Petersburg artist presented at the Commons Gallery | Stage

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The exhibition is scheduled to run until January 10.

Lagoudakis, who is also the director of the Clausen Museum in Petersburg, works in monotype printmaking, photography, acrylics and mixed media to create her intricate and colorful works featuring the animals and landscapes of southeastern Russia. Alaska.

When asked why she uses such a variety of materials and methods in her works, Lagoudakis laughed and said, “It’s called ‘I can’t make up my mind.'”

She added that the subjects she chooses “are sort of accidental. I realized over time that I do a lot of birding, which I enjoy. I am a natural resources professional by training. I was a forester and worked as a field forester for several years.

She said she worked for the US Forest Service in Oregon and Alaska before retiring.

Her interest in birds began at a young age, Lagoudakis said. His dad built an aviary in their backyard when they lived in Southern California, and over the years they’ve owned a variety of interesting birds, including Chinese nightingales, Australian diamond doves, and cardinals. Brazilians and Venezuelans.

When she was in college, Lagoudakis said she brought home a Brazilian cardinal from the nearby pet store where she worked and made a special cage to surreptitiously fit in her dorm.

“I’ve been interested in birds for a long time,” she says.

Lagoudakis said her interest in printmaking led her to take a class at the University of Alaska’s Juneau campus years ago and found it was a job she loved. really.

More recently, she said she experimented with gelatin plate etching and was taking this method in new directions, using different materials as templates and stencils, such as freezer paper.

She also enjoys creating intricate cut art pieces and incorporates them into her prints as well. Sometimes she said she would spend a lot of time using tiny scissors to cut intricate designs out of paper to use as stencils on a series of prints, but sometimes the stencil breaks when she lifts it off the surface. of the work, so she ends up with an accidental monotype. .

“You really had to decide what you wanted before you printed the single image,” she said.

During the creation of her paper cut work, she said she would end up with many pieces, which inspired her to start creating collage pieces.

“I wasn’t brave enough to do much in the area of ​​reduction linocut printing, where you cut out the plate, doing different colors. But, I could use colored pencil or I could use paint acrylic or watercolor, then I started cutting (paper) because I like cutting things,” Lagoudakis said with a laugh.

She added that she cut out old discarded stencils and used them to glue onto her pieces with other mediums to enhance them.

“I keep incorporating things I’ve done before,” she says.

Speaking of using linoleum printing blocks to create prints, Lagoudakis said, “What I really love about linocut is the physicality of it. I like to burn into things a bit and see how this image prints.

She said she hand-rubbed each linocut print with a tool called a “baren” because she didn’t yet have a printing press.

Another project in the planning for Lagoudakis is to create illustrations for a book, which a friend asked him to do.

His trading name is Rabbits Foot Studios, reflecting the meaning of his Greek surname, which means “rabbit”. She sells works of art through the “Firelight Gallery” in Petersburg and has also exhibited her work several times in Ketchikan.

One of his pieces on The Commons show, “Coupled,” which features a pair of crows, should appear on the February page of a 2023 crows calendar, Lagoudakis said. Another of his raven parts on the show, “Morning Call,” was featured in a 2020 raven calendar.

His logo design was chosen for the 2013 Area Arts and Humanities Blueberry Arts Festival logo. She also created logos for the Rainforest Festival in Petersburg as well as for the Petersburg radio station KFSK.

She also recently submitted a linocut she created to the curated traveling art exhibit titled “Portable Southeast,” featuring Petersburg’s Hammer Slough, where homes and warehouses sit on stilts above the water.

Lagoudakis said she has always been inspired by Alaskan artist Ron Senungetuk, who created powerful artwork that conveys a lot through simple, powerful lines. She said it was nothing like her more intricate and detailed work, but she admires her sparse style.

Artistic creation has always been Lagoudakis’ goal.

“I’ve always loved works of art,” she says. “I’ve been drawing since I was little.”

She added: “Even though I haven’t made a career out of it, it’s always been something very important to me. It’s just another way of seeing, feeling and expressing the things I love. love in the world.

Talking about her artwork hanging in the exhibition at The Commons, she said, “There are really two ways to look at the pieces. The first is to step back and look at them, but when you walk up and look at them, you see – especially the three crows – this whole piece is a collage.

“It took me over a week of sitting with tweezers and tiny little scissors, cutting every piece,” she added.

When creating collages, Lagoudakis said she often cuts out the remnants of her gelatin slab prints and uses them to add color and depth to her compositions.

She said she was going to ask herself, “’What does he need now? How can I emphasize the light, the pattern and the things I want to focus on? »

Lagoudakis said that in her job as the museum’s director, she takes joy in watching children interact with exhibits and create their own art while she’s there, and encourages adults to explore creatively as well.

“I hope people feel like art isn’t this big thing that’s unreachable and inaccessible – that you can use a lot of things to create art and you can’t be afraid of it. “, Lagoudakis said, adding, “Just jump in.”

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