Exhibition at Black Cup Midtown, November 4-30
Anchorage Museum, November 24-25
You might know Scharine Kirchoff from her time at Unocal and her transition to Chevron, but following early retirement, she has been devoting her time to creating art. Scharine recently completed some new textile artwork and installed the pieces. Her solo exhibition is at Black Cup in Midtown Anchorage and the exhibit is entitled Materiality II: A Contemporary Showcase of Textile Materials and Techniques that Push Humble Threads from Material to Visual Language. The textile artwork will be on display until November 30. Scharine will also exhibit at the juried exhibit "Crafted in Alaska", November 24-25 at the Anchorage Museum.
Scharine has long-term ties with Alaska. "I was born in Okinawa, Japan, and my family moved to the U.S. in my youth," said Scharine. "We landed in Anchorage via my father's job transfer. Although the original plan was that we would be in Alaska for one year, my family stayed. My family still resides in Japan where my grandmother was a natural dyer, handweaver, and kimono maker. Hence, I learned a lot of textile techniques from various family members including my grandmother, and mother. The arts are deeply rooted in the Ryukyu (Okinawan) culture, and it is common to practice art on a daily basis. My grandfather was a furniture maker, and my uncle was a stage set designer for NHK television. So, it is with this family influence, that I've been practicing the arts since early childhood.
I specialized in 3D visualization, and I found the model quality was very much influenced by artistic techniques - Scharine Kirchoff
"I attended undergraduate and graduate school on the East Coast, and returned to Alaska thereafter to work. However, the oil business moved me down to Houston where I worked for Chevron as a geoscientist/technologist. I specialized in 3D visualization, a technology in which seismic, and other data is used to create 3D subsurface earth models. Although the imaging data was technical in nature, I found that the model quality was very much influenced by an understanding of artistic techniques such as the application of color and opacity to the images. My work took me to Thailand, Brazil, and other U.S. locations; and, over time, I moved into managerial positions. During my entire oil business career, I continued to practice the arts on my own time."
During my career, I continued to practice my art - Scharine Kirchoff
"Early retirement for me was driven by my wish to devote full time to my artistic practice. My grandmother had turned 100 years old, so I decided that it was time for me to learn everything that I could from her. So I traveled to Okinawa, and learned as much as I could about ancient Ryukyu art techniques from family members, and other Ryukyu artists for a two year period. Thereafter, I returned to the U.S., where I've been working as a full-time professional artist with studios in Anchorage, Alaska and Houston, Texas."
"Since I enjoy hiking, and the outdoors, it was just natural that I would be drawn to local botanical dyes, particularly in Alaska. So, my artwork includes the incorporation of local botanicals as a source of color. I often combine my naturally dyed works with tactile structures from my own handweaving, and hand stitching. In addition to creating artwork, I also teach Ryukyu Kasuri (ikat), handweaving, indigo, and other natural dye workshops. I'm grateful to work as a fourth generation textile artist, and pleased that I'm able to carry on my family's textile legacy."
I'm grateful to work as a fourth generation textile artist - Scharine Kirchoff