Anchorage Museum Presents Rachelle Dowdy Sculpture Exhibition

On April 1, Fairbanks artist Rachelle Dowdy debuts her solo sculpture exhibition “Juggernauts,” which explores the collision of mankind and the natural world. This exhibition is on view April 1 through May 22 at the AnchorageMuseum.

Dowdy believes humans often view nature as a juggernaut, a destructive force to be controlled, when in actuality we are often the destroyers. She gives physical form to these dualities through sculptures of animals and animal-human hybrids, often mounted to mimic hunters’ trophies. As the daughter of a junkyard owner, she naturally gravitates toward construction materials such as plywood, concrete and nails.

“Rachelle’s work is a compelling combination of organic and industrial,” said Chief Curator Julie Decker. “The work is both direct and complex in its relationship with nature and the way it reveals the artist’s personal narrative.”

In 2000, Dowdy’s sister, Heather, died in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. It was a transforming experience for her as an artist. She began creating sculptures for a series she calls Baby Ravens, her grief and fear of birds fueling the work.

“I was inspired by these fetal ravens that were just mouth and fuzz, ugly things. They were always screaming,” Dowdy said. “They were self-portraits, a metaphor for how I was feeling.”

Dowdy has created public art for several prominent Anchorage locations. Her most recent is at the TedStevensInternationalAirport. “From Here to There and There to Here” is an installation depicting a dozen oversized geese “flying” the length of Concourse B. In 2006, Dowdy populated the KeyBankPlaza in front of the downtown Starbucks with a fox, black bear, moose and Canada goose, all with human torsos and legs.

Dowdy has a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She earned a Rasmuson Foundation fellowship in 2006. Her work is held in many collections including the AnchorageMuseum.

This exhibition is presented as part of the Patricia B. Wolf Solo Exhibition Series. The AnchorageMuseum is grateful to the Alaska State Council on the Arts; the National Endowment of the Arts, a federal agency; the Municipality of Anchorage; and the Anchorage Museum Foundation’s Alaska Airlines Silver Anniversary Fund for ongoing support of this solo exhibition series. For a list of Alaska artists recently chosen for future solo exhibitions, see the press release below dated 2/8/2011.

The AnchorageMuseum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to share and connect Alaska with the world through art, history and science. General admission is $12 adult, $9 senior/student/military, $7 ages 3 to 12, free ages 2 and younger. Learn more online at www.anchoragemuseum.org

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