red squirrel splitting open a nut. A giant Pacific octopus nestled in the tide. Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival featured artist Kim McNett’s art revolves around the ecosystem, and each creature’s place within it.
She takes great pride in her realistic depictions of fungi or nudibranchs (sea slugs), strange alien like organisms. McNett is irresistibly attracted to the strange and bizarre aspects of nature. The subjects of her work often look like something ripped from a science fiction film.
Take six musicians who have played everything from Cajun to classical to blues, add original compositions by Homer’s boogie-woogie piano guy Johnny B, and mix with Alaska videos by Daniel Zatz and you have “Wild Mountains Bright Water.”
Featuring the Devils Club Orchestra, the show is one of two music events for the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. “Wild Mountains Bright Water” starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bunnell Street Arts Center.
Acclaimed improv group The Second City performs at 7 p.m. Friday at the Mariner Theatre. Started in 1959 in Chicago, The Second City has become famous for launching the careers of comedians like John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Dan Akroyd, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. “The Best of the Second City” shows how it all began, with some of the best sketches, songs and improvisations from its 56- year history performed by The Second City Touring Company.
The Homer Council on the Arts board of directors has hired a new executive director, Peggy Paver of Ashland, Ore., and a new operations and programs coordinator, Austin Parkhill of Barrow. Parkhill arrives in Homer in June to work with current director Gail Edgerly before she leaves. Parkhill starts work on June 15 after he and his wife, Caitlin, move here from Barrow.
With KBBI’s Concert on the Lawn and Homer Council on the Arts Street Fair taking a break this summer, the season’s big festival will be the Kachemak Bay Celt Fest, held June 19-20 at Karen Hornaday Park. The event kicks off with a performance by Celtic music group Tempest at 7 p.m. June 19 and continues with Scottish Highland games starting at 9:30 a.m. June 20. Volunteers are needed to help with set up and other duties. Volunteer times and slots are 3-10 p.m. June 19, 7 a.m-10 p.m. June 20 and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. June 21 for a clean up party.
“On the Wing,” Homer’s annual celebration of birds and spring through poetry and music, starts off the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival at 7:30 p.m. May 7 at the Homer Theatre. With an all-ages roster, performers range from elder poet Nancy Levinson to Fireweed Academy kindergarteners. Sunrise Sjoeberg has organized the concert, with a lineup that includes Lorraine Haas tap-dancing to the Seaside Singers, the Homer Ukulele Group, Michael Murray and Sam Smith doing solo songs, and fiddling by Lindianne Sarno.
Art Shop Gallery
202 W. Pioneer Ave.
Collages by Guitta Corey
5-7:30 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Artist Guitta Corey shows her new work.
Bunnell Street Arts Center
106 W. Bunnell Ave.
Shaping Alaska, art by Sarah Beatty, John Hagen, Jessica Pena and Nathan Shafer
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception; 6 p.m., artists talk
May’s First Friday includes one of the livelier openings, when the students of Paul Banks Elementary School hold their annual Art Extravaganza. These young artists take their work seriously, and have even written artists statements. The event includes refreshments, live music and a silent auction of donated art.
Earlier this month for First Friday, visual artists had their moment with receptions honoring their work for the annual Jubilee arts celebration. Art work for students in grades kindergarten through high school remains on exhibit at the Homer Council on the Arts, the Pratt Museum and in the South Peninsula Hospital’s gallery on the main floor.
“Circle Hook,” the latest in city 1-percent-for art projects, was installed last week along a new trail at the intersection of Fish Dock Road and the Homer Spit Road. Designed by Moose Run Metalsmiths, the sculpture was fabricated by Bay Welding Services, both Homer businesses. Standing at 13-feet tall, the sculpture is purported to be “the largest fishing hook sculpture in the galaxy,” Public Works Director Carey Meyer said in a press release.
“Backing Out of Time,” a film about Baby Boomers caring for parents with Alzheimer’s, shows at 6 p.m. April 30 at the Homer Theatre. A suggested donation of $5 supports the new Alzheimer’s unit at Homer Senior Citizens. Directed by Anchorage filmmaker Mary Katzke, the film follows the lives over three years of people caring for their elderly parents.
Louisiana-bred group The Revelers performs as part of its Alaska tour next week at 8 p.m. April 30 at Alice’s Champagne Palace. The band includes Blake Miller, Chas Justus and Daniel Coolik. Bill Bentley of the Morton Report described The Revelers as a band “that reveres the past and is unafraid about dragging it into the future … musicians who aren’t afraid of mixing up accordion, fiddles, saxophones and guitars.”
Pier One Theatre invites actors to try out this weekend for David Mamet’s 1984 play, “Glengarry Glen Ross,” to be performed this summer at dates to be set. Directed by Peter Sheppard, auditions are 1-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Mariner Theatre. There are five major characters and two minor characters with regards to dialogue. The cast is all male, but that can change pending audition turnouts. The script includes mature language throughout.
It is common knowledge that people bond over the shared experiences of grief, loss and love, but the language that poet Linda Martin uses to write her narrative prose about these things is startling and refreshing.
“I always know that a poem is good if it makes my husband cry,” said Martin of her work.
For Mellisa Nill, participating in the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra is all about the personal connection with both fellow players and like-minded music lovers in the audience.
“When the audience enjoys the music so much that they cheer before they clap, that really drives us as musicians to play harder and better. Just knowing that they are enjoying it makes us enjoy it all the more,” she says.
With the advent of spring comes the return of many beloved Homer staples: warmer temperatures, an increase in population and this year, the reoccurrence of the spring Cabaret.
Now in its second year, this spring’s edition boasts an ensemble of 13 vocal performers, a four-member live band, and a directorial team composed of three Homer High School alumnae: Katelyn Wythe, Hannah Heimbuch and Jennifer Norton.
The Alaska Chapter of the American Fisheries Society holds its 42nd annual meeting in Homer Nov. 2-6 and seeks art for the program cover. The theme of the meeting is “Alaska Fisheries at a Crossroads: Past Lessons for Future Sustainability.” The artwork should address the meeting theme or be fisheries-related, including shellfish. The work must be 11-inches-by-16 inches or smaller.
Homer writer and filmmaker Jean Aspen signs her book, “Arctic Daughter,” from 4-6 p.m. April 15 at the Homer Bookstore. The daughter of Arctic explorer Constance Hendricks, Aspen wrote “Arctic Daughter” after an adventure when she was 22 and journeyed down the Yukon River to build a cabin and live off the land. Now in her 60s, Aspen has updated her book for a new edition published by Alaska Northwest Books.
Writer Lee Ann Roripaugh visits Bunnell Street Arts Center for a residency later this month. At 6 p.m. April 15 she does a reading at Bunnell. From 7 to 9 p.m. April 22 and April 29 she does two workshops, with a 6 p.m. potluck each night, at Bunnell Street Arts Center. A $10 donation to Bunnell Street Arts Center for each workshop is appreciated.
Abigail Kokai is a story teller. But this talented artist from Ohio does not use pen or paper as her medium. Rather, she sews intricate quilts that capture her characters and memories with fabric and thread.
On April’s First Friday, Bunnell Street Arts Center unveiled its latest exhibit, a collection of quilts and patchwork by Kokai, 32. She explained how these tactile illustrations each tell a story.