• July 1 First Friday shows at the galleries around town bring together a variety of art forms in receptions from 5 to 7 p.m.
By Randi Somers
Deb Lowney and Karin Lowney-Seed’s exhibit, “Relationships,” in Ptarmigan Arts back room gallery is a collaboration between sisters exhibiting their individual works. Those who have been intrigued by the wood “portals” Deb has investigated and enhanced, along with Karin’s narrative paintings might be delighted to view their works along side each other.
Their First Friday exhibit at Ptarmigan Arts includes original paintings and wood sculptures that emphasize the special relationship between sisters and ultimately a special relationship in their art work both individually and collaboratively. “It is through our relationships that we transcend personal limits,” the artists tell us.
•Fireweed Gallery presents “New Work” by Michael Anderson and “Shishmaref Through Our Eyes,” photography by students and teachers. Michael Anderson is a ceramics artist from Cordova, well known for his octopus jars, salmon plates and gillnet bowls. His pottery and relief tile work is functional and portrays the beauty of the marine life that surrounds his Cordova studio. “Shismaref Through Our Eyes” is a photographic tour of the Eskimo Village of Shismaref which is located on a tiny island in the Chuckchi Sea. Featured images were taken by Shismaref summer school students and teachers, Ken Stenek, Rebecca Clement and Hal Gage.
•Homer Council on the Arts “Viewer Participation Requested” is the title of Marali Sargaent-Smith’s exhibit and workshops opening at Homer Council on the Arts Friday.
Color, line and shape present an emotional reality in this show. Two dimensional semi-abstract mixed media works depict events and experiences from the artist’s life. The artist invites viewers to participate in the show by using the paintings as a springboard, a stimulus for their own creative expression.
Sargeant-Smith, a lifelong Alaskan artist, paints with oils, acrylics and watercolor and she works in several other mediums as well, including stained and fused glass, fiber and clay.
Her style ranges from abstract to realistic and anything in between. “The challenge of finding new artistic ways to say something, to make my perception a physical reality keeps me passionate about my work,” she said. Some of her stained glass and representational paintings are also on display at the Ptarmigan Art Gallery.
Homer Council on the Arts is also holding a Young Artists Workshop July 8 from 1-3 p.m. The fee is $5. The two-hour workshop uses Marali’s semi-abstract show to encourage emotional expressionism in painting exercises for grades 6 – 12. Various works from this show will be discussed and used as idea starters.
A two-hour adult workshop is scheduled for Aug. 12, 6-8 p.m. The fee is $10.
This workshop uses Marali’s show to create an environment that encourages artistic experimentation and expression. It is for any high school to adult individual interested in pursuing creativity in any form. Students need to bring current work and/or paper and pen for new ideas.
•Picture Alaska Art Gallery hosts Karen Whitworth, Tayla Johnson and Nancy Crawford in a show called “Valley Girls – Making Paint Fly.” All three accomplished artists are from Wasilla and paint en plein aire, (French for ‘in open air.’) Whitworth’s portfolio varies from brilliantly lit endangered Hawaiian birds to Alaska’s towering landscapes. Her work has been described as having a glow, as if lit from within. Nancy Crawford also is enamored by light and color,and has studied with artists such as Nancy Stonington Taylor, Ron Rencher, Don Andrews and Dodie Ballentine. Johnson’s art ranges from figurative to landscapes, working with oil. She was raised in Israel; her parents were some of the first settlers at Golan Heights. Having two home lands has influenced Johnson’s work and artistic depth.
•Art Shop Gallery is hosting Anchorage collage artist Guitta Corey on First Friday from 5 to 7:30 and also the next day, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. She will be showing three new original paper collages and a new limited edition of print and glass plates.
•Bunnell Street Art Center features an exhibit by Steve Gordon who will be speaking during the opening at 6 p.m. Enhancing the scene with music will be Liz Malys and Amy Lou in concert at 8 p.m.
Gordon grew up in Dubuque, Iowa in the scenic Mississippi valley. His interest in art started young with the encouragement of his architectural designer father who kept him supplied with art materials as he was growing up. He continued his art classes at Dartmouth College while working for his BA degree in biology. He met and married Karen from Anchorage there and after graduation they headed to Alaska. He taught painting, drawing and design at University of Alaska Anchorage for a number of years before becoming the director of the art program at Alaska Pacific University where he worked for two years before he began making his living exclusively through the sale of his paintings. He has had numerous one-man art shows and his work can be seen in private collections across Alaska and America.
Flo Larson’s cooking class and luncheon with Eva Saulitis hold a fireside poetry session at Bunnell July 5.
• Boreal Birch Art and Science in the Northern Forest is an exhibit opening at the Pratt Museum Friday, to be on exhibit through Oct. 2 in the Special Exhibits Gallery. This exhibit will feature work by three of Alaska’s best known artists—Margo Klass, Barry McWayne, and Kesler Woodward—who have worked together for two years with University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist Kimberley Maher to produce this exhibition exploring Alaska’s birch trees from a variety of perspectives.
In their paintings, photographs and mixed media sculpture the three artists “talk” with one another and with their scientist partner about birches, presenting this signature feature of the boreal forest as image, symbol and natural element. The artwork will be accompanied by interpretive materials and commentary from the scientist and educational materials related to the exhibition will be available for classroom use and online.
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