• Note dates: Some First Friday events will occur the following week during Kachemak Bay Shorebird fest
A visual treat awaits in store for the First Friday lineup in Homer this week, from a day-long range of activities at Bunnell Street Arts Center that includes setting works of art on fire to a Plein Air gathering at Picture Alaska Art Gallery.
Picture Alaska Art Gallery features a group show of works by Plein Air Painters of Alaska: Lynn Boots, Betty Atkinson, Kurt Jacobson, K. N. Goodrich, Noby Bowman, Marianne Wieland, Cynthia Calder Kolstad, Don Kolstad, Becky Crawford, Andy Sonneborn, Rhonda Scott, Chris Zafron, Christine Fortner, Louann Feldmann, and Libby Hatton. The talented lineup will be present at the opening reception 5-7:30 p.m..
Don Kolstad said some of the Plein Air painters of Alaska are coming to Homer for the show at Picture Alaska.
“We are a group of artists that get together and paint. We are not a club or formal group, we just love getting together and sharing new ideas and give critiques to help each other improve,” Kolstad said. “We meet just about every Friday of the year and paint outside as much as possible. During the winter months we stay challenged by creating projects to stretch our artistic abilities and keep things interesting.”
Plein Air painting has been around for hundreds of years and became more practical with the advent of putting paint in the tube which made painting much more mobile. In recent years it’s become a bigger past time among artists because it is very challenging to paint on location with a short window of time before the light has changed, the weather is not cooperating, or the bugs are wanting to paint, too, he said.
“Our group started back in the late 1990s with a small group of four artists who started traveling and painting around the state once a year for a week or two,” Kolstad explained. Two of those artist’s are in the show, Betty Atkinson and Marianne Wieland. Once a year they put on a show called the “The Plein Air Weekend” and this will be their 7th Annual. It takes place the last weekend of July and 200-300 people show up for the event which features about 18 to 20 artists. They donate some of the proceeds to Clare House for women and children and raised $28,000.
At Art Shop Gallery, there’s more bird celebrations and participatory events. Nancy Wise art glass is featured in an opening reception from 5-7:30 p.m.
Get into Shorebird Festival at the gallery the following Saturday, on May 11 for a Shorebird Scavenger Hunt indoors. Find and identify birds hidden throughout the gallery. The first 20 who correctly name them win a special gift bag and get their name put in a drawing for a chance to win art glass from Homer artist, Nancy Wise. All participants receive a free, reusable bag.
Time to celebrate the annual returning of the shorebirds at Ptarmigan Arts. The Back Room Gallery of Ptarmigan Arts presents, “Feathers, Stones, and Flowers,” which tells the story of an artist-naturalist exploring the Alaskan landscape.
The collection of field sketches and illustrations in watercolor, gouache, acrylic and other mixed media observe birds, flowers, rocks and mountainscapes. Kristin Link is a science illustrator and an avid field sketcher from the Girdwood and McCarthy areas of Alaska. Much of this body of work was created in the backcountry as part of a Rasmuson Individual Project Award. Her First Friday opening reception is from 5-7 pm.
Fireweed Gallery presents two exhibits to welcome in the month of May. In the main gallery, Homer’s Kachemak Bay Watercolor Society hosts their “Annual Spring Show” of new work by members. This year KBWS celebrates the process of coming together with special dedication to the late Paula Dickey, mentor and advocate for the arts.
Always a popular feature is the unveiling of the yearly group collaborative painting. Collaborative pieces reflect the collective energy that has evolved within KBWS over the years. Sales of collaborative pieces and prints help fund workshops and events. Also showing this month is the exhibit “Peeps, Pilferes, Tattlers and Banditry – the art of birds,” watercolor paintings by MaryBee Kaufman, naturalist-guide, artist, art instructor, photographer and writer. She finds solace in their presence, awe in their subtle strength, and joy in their synchronicity. A reception is held 5-7 p.m. at Fireweed.
The not-to-miss art at the Homer Flex High School will feature the works of students. This is its Third Annual First Friday event on May 10 from 5-7 pm. Flex High School is located at 4122 Ben Walters Lane. The event will showcase various forms of student art: Ceramics, live performances, writing, photography, woodworking, and other mediums of expression.
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