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Lots of art in a small area

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ANCHORAGE: Cruise city's galleries for works old and new.

Anchorage is home to Alaska's most diverse collections of art and Alaska's most diverse collective of artists. Even Anchorage's many galleries are diverse: from small and quirky to large and fancy, exclusively art, to art as a complement for food and drink.

If art is a part of your Alaska visit or if you'd simply like to see visual interpretations of Alaska's past, present and future, spend some time cruising downtown Anchorage. Here you'll find most of Anchorage's galleries spread over a little more than a square mile, and see many of Alaska's artists' most popular muses -- mountains and wildlife, people and cityscapes -- depicted in modern and traditional modes.

A perfect way to visit multiple galleries, view many artists, see new exhibits and hang out with local art nuts and nutty local artists is to take in Anchorage's monthly First Friday Art Walk. Most local galleries host openings on every month's First Friday, as do a handful of non-galleries such as coffee shops, restaurants and bars -- even the occasional yoga studio. Events are typically free and laid back with snacks and drinks, and most shows are downtown, meaning you can easily stroll from spot to spot. For First Friday listings, check the Friday edition of the Anchorage Daily News.

Here's a lineup of popular art galleries and exhibitors around the Anchorage area:

The Anchorage Museum

The heart of Alaska art is downtown in this world-class museum, which offers the state's largest art collection and is packed with the works of legends and up-and-comers. You'll be wowed at every step, from Sydney Laurence's massive painting of Mount McKinley to Native art and traveling shows.

WHERE: 625 C St.

WHEN: Summer: May 1 through Sept. 30, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Winter: Oct. 1 through April 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday.

COST: $12 adults, $9 senior/military/students with ID, $7 Ages 3-12, free 2 and younger.

PHONE: 929-9200

WEB: www.anchoragemuseum.org

Alaska Native Arts Foundation

Traditional and contemporary Alaska Native arts balance in a beautiful downtown gallery.

WHERE: 500 W. Sixth Ave.

WHEN: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

PHONE: 258-2623

WEB: www.alaskanativearts.org

Artic Rose Gallery

This downtown destination has a wide range of Alaska pieces, from paintings to photography to glass to jewelry and more. It's also the display home of many popular local artists, including Jon Van Zyle, Alaska's official Iditarod artist.

WHERE: 420 L St.

WHEN: Noon-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

PHONE: 279-3911

WEB: www.articrosegallery.com

Arctic Treasures Trading Post

Take a stroll through old-school Alaska arts at this shop, which has ivory carvings, fur hats and even custom-made knives.

WHERE: 328 W. Fourth Ave.

WHEN: Summer: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Winter: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.

PHONE: 277-9020

Artique, Ltd.

A local favorite and a showcase for countless artists for more than 40 years, this gallery offers the work of premier painters like Byron Birdsall and Barbara Lavallee, as well as art in many other mediums by many other artists.

WHERE: 314 G St.

WHEN: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday

PHONE: 277-1663, 800-848-1312

WEb: www.artiqueltd.com

Aurora Fine Art Gallery

From paint to pottery, carvings to crafts, this gallery offers pieces by Alaskans from all over the state, including the popular and often sassy prints of Fairbanks' Sandy Jamieson.

WHERE: 737 W. Fifth Ave.

WHEN: Summer: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Winter: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, closed Sunday.

PHONE: 274-0234

Boreal Traditions

Anchorage's finest hotel also houses some of Alaska's finest art.

WHERE: Inside the Hotel Captain Cook, 939 W. Fifth Ave., Suite J

WHEN: Summer: 9 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Winter: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

PHONE: 276-1644

Dos Manos Gallery

This co-op shop offers the hip and haute of Alaska's modern artists, from jewelry that will make a girlfriend swoon, to hoodies and shirts that all the cool kids are wearing, to driftwood candle holders that will Alaska-fy any urban dwelling.

WHERE: 1317 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Suite 3

WHEN: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

PHONE: 569-6800

WEB: www.dosmanosgallery.com

International Gallery of Contemporary Art

A revolving-door exhibit space that always colors outside the lines, the IGCA hosts openings for local and world artists in "visual and interdisciplinary arts" and is a must-see on First Fridays.

WHERE: 427 D St.

WHEN: Noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, and often closed Tuesday-Thursday in the weeks of First Friday openings

PHONE: 279-1116

WEB: www.igcaalaska.org

The Rusty Harpoon

More gift shop than art gallery, this local fixture offers a wide variety of Alaska Native art, carvings, jewelry and more from around the state.

WHERE: 411 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 12

WHEN: Summer: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Winter: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday

PHONE: 278-9011

WEB: www.rustyharpoongifts.com

Sevigny Studio/Gallery

The downtown working space of popular Alaska artist Katie Sevigny is also a shop for many hip Alaska artists and pieces.

WHERE: 608 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 101

WHEN: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday

PHONE: 258-2787

WEB: www.katiesevignyart.org

Stephan Fine Arts Gallery

For more than 30 years, the Stephan family has offered some of the most interesting takes on Alaska art, and some of Alaska art's best framing. The gallery is also a popular First Friday destination.

WHERE: Inside the Hotel Captain Cook, 939 W. Fifth Ave., Suite D

WHEN: Summer: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Winter: Noon-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

PHONE: 274-5009

WEB: www.stephanfinearts.com

Two Spirits Gallery

You'll see a vast mix of contemporary and traditional art made by Alaska Native artists here, and you might even see art created before your eyes as locals work on pieces in the space.

WHERE: In the Fourth Avenue Market Place building, 333 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 211

WHEN: Summer (May 15-Sept. 15): 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Winter: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday.

PHONE: 277-3334, 277-3453

WEB: www.twospiritsgallery.com

2 Friends Gallery

One of Anchorage's most imaginative collections of art and crafts is located in Midtown, where you can find everything from classic Alaska paintings to eye-stopping items to wear.

WHERE: 341 E. Benson Blvd.

WHEN: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

PHONE: 277-0404

WEB: 2friendsgallery.com

University of Alaska Anchorage: Kimura Gallery, UAA Student Union Gallery and Arc Gallery in the Consortium Library

A stroll around the University of Alaska Anchorage campus and a stop at these venues will let you see art from Alaska's legends, standout students and future stars of the UAA Department of Art.

WHERE: All on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus on Providence Drive; the Kimura Gallery is in the UAA Fine Arts Building; the UAA Student Union Gallery is the campus Student Union; other works appear in the Consortium Library.

WHEN: Varied depending on time of the school year.

Alaska Pacific University: ConocoPhillips Gallery in Grant Hall, Carr Gottstein Gallery

Some of Anchorage's, and Alaska's, most fascinating artists present their pieces in these campus spaces.

WHERE: Main foyers of APU's ConocoPhillips Gallery in Grant Hall and Carr Gottstein Building Gallery.

WHEN: Varying, depending on the event and time of the school year

PHONE: 561-1266

OTHER GALLERIES TO VISIT

Firefly Arts

Collective in historic Anchorage home offers paintings, sculptures and arty note cards, many with an Alaska theme.

WHERE: 419 L St.

PHONE: 334-9979

Fiddlehead Gallery

WHERE: 706 W. Fourth Ave.

PHONE: 258-3376

Heritage Art & Frames

WHERE: 2611 Fairbanks St.

PHONE: 563-7555

WEB: www.heritageartandframes.com

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