IT IS A MARTIAN LANDSCAPE. A cliff descends from a dark sky, crowned with Rushmore-like heads, if Mt. Rushmore had been carved by Easter Islanders, and then erodes into a delicate lacework frame of what could be either the remains of a condominium for little green men or just the remains of a dear departed something. Possibly the parents of the petroglyphic, pterodactylish figure being slowly revealed by a thin drift of silvery sand in the lower left hand corner.
The name of the black-and-white photograph is “Erosion.” The man who took the photograph, and all the other photographs in this exhibit, is Sam Kimura. Sam Kimura is Alaska’s photographer, a local boy who made good Outside and then came home to make better. He was born in Anchorage in 1928, to parents who came to Alaska from Japan in 1916. In 1942 he and his family were imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp until 1945, his father in New Mexico, Sam, his mother and siblings in Idaho. After the war they returned to Anchorage. In 1952 Sam went to Los Angeles to study photography, graduating in 1955 and moving to New York City, where he met and married Joan Goodrich. In 1971 he moved his family back to Anchorage and opened a studio. In 1973 he began teaching photography at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where Anchorage photographer Chris Arend studied with him, worked for him and learned from him. Chris curated the exhibit of Sam’s photographs, which will hang in the Alaska State Museum in Juneau from May to October 2002.
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