Friday, May 28, 2010
This week, Brian and I were thrilled to find out that I was a finalist in New Millennium Writing's 2010 Short Fiction Writing Competition for my short-short, "Fork You." There were over 1,500 entries, so although my piece only received an honorable mention, I am proud. It will be published in the litmag in December, so we'll keep you posted!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
This week, Brian and I visited the Tap Root's new location, currently undergoing drastic renovations, and met with owner Becca Mohlman to discuss the move and her future aspirations for the club.
When I first heard of the Tap Root Cafe, it sounded like the clever name an aspiring bar-owner might have carried around on a napkin in his pocket for years, just waiting to drop the punch line. But the proprietor, who happens to be a woman, actually had no idea she'd start what would become one of the hottest music venues and bars in Anchorage if you'd asked her a decade ago.
Read the full article here in the Anchorage Daily News.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
2010 © Ashley Skabar
Last night, Brian and I found ourselves at the Anchorage Museum again shooting as a team for the opening of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. For me, it was a nice break from the several articles that will be deadlining for me this week; holding lights for Brian sounds like work, but it isn't, really. I sincerely love watching him make photographs.
We knew that Brian had several 6' panels in the show as well as a few small details, but we were pleasantly surprised to see that one of his photos was printed as a 15' x 13' mural as part of the permanent collection. Good day!
Today, we had another small collaborative piece (his bio photo) in the Anchorage Daily News' new monthly publication 61 ° North, in which two of Brian's photos accompanied leading features. I had assisted Brian on the shoots earlier this spring, and although it wasn't that long ago, we've been so busy that we had almost forgotten that they were going to be published this month. Neither of us had had any idea that the publication would be so nice. Great job, ADN!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
2010 © Ash Skabar
2010 © Brian Adams
Last night, Brian and I photographed the private opening of the Anchorage Museum's Imaginarium Discovery Center, a new addition complete with a planetarium and other interactive pieces meant to inspire and encourage discovery of the world around us. The event was bubbling with excitement; donors, science writers, artists, museum supporters and children munched on appetizers around tables centerpieced with glass bowls frothing with colored freeze-dried ice before the speakers introduced the new exhibition and opened its gates.
Brian took photos digitally with a radio slave attachment while I held an off-camera flash with a soft box to light speakers and attendees. We weren't standing together, but we were working on the same photograph. It was fun.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
When times are grim--artistically, economically, politically or otherwise--it is always so encouraging to meet with other progressive, intelligent people working toward solutions. For Brian and I, this weekend's Emerging Leaders Dialogue was refreshing; nearly 100 young leaders convened on the beautiful island of Sitka, Alaska to discuss the ways in which we can work together to better this state that we love.
The conference could not have been more timely; while Alaskans mourn the death of visionary and former governor Wally Hickel, positive ideas from a group of up-and-coming visionaries and leaders at a conference organized by Institute of the North, an organization founded by Hickel, is just what Alaska needs.
Read more here on the Tundra Telegraph.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
2010 © Brian Adams
A story Brian and I worked on together last week appeared in today's Anchorage Daily News, highlighting a new modern dance company in town, Pulse.
The Company's style is, like their mission, definitively modern: the performance, danced in several movements to a diverse collection of musical pieces, beginning with a hip-hop mash-up and journeying to a classical number, was marked by high-energy bursts pitted between dramatic expression. Dancers freeze while others ghostly swoon between bodies, limbs sharply thrust into the air and then dissolve into relax, the ensemble disperses just after meeting together in one undulating body. It was a performance much in the style of ballets choreographed by William Forsythe or Christopher Wheeldon; there is so much to look at at any given moment, yet to sit back and watch the performance as a whole is the ultimate goal, all of the inflections of diverse motion contributing to one beautiful swell of movement and sound.
Read the full article here.
The weight of Alaska's issues, national issues, and global issues can often seem overwhelming to those committed to change them, especially when generational and cultural differences create divides that further distance citizens from one another.
Today, Brian and I were privileged to participate in Institute of the North's Emerging Leaders Dialogue conference, attended by a group of nearly 100 emerging leaders in various fields within Alaska such as economic development, resource conservation, resource development, educational administration and development, community organizing and planning, arts, forestry, and legislation, where we met for and presented lectures regarding new innovative ways to encourage positive growth in Alaska. We focused on ways in which we can often operate as islands, in the sense that we, as Alaskans, are all islanded from the rest of our country, as well as addressing the islands we create within our own communities, and we discussed ways that we can bridge these "islands" to come to resolutions that will work for the greater good while still benefiting independent entities. "Cooperatition" is a term that was thrown out into the crowd by one of the attendees, and it's on point; in a room filled with artists, educators, policy-makers, economic developers, and conservationists along with proponents of Pebble Mine and oil, this is exactly what we, as emerging leaders, need to think about: how can we work together for the greater good while seeking to grow our individual industries?
All photos 2010 © Brian Adams
For our part, Brian and I presented a body of work from our project this spring in Shishmaref, an island in Northwest Alaska currently undergoing climate change-induced global erosion.
To read more about the project, you can read several articles posted on Tundra Telegraph and the Alaska Dispatch:
Thursday, May 13, 2010
2010 © brian adams
Humid and swelling with verdant life beneath intermittent showers of rain, Sitka is a breathtaking place in spring. The town is awakening after the long winter, the doors to restaurants and souvenir shops swung open like tiny yawns. The cruise ships can be seen throughout the day coming in after their long stretches; tourists meander through the streets in silly hats and brightly colored coats. The locals eye Brian and I with both the welcome and disdain we understand all too well: This is our home, they seem to say. You may find it beautiful, but you cannot possibly love it as we do. We do not own this place, as no one can own the earth, but we believe in this place enough to live here.
Brian and I are here to speak at and cover Institute of the North's Emerging Leaders Dialogue conference, where more than 100 young leaders in Alaska's communities will be meeting today, tomorrow, and Saturday to discuss various ways in which we can better our state, focusing on the idea that local internal assets bolster the strengths of our communities and the ways in which we, as Alaskans, are all connected by the issues we face.
These are just a few photos from our first two days here, taken traipsing around the town, along the coast, and through the grandeur of the historical Totem park.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
2010 © brian adams
On Friday night, Brian and I attended a dinner benefit for Joseph Vang, a seven-year-old in Muldoon currently battling a brain tumor located at the base of his skull. Although he had an operation that removed most of the aggressive tumor last year, he is currently awaiting a Proton Therapy treatment to remove the rest of the growth, which, if left untreated could spread to his lungs.
At present, there are only two facilities in the country with the ability to perform the six-week-long therapy on children, and one, Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center, has rejected the family's out-of-state insurance. The Vangs are now awaiting Massachusetts General's response to their request.
Even in the face of struggle, however, the benefit dinner was a celebration of cultural flavors, featuring multicultural dancing as well as foods that honored the Vang family's Hmong heritage, such as a whole roasted pig donated by Active Inspections. It was a beautiful display of cultures and community coming together in a difficult time, and Brian and I were happy to cover the event.
Read the article here on Tundra Telegraph.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
2010 © brian adams
In preparation for a documentary hunting trip Brian and I will be taking this summer to Kotzebue, AK, we have been preparing all sorts of recipes with caribou meat during the past two months, but we had yet to make anything with the bones. Last week, we were thrilled to take home two boxes of caribou bones donated by Indian Valley Meats, and although we had a plethora of ideas, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. Roasted bone marrow is a very special meal to me, and it's one that I was thrilled to share with Brian for the first time on our trip to New York last December at my favorite NYC restaurant, Prune, but I had only ever enjoyed marrow from lamb and cow bones, so I was curious to taste the different flavors from the bones of Alaskan caribou.
In a word, they were amazing, especially with a simple parsley salad, a pile of Hawaiian sea salt, and crusty bread. To read the full article on our roasted caribou bones feat, check out the piece on the Tundra Telegraph.
Photo © 2010 Brian Adams
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Photographer Brian Adams
2009 © Ashley Skabar
Writer Ashley Skabar
2010 © Brian Adams
We are two artists who live, work and love together, and although you might think that that would get boring, it doesn't. We have been together since the day we met (I moved in the following day), and we inspire one another to create our individual arts while constantly seeking out projects to undertake as a team. We love life and each other, and we want to see and document as much as we can while we're here. We hope that you will enjoy the read and the ride of our journeys.