early spring and I was a student of Arnold Newman who taught me to capture my subjects 'in their environment.' I set up my equipment while we talked, and I believe I only took four exposures. This was the second exposure. I used available light with my 4X5 Sinar and asked Mr. Machetanz to hold his pose for a long exposure (one second). I really think I captured his persona just right: I enjoy the way his hands look, along with the texture of his sweater. I especially like the way the light caught his eyebrow. He is actually kind of grinning."

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