Well-known for bright watercolors of Alaska communities and scenes, Rie Munoz lived in Alaska for 65 years. She died Monday.
JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska artist Rie Munoz has died at the age of 93.
Munoz died Monday evening in Juneau from a stroke, according to her daughter-in-law Cathy Munoz, who serves as a representative in the state House.
Rie Munoz was born in Van Nuys, Calif., on Aug. 17, 1921, and spent her childhood in California and Holland.
Munoz lived in Alaska for 65 years after arriving on a steamship while vacationing, and is well-known for her art, particularly bright watercolors of Alaska communities and scenes. She also worked as a journalist, teacher, museum curator and in other jobs while in Alaska.
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She was devoted to art and her family, Cathy Munoz said.
“She was a terrific person, and was such a big part of our family and very supportive of each of her grandchildren,” Cathy Munoz said.
Rie Munoz attended her granddaughter Mercedes’ first solo artist show at Annie Kaill’s, in Juneau, last Friday, Cathy Munoz said.
“Rie was there and was just in her element,” she said.
Bob Banghart, deputy director of the state Libraries, Archives and Museums, helped put together a retrospective of Munoz’s work several years ago, and said she was particularly talented at catching images from a day in a life.
“It captured that daily record of existence, often very humorously, very specifically,” he said.
Cathy Munoz said that Rie was adventurous and independent all of her life. As a teenager, Rie and her brothers lived alone in California after being separated from their parents, who were stuck in Holland during World War II. She also worked and traveled throughout Alaska during her time here, including teaching on King Island, which is in the Bering Sea. In a news release, the family said she visited and sketched every community on the road system, and many of those off of it.
Survivors include her son Juan Munoz, daughter-in-law Cathy Munoz, grandchildren Mercedes and Matthew Munoz, her brother Piet Mounier, niece Marie Kirby, and nephews Pete and Bob Mounier.
A celebration of life is planned for April 23 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Juneau’s Centennial Hall.