Small Systems Design Associates

Home page for Design and Prototype Testing for the series of 10 Walkabout panels.

Walkabout Show News Release

A Summary, in video and music, of the Walkabout Story...

Intro to Walkabout Panels

Panel 1 - Savannah

Panel 2 - Commerce

Panel 3 - Empire

Panel 4 - Faith

Panel 5 - Collapse

Panel 6 - Rebirth

Panel 7 - The New World

Panel 8 - Now I Am Become Death

Panel 9 - Chaos

Panel 10 - The Tree of Life

Promo and Summary


On March 31, 2016, Juneau writer and painter, Jerry Smetzer, took his show, "Walkabout - A Young Woman's Journey of Exploration" down from the walls in the public spaces at the KTOO News and multi-media production facilities in downtown Juneau, Alaska. The show - ten 20 by 26 oil on canvas paintings - was put up on display on December 4, 2015.

Smetzer describes his show this way: "There is a time in a young man or young woman's life when he or she must break away from all the supportive social and familial structures and fabrics of childhood. Walkabout means the freedom to engage the wonders, mysteries, and terrors of the world on his or her own terms. This must be done alone, and in ways only a lone walker can make sense of. The hero of these Walkabout paintings is a young woman named Cassie. In the 10 panels we follow her as she engages - under a different name, with some of the characters and events in history that inform and illuminate our humanity."

Each painting in the display included a framed block of about 250 words of text to help set the context for gallery-goer. The word "panel" refers to the combination of the painting and the context. Panels are in sequence beginning with Panel 1 - Savannah, and ending with Panel 10 - The Tree of Life (shown above).

"The paintings are the beginning of a longer term project to explore story-telling in the context of multi-media mixing of digital arts, and the messier traditional arts done by hand," Smetzer says. "We may even take a look at story-telling within the 360 degree environments now made possible with virtual reality rigs."

"We are seeking grants to support the work, and I have completed drafts of three of the stories.

I hope to have completed final drafts of all of the stories by the end of 2017.

In addition to promotional materials, we have developed a book of the paintings and text bound using a Japanese fold in red cedar panels. These are available for $65 at Hearthside Books and Alaska Robotics downtown. We are also building videos of the show; we will be developing a soundscape for gallery viewers that will be available via smart phone; and, finally, we are developing training materials for teaching the methods used."

For more information, contact Jerry Smetzer at ; Landline: 907-586-1215; Cell/Text: 907-723-1943