PUBLISHED: 7:01 PM on Wednesday, November 5, 2008
A colorful 'Canvas' of offerings this month
JUNEAU - The Canvas has broadened the scope of its events for the months of November and December to include more family activities, a range of classes that appeal to all ages, and evening entertainment for adults. As the holiday season commences, The Canvas' schedule is full of diversions from the chilling weather.

First Friday will showcase the oil paintings of Magil Pratt. The opening will take place Nov. 7 from 4:30 to 7 p.m., and Pratt's show will be on display throughout the month.

  Painting by Magil Pratt, courtesy of the Canvas
"I strive to express my version of what I see in a spontaneous way with fresh brushstrokes," said Pratt of her work. "I struggle with finding the balance between simplicity and excess detail."

Also showcased at The Canvas this month will be a Third Thursday music event on Nov. 20 at which classical guitarist Dan Hopson and The Little Black Raincloud Company will perform. This is a pay as you can event starting at 7 p.m., and Pie in the Sky will be open by 6:30 p.m. so that attendees can get coffee and treats before the show begins.

Many of the events this month will bring together community members, artists and visitors alike. One of the things that has made The Canvas successful is the high level of community interest and collaborations between artists and the center, said Program Director MK MacNaughton.

"Events are planned by the community," MacNaughton said. "People come in to suggest classes, or ask how they can be involved. We also have many opportunities arise for collaborations, like those coming up this month with UAS and Perseverance Theater."

The UAS collaboration is the Pottery Demonstration that will take place on Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. Visiting ceramics artists Josh DeWeese (Montana State University), Liz Zacher (Ohio State University), and Ted Adler (Wichita State University) will be demonstrating pottery and ceramics techniques and fielding questions from participants. This event will be part of the 20/20 Vision Ceramics Symposia & Invitational Exhibit in connection with UAS.

Perseverance Theater will also be working with The Canvas to produce a performance of the REACH acting class' short play, "The Little Red Riding Hood," on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Perseverance Theater.

"This performance demonstrates what people with disabilities have to contribute to the community," said Canvas Director Annie Geselle. "It is inspiring to see people do things that are unexpected, to see what is possible."

One of the performers has created the promotional posters for the show, and the cast has been practicing once a week for several weeks to prepare for the show, MacNaughton said.

For those who are interested in supporting the community events and classes that The Canvas provides, there will be a "Music & Wine by Lamplight" fundraising event on Nov. 14h from 5 to 9 p.m. Attendees can look forward to live music, a no-host bar, and 100 lamps made by REACH students and community members available for sale.

"Nice, unusual wines from Specialty Imports will be available by the glass," MacNaughton said.

She also talked about the importance of these types of fundraisers in order to provide classes and events at affordable, and often pay-as-you-can, prices. Funds raised will go to instructor fees, supplies, and scholarships for REACH students, among other things.

"The Canvas is a safe space that appeals to a diverse crowd," Geselle said. "Everyone that comes is honored and respected. The atmosphere is not competitive, but supportive and an invitation is always open to anyone in the public that wants to be involved."

Look for The Canvas' booth at the Public Market November 28 - 30. Schedules of upcoming events are available at The Canvas at 233 Seward Street. For more information call 586-1750 or visit