By Randi Somers
The June 7 First Friday shows at Homer galleries around town continue to offer compelling selections of art, including stunning portrait photography. All shops host artists’ receptions from 5-7 p.m., with refreshments for visitors. Some of the artists also choose to present their art and/or speak about their work.
Fireweed Gallery’s featured artist for June is local photographer Joshua Veldstra. Veldstra was born and raised in Homer and then traveled to Portland to study studio and photo processing with professional photographer and filmmaker Jelani Memory.
He says his goal is to reveal the heart and soul of the people he photographs, as well as their external appearance. That ambition has led him to India, Europe and the Middle East.
In 2010, Veldstra turned his passion into a reality, making photography a full-time business. His works have been published in “The GOODS” magazine, and has had several pieces included in Vogue Italia’s Photo Vogue.
Veldstra’s exhibit continues through July 3.
Bunnell Street Art Center will feature the photography of Hal Gage, as well as ceramics by Bailey Arend.
“Alaska is a transient place. People come and go only to be replaced by the next tide of visitors,” Gage said his artist’s statement. “Every winter, for about a two-month window, Turnagain Arm (just south of Anchorage) is host to a daily gathering — not of people but of ocean-born sea ice. In 2008, I set out to make portraits of these ephemeral ice floes stranded at low tide.”
Gage lives in Anchorage and has practiced the art of photography for more than 30 years. His work has been shown throughout Alaska, in the Lower 48 and internationally.
The artists will talk at 6 p.m., midway through the 5-7 p.m. reception.
Bailey Arend will hold a demo workshop Saturday, June 8, from noon -2 p.m. at Bunnell. There is no charge.Ptarmigan Arts’ new owners will feature photographer Ray Bulson, an artist who uses black and white photography as his medium. Bulson is a professional freelance photographer from Eagle River. His show, “Alaska in Black and White,” presents his photographic impressions of The Last Frontier deconstructed into essential elements of light, contrast, texture, line form and selective color to present an intimate and timeless look of Alaska.
He says his aim is for the viewer to see Alaska differently in order to enrich their experiences.
The Art Shop Gallery’s First Friday show will feature well-known Alaska artist Ed Tussey’s acrylics.
“Alaska is a never-ending source of inspiration,” Tussey said of his subject matter.
Winner of national and state awards, he is a full-time, freelance artist who captures on canvas the majesty of Alaska’s interior, coastal and marine environments and wildlife. A lifelong Alaskan, Tussey lives in Homer with his wife Jacki and their daughters Rachel and Rheanna.
Collectors of Tussey’s art are drawn to the impeccable detail with which his brush carefully defines and realistically portrays birds, mammals and marine life in their natural settings. His ability to accurately represent Alaska’s wildlife stems from years of observing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats on land and sea.
He studied art and oceanography while attending college in Washington state. He has spend countless hours in remote wilderness areas and has traveled extensively throughout the coastal waters of Alaska, the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea.
Picture Alaska’s featured artist for June is Chip Brock, who is a wildlife artist originally from Kansas who now resides with his family in the Mat-Su Valley just outside Wasilla. His work has been included in the Art for the Parks competition, Paint the Parks Competition, C.M. Russell Art Auction and the Kansas Wildlife Art Series. His work has helped raise money for several conservation groups and private charities. He paints exclusively in oils, striving for a realistic yet artistic results.
“My efforts are focused on capturing a unique moment in nature without getting lost in unnecessary detail,” he said. “I love the texture of paint and want the viewer to enjoy each painting as a beautiful work of art. My primary art goals are to continue to learn and push hard to get even better. I strive to make each new painting my best with the understanding that perfection is always going to be just out of reach.”
The show will feature four (possibly five) of his new paintings and many of his past favorites that are now available as canvas giclees. He will greet guests at the artist reception from 5-7:30 p.m.
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