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APRIL 2004

City in the Wilderness

Munoz Mural As Book Cover

Rie Munoz's 1960 mural, Churches of Alaska was used as a cover of the book, Polar State Parables. The book was written by Kenneth W. Smith and published by iUniverse, Inc. It has 18 short stories about Alaskan life relating to religion. The mural is located in the Rasmuson Library in the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Of the nine murals Munoz painted early in her career, only four remain. In addition to the mural in the Rasmuson Library, one is in Harborview School, Juneau, protected behind plexiglass. It is located appropriately in the art class. Another is in the Juneau International Airport, and the last one is at the Juneau State of Alaska Library.
What happened to the other five murals you ask? One burned in the 10-80 Club fire in Juneau, another was in the Juneau teenage club and was raised along with the building. Two murals were lost in Ketchikan: one in the old Pan American Airlines office, and the other, painted for Ellis Airlines, was in their small plane terminal. It showed the bustling Ketchikan waterfront with boats, planes, and birds with people coming and going. When Ellis Airlines sold their building, the new owner wanted to remodel. One of the first orders of business was to paint over the mural that Munoz had taken months to create. The owner didn't realize what he had done until one local after another advised him of his error.
One of her first murals was done in the early 60's when we were living in Morton, Washington. Visitors driving through town were always asking the local grocery store for directions to nearby Mt. Rainier so Rie was asked if she could paint a mural showing the way. The mural showed a large map with skiers, cars, people and of course Mt. Rainier. For painting the mural Munoz received a month of free groceries! We haven't been back to Morton in 43 years so we don't know the status of that one. .

Birth Announcement

Ok, it's a little late but we wanted to share this with you. This 1963 birth announcement was for my wife Cathy Engstrom. Her dad, Elton Engstrom was a fish buyer. He and his wife Sally were good friends with Rie long before Cathy and I met 25 years later. They asked her to draw a birth announcement for their first child. Since nobody back then knew the sex of the baby prior to birth, the cartoon declares that "it" must weigh more than the scale showed, a typical fisherman's response to the weight of his catch.


Sunday Service, Double Rummy on the Ferry and Gathering Driftwood are the three Limited Edition Prints scheduled for release on May 5, 2004.


May 5

  • 3 Limited Edition Prints

Thank you for your interest in the artwork of Rie Muñoz!


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