McBride writes book about lodge

Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge owner and author Michael McBride has written and had published “The Last Wilderness: Alaska’s Rugged Coast,” a memoir about living and raising a family at his lodge in China Poot Bay. With his wife, Diana McBride, he has lived at the lodge for almost 50 years. The book tells his  story of pursuing a dream of living at a wilderness location and the many people he has met there.

Faust publishes book on alpacas

Nina Faust, a retired Homer High School teacher, has published “Alpaca Relaxation Guide,” a book that offers advice for humans from the alpaca point of view. Faust started training and working with alpacas 10 years ago. The book includes 50 pages of color photos. She describes the book as offering “humorous advice on how to live the alpaca way, including some tongue-in-cheek guidance on ‘alpaca zen.’”


Five years ago when the Homer News checked in with Mica Thomas, the Homer-grown theater artist, he spoke of the work he’s been doing with Quixotic, a Kansas City, Mo., performance troupe. Thomas, the group’s associate artistic director, said Quixotic had been trying to build up its foundation so it could easily go on tour, maybe even to Alaska.

“I’d love to,” he said in 2009 of the prospect of touring in his home state. “I think it would be really fun to bring it up here.”

First Friday Events

Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

ARTrageous Gaye-la, paintings by Gaye Wolfe
Installation by Melissa Daubert

5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception; 6 p.m., Melissa Daubert artist talk

7-10 p.m. Saturday, ARTrageous Gaye-La celebration. Tickets are $45 at Bunnell or the Homer Bookstore

Gaye Wolfe featured in two shows this Friday

Almost a year after she died, local galleries honor Gaye Wolfe, the woman who put the “art” in ARTrageous. An artist in Florida and Alaska, Wolfe died Oct. 14, 2012, after a short illness. For First Friday, Bunnell Street Arts Center holds a retrospective show of her work, including collages, book art and paintings. At 7 p.m. Saturday, Bunnell also holds “ARTrageous Gaye-La,” a celebration and auction of work donated to Bunnell by her estate.

Writer makes USA Today bestseller list

Homer writer Jennifer Bernard’s first romance novel, “The Fireman Who Loved Me,” made the USA Today bestseller list for the week of Sept. 15, featured at number 128. First published in May 2012, “The Fireman Who Loved Me” is the first in Bernard’s “Bachelor Firemen” series. She has since published three more in the series, “Hot for Fireman,” “Sex and the Single Fireman” and “How to Tame a Wild Fireman.” 

Pratt receives museum award

The Pratt Museum received the Excellence in the Museum Profession Award from Museums Alaska for its gray whale project. The award was presented last week at the Museums Alaska conference held Sept. 25-28 in Haines. The award honored the Pratt’s 14-year effort to salvage a gray whale carcass and skeleton, clean and prepare the skeleton and ultimately exhibit it in a show in January.

Quixotic workshop registration starts

Registration has started for workshops run by Quixotic, a visiting performance arts troupe. Workshops will be held in dance, aerial silks and ballet on Oct. 14 and 15. Aerial silks involves moving while dangling from silk fabrics. The workshops include an introduction to aerial silks. The fee is $30 for two workshops. For full schedule and to register, visit

Library celebrates Alaska Book Week

As part of the third annual Alaska Book Week, Oct. 5-12, the Homer Public Library holds “Alaska Read-out” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the library. Homer authors Miranda Weiss, Rich Chiappone, Ann Dixon and Erin Coughlin Hollowell will read from their favorite Alaska books. The audience also is encouraged to share brief excerpts from their own favorite Alaska books. Light refreshments served. For more information, visit or call 235-3180.

‘Muscle Shoals’ kicks off 10th doc film fest

Homer Theatre’s 10th annual documentary film festival begins at 6 p.m. today with gala opening festivities, which include a 6 p.m. barbecue dinner, guest speakers and the international release of the documentary “Muscle Shoals.”

Ten films are in the film festival’s lineup, plus a short documentary on the Old Believers and how they came to live on the shores of Kachemak Bay. “The Old Believers” will be shown prior to all the 8 p.m. movies during the festival.

From Homer to Baja: Contrasts help create balance in paintings

Karla Freeman is no stranger to the Homer arts community.  

She lived in Homer for more than 40 years painting, teaching and caring for her family. Her husband, Carlos Freeman, designed and built their home 11 miles out East End Road where they raised three daughters in their “cabin in the woods.” She also cared for children from distant places “whose parents wanted them to have an Alaskan experience.”

For the past six years, Freeman has lived in Baja, Mexico.

‘Phantom Poodle’ the star of new children’s book

Homer is a little off the Iditarod’s beaten path, but when you live in Nome, the end of the world-famous sled dog race, you’re in the thick of the action. That’s exactly where Nancy and Dan Levinson found themselves when they lived in that Bering Sea community.

“We used to house the mushers, particularly in the 1980s,” said Nancy Levinson, now a Homer resident. “Our last three years there, we housed John Suter and his wife. John is the one who drove poodles in the Iditarod.”

Festival celebrates 10 years of top picks

Ten films, plus a short one that tells the story of the Russian Old Believers on the Kenai Peninsula, usher in the 10th Annual Homer International Documentary Film Festival at the historic Homer Theatre, the longest running movie house in Alaska.

This year’s festival celebrates a full decade of documentaries shown in Homer, stressing the importance and change that documentary films have made. 

Students can enter poetry contest

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, in partnership with the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, invite Alaska high schools and  students to enter Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation contest. During fall and winter 2013-2014, schools are invited to participate in classroom and schoolwide contests, advancing to a state competition on March 11. State champions will advance to the National Finals, to take place April 29-30 in Washington, D.C. 

Zeller holds improv workshop

Performing artist Martin Zeller holds an Improvisation Workshop from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Art Barn at 1060 East End Road. The 5-hour class introduces, explores and expands the skills of improv. Through exercises and games participants will learn the elements of long- and short-form improvisational theater and comedy, including spontaneity, listening, trust, scene development and story building. In addition to general life applications, the class also focuses on performance improvisation. The fee is $45.

Burning Basket is Sunday

Build week for the 10th annual Burning Basket, “Enjoy,” continues from noon to 5 p.m. daily through Saturday at Mariner Park on the Homer Spit. The interactive community art project includes an outdoor basket sculpture and labyrinth. The basket of remembrance and unburdening is offered to the community at 1 p.m. Sunday, with a potluck and artist talk at 6 p.m. At sundown the torch is lit and the basket burned in the theme of honoring, releasing and celebrating the creative process. Visitors are invited to decorate the basket on Sunday with personal notes and art.

Artist incorporates sign-painting techniques into Old Town mural

As summer slides into fall, Alaskans track the fading of the season by an iconic flower and plant: the persistent, sturdy fireweed. Weeks ago, fireweed lost its flowers and has now gone to fluff, its stems and leaves turning into red tinged with golden. Only summer-long visitors or residents can actually see that transformation. Thanks to a new mural by Homer artist Dan Coe, that change has been visualized. Coe installed the six-panel mural in late August on the Driftwood RV Park fence on Bunnell Avenue.

Pratt seeks Ritz donations

The Pratt Museum seeks donations from artists and businesses for “Ritz at the Moulin Rouge,” its 2013 Ritz Art and Experience Auction. Donations are due 5 p.m. Sept. 20. The Ritz is Nov. 2 at Wasabi’s. This year’s event includes a live and silent auction, featuring artwork and other items donated by artists, businesses and individuals throughout Alaska. All funds raised at the Ritz will help the Pratt Museum continue to increase the diversity and quality of its exhibits and programs. Donated artwork will be exhibited in the Pratt’s Special Exhibits Gallery from Oct. 4 to Oct.


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