• Artists bring colors and textures to local galleries for First Friday receptions
By Randi Somers
Once again, Homer galleries are opening their doors, ready for visitors to soak in the colorful works of featured First Friday artists. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a reception from 5-7 p.m. at various locations. And, in some cases, artists will discuss their work with visitors.
The Homer Council on the Arts’ First Friday art reception offers Peter Alfiche’s mix of acrylic on canvas.
Alfiche and his family moved from Hawaii to Homer in 2009 and he began painting in the winter of 2011 to relax when he was spending more time indoors.
“The dark winter days didn’t matter anymore,” he said. “All the colors were in front of me, to paint a picture of what I’d like to see.”
Bunnell Street Arts Center features Karla Freeman’s “Nature Remembered.” Freeman said some of her paintings were inspired by both Mexico and Alaska. The two-part show features Alaska paintings that are “poems” about “The Solace of Winter.” When I feel successful, they are poems about what I feel, what I have seen and usually what I love.”
Freeman said she often longed for color when living in the winter black-and-white world of Alaska.
“Living in Mexico, where there is a lot of color, I am often overwhelmed by it,” she explained. “It is a peaceful meditation to paint with less color. I feel lucky to know both, to go from less to more again, from north to south and back once more.”
The Fireweed Gallery features Julia Stutzer in a show entitled, “Dreaming of Teeth and Treasure.”
Stutzer said she sometimes has dreams that evoke such a powerful feeling by their images and characters, they stick with her for years.
“I try to recreate these dreams and feelings, but usually it’s like grasping at mist and the picture is only partially complete,” she explained. “I add a layer of consciousness. Here on the walls before you, you see what my sleeping and waking minds have made.”
Stutzer was born and raised in Homer, the daughter of two artists and sister to another. She has traveled extensively out of Alaska and enjoys the wonders the world has to offer.
Stutzer just turned 30 and finds life is getting better with age. She says she hopes the viewers enjoy (or get some kind of feeling from) her paintings and hopes that they will also indulge their own creative sides. She adds that she is often astounded and inspired by people’s cleverness and wishes more people would make something neat.
The Art Shop Gallery will hold its annual “Treasure Corner” sale of many items in the gallery at half price, featuring a selection of art works from their Summer Artist Series. The original works they have on hand this year from that series are from Ed Tussey, Jon and Jona Van Zyle, Byron Birdsall, Lisa Carlon and others.
Desiree Hagen will present “Movement, Light and Music” at KBay Cafe from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Picture Alaska presents “Bits and Pieces,” the whimsical art of Ken Green.
“I met Ken online, found his work to be intriguing and persuaded him to drive down from Cooper Landing with bits and pieces of his art,” said gallery owner Linda Reed. “It will become one of the most fun shows we’ve had in quite awhile.”
According to Green’s biography, he is an artist who seems unable to not make art. His nonchalant explanation is generally that he creates because he is now retired and has time on his hands.
Green says he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t fiddling around with art. It may be such an integral part of his makeup, he doesn’t recognize how prolific and interesting he actually is.
Green’s interest in Alaska is evident in most of his work. And, while he’s willing to sell his work, money is not his motivation. He creates out of enjoyment.
Green’s wife, Kay Thomas, claims Ken fell through a rabbit hole in the universe somewhere and ended up in Cooper Landing. Green is not so sure that’s really how it happened, but agrees that it’s a “good possibility.”
At Ptarmigan Arts, well-known and admired Homer artist Toby Tyler shares his love of the south side of Kachemak Bay.
September’s show contains many of Toby’s iconic images of this part of Alaska. The show came about as Toby was reviewing photos he’d previously taken.
“This voluminous exhibit of my latest work, while based on these photos, are yet paintings just as if I had worked from sketches done on site,” Tyler explained. “In their own way, each is my reaction to the scene in front of me at that moment.”
Tyler said he hopes his show will inspire others to “explore the fascinating vista from Homer in all its close-up glory” and “find the rewards it offers.”
All local galleries hold receptions this Friday from 5-7 p.m. as they mount their September shows and celebrate with refreshments during the First Friday tour.
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