• August’s First Friday offerings are all about color
By Randi Somers
Why would anyone call Homer the “Halibut Capital of the World,” when everyone knows its real claim to fame is art; and obviously talent. (See Concert on the Lawn story, page 13). What other town this size has such a plethora of art galleries that celebrate each new month with a new collection of art exhibits?
First Friday celebrations compel enthusiasts to travel from gallery to gallery. Old Town Homer hosts exhibits at Bunnell Street Art Center, while Pioneer Avenue is home to several galleries.
This Friday, the Pratt Museum joins that list.
The Pratt is staging a special exhibit, “Beneath the Surface,” that combines art, archaeology and music to explore the beauty and mystery of the planet.
Rebecca Crowell’s abstract paintings are paired with artifacts from the Pratt’s collections. New York City composer David Crowell adds an original sound score.
In conjunction with her show, Crowell will hold an oil and wax painting workshop at the Kachemak Bay Campus of Kenai Peninsula College, Aug. 9-11. Deadline to register for this workshop is Monday, Aug. 5.
The First Friday opening of Crowell’s show at the Pratt will take place in the special exhibits gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. this Friday. The exhibit will remain on display through Sept. 29.
Fireweed Gallery presents “Here,” cut-work art by Valisa Higman.
Higman was born in Seldovia and studied psychology and art at the Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. Influenced by her wood-carving father, and a mother and grandfather who both hand-cut silkscreens, she began working at a young age.
Her cut-paper artwork starts as a sheet of black paper that she carves into with an X-Acto Knife. Images are revealed in an intricate lacework of lines. Using the black as her foreground, she fills the negative space by piecing together layers of paper in vibrant colors and textures. As a finishing touch, she adds details and shading with watercolor.
Ptarmigan Arts presents Nancy Wise’s “Revolution” for its First Friday fare. The collection explores the influences of changing seasons and elemental energies on lifecycle rhythms.
Wise uses a variety of media, including fused glass, hand-painted silk, concrete and kiln-made mosaic tiles. “Revolution” takes a look at the season-to-season passage of time and may be viewed as a metaphor for her journey through life.
Homer Council on the Arts will take a First-Friday break this month, allowing Tom Reed’s, “Moved by a Mountain” to remain up through August. Reed hosted a reception at First Friday July, but is currently out of town and not able to host another reception. The exhibit features photographs from Reed’s new coffee-table book, “Moved by a Mountain: Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska.”
Reed lives in a hillside cabin out East End Road. His view inspires his photos and poetic descriptions.
For August First Friday, Bunnell Street Arts Center presents “Unalaskana.” This invitational show explores Alaska from realistic, ironic and individualistic angles. Unalaskana features Alaska artists Duke Russell and Angela Ramirez of Anchorage, Rachel Mulvihill of Fairbanks and Homer’s own Michael Walsh. Artists will meet visitors and talk about their work at 6 p.m.
“One who is a life-long Alaskan,” another Bunnell showing, features artists Ruby Kennel, Sonya Kelliher Combs, Drew Michael, Asia Freeman, Ricky Tagaban, Gretchen Sagan, Tehben Dean, Jimmy Riordan, Ethan Woods, Evan Phillips, Carla Klinker Cope, Jennifer Norton, Ryan Romer, Elizabeth Ellis, Mariano Gonzales, Ron Senungetuk, Hal Gage and Rachelle Dowdy.
The Art Shop Gallery will feature Alaska wildflower and nature artist Lisa Carton on First Friday. Although she lives in Soldotna, Carton also has a cabin in Girdwood. As an artist, she is dedicated to handcrafting three-dimensional designs with old-world techniques. Each piece is “hewn” from raw glass sheets, hand-tooled and locked into place with molten solder. The result is an endless variety of glass sculptures with an old-world feel.
Elizabeth Chamberlain Petersen presents “Field Notes” at Picture Alaska Art Gallery on Friday with a series of small oil paintings created on-location while traveling in Alaska. Her subjects reflect what she observed directly in nature during hiking and biking forays; glaciers, mountains and glimpses of Kachemak Bay.
Exuberant brushwork in her colorful landscapes is indicative of the way she works in the process of painting to capture light and shadow within a given span of time. Her impressionistic style reflects color relationship emphasis and confident brushwork. Petersen maintains studios in both Homer and the Florida Keys. Her First Friday reception runs from 5-7:30 p.m.
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