PUBLISHED: 3:54 PM on Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Muñoz named distinguished artist
Rasmuson Foundation's 2007 Individual Artist Awards

Courtesy images
  Rie Muñoz is recognized as Rasmuson Foundation's 2007 distinguished artist at a reception May 9.
In recognition of her signature ability to capture Alaska's people and day-to-day activities, as well as her dedication to documenting village life, prominent painter and printmaker Rie Muñoz is the Rasmuson Foundation's 2007 Distinguished Artist. Muñoz intends to use the $25,000 to revisit many of the remote villages of Alaska that she painted earlier in her career.

Six artists received $12,000 Fellowship Awards: Margaret Abraham, folk and traditional (Yup'ik), Anchorage; Janice Criswell, folk and traditional (Tlingit and Haida), Juneau; Norman Jackson, folk and traditional (Tlingit), Ketchikan; Nancy Lord, literary arts and scriptworks (creative non-fiction), Homer; John Morgan, literary arts and scriptworks (poetry), Fairbanks; and Fran Reed, crafts (fish skin works), Anchorage.

In addition, 12 artists received Individual Artist Project Awards: Diane Baxter, new genre (clay and sound), Juneau, $4,080; Kevin Co, media arts (videography), Homer, $5,000; Sandra Gillespie, visual arts (painter), Ester, $5,000; Stephen Gray, visual arts (photography), Anchorage, $5,000; Stefan Hakenberg, music composition, Juneau, $5,000; Robert Hook, crafts (blacksmith), North Pole, $4,830; Steven Kahn, literary arts and scriptworks (creative non-fiction), Port Alsworth, $5,000; John Leo, performance art, Juneau, $5,000; Ryan Olson, visual arts (photographer), Anchorage, $5,000; Nicole Stellon O'Donnell, literary arts and scriptworks (poetry), Fairbanks, $5,000; Tim Thomas, visual arts (photography), Anchorage, $5,000; and David Walker, crafts (woodworking), Juneau, $5,000.

  Muñoz's work depicts life across Alaska, as can be seen in her piece "Bear In Town".
Distinguished Artist recipient Muñoz, who lives in Juneau, came to the state in the 1950s and traveled as a teacher across the state. In the 1970s she was one of the few fulltime artists (and one of two women working fulltime as an artist) supporting herself in Alaska. Muñoz conducts field sketches in rural Alaska that reflect her unique style and ordinary rural living; her goal is to document village life as it is today.

Her work is carried in over 200 galleries throughout Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and many other states, as well as galleries in Canada. In 1992, Muñoz opened her own gallery, Rie Muñoz Gallery, in Juneau, Alaska. Muñoz received the Alaska State Council on the Arts 2004 Governor's Award for Individual Artist. In 2003, she was named Western Washington Fair Association's Artist of the Year. At 83-years-old, Muñoz continues to paint 30-40 original watercolors a year.

The Individual Artist Awards is a program of the Arts and Culture Initiative, a ten-year $20 million investment to increase the impact of arts in Alaska. The awards are intended to provide artists with the resources to concentrate and reflect on their work, to immerse themselves in a creative endeavor, and to experiment, explore, and develop their artistry more fully. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $684,000 for 4 Distinguished Artist Awards; 25 Fellowship Awards; and 71 Project Awards.

The next deadline for Project Award applications is September 1, 2007 (postmark deadline). More information is available at the Foundation's Web site or by calling Victoria Lord at 907-297-2827 or toll-free 1-877-366-2700.

The Rasmuson Foundation was created in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband "E.A." Rasmuson. The Foundation is a catalyst to promote a better life for all Alaskans.