GEORGE ATTLA AND ARTIST BYRON BIRDSALL TO SIGN 75TH ANNIVERSARY RONDY COMMEMORATIVE PRINT

Renowned local artist, Byron Birdsall will join Rondy legend and musher, George Attla at a signing of “Spirit of Rondy” from 2—4pm on Saturday, January 30, 2010 at Artique, Ltd., 314 G Street. The print, designed by Birdsall commemorates the community spirit of Rondy and the historical importance of Rondy in Alaska’s rich history. Attla is featured in the print as the musher making his way down 4th Avenue. “Having missed the first Fur Rondy Sled Dog Race, I am delighted to be part of the 75th,” said Birdsall. “Putting together memories of this Great Race was made all the more rich for me by the presence of George Attla, right there on 4th Avenue, as a representative of all the mushers that have added to the heritage of the Great Land.” The prints will be on sale at the Rondy Shop, located at The Alaska Mint and on the Rondy website, www.furrondy.net. Standard prints will cost $45 and collector edition giclee’s will cost $400. Both will be printed in limited quantities. “It’s an honor to have been asked to participate in the 75th Fur Rondy Anniversary celebration,” said Attla. “The World Championship Sled Dog Races of Rondy have played an important part of my life. Having won 10 championships, more than any other musher, has been an achievement I will never forget.” Byron Birdsall is a landscape watercolorist. His watercolors are distillations of reality, scenes reduced to their basics, with the integrity of the subject intact. Since his first solo exhibition in 1967, Birdsall has had over fifty one-man shows. Of these, he has enjoyed a succession of sellouts. His works have been accepted in many juried art shows, and he has won numerous awards for his works, including first place in the All Alaska Juried Representional Show at the Anchorage Historical and Fine Arts Museum. In 1981, Birdsall began working in oils, then turned his primary attention and interest to Russian icons and more recently has begun another adventure with oil paintings. George Attla of the Interior village of Huslia won 10 Fur Rendezvous World Championship sprint dog titles in Anchorage during a distinguished mushing career that included a stirring rivalry with Roland “Doc” Lombard. Attla, also known as the “Huslia Hustler”, was an unknown when he arrived in Anchorage for the 1958 Fur Rondy. Handicapped by a fused leg caused by childhood tuberculosis, Attla shocked racing fans by capturing his first world title. When the two sprint championships were in their heyday and thousands of fans crowded city streets to watch their favorites, Attla was the best musher in the world. Racing at the front of the pack for three decades, Attla won his last Anchorage crown in 1982. At the height of their showdowns, Attla and Lombard, a veterinarian from Wayland, Massachusetts, were the two best-known athletes in Alaska.About Anchorage Fur RendezvousAnchorage Fur Rendezvous Festival is a significant part of the history and tradition of Anchorage. Established by Vern Johnson in 1935, it was originally a 3-day sporting festival which coincided with the return of the miners and trappers to town with their winter’s yield. Since then, Rondy has earned national and international notoriety, and visitors from throughout the world descend on Anchorage every February. This year, the Fur Rendezvous festival will be held from February 26—March 7, 2010.
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