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.
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.”
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.
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 homerart.org.
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 www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/library or call 235-3180.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Artists and teachers who wish to join the roster to teach in Artist in School residencies should plan to attend the Teaching Artist Training Academy with keynote speaker and presenter, Alison Marshall, a Kennedy Scholar and dance educator. College credit is available. The training is Nov. 8-10 at the Kachemak Bay Campus.
The Homer Council on the Arts invites new artists to submit work for its November Emerging Artists exhibit. Works submitted will not be selected by a jury, but will be reviewed by an exhibition committee. Work must be original and being presented to the public for the first time. All media are welcome, including drawings, paintings, photography, mixed media, prints, fiber arts, video and new media, ceramics, sculpture and other creative endeavors. As many as five pieces of art may be accepted from each entrant. Work must be gallery ready.
Halibut Cove artist Annette Bellamy has a show, “Floating,” opening Friday at the Anchorage Museum at the Rasmuson Center. A First Friday reception is 7 to 9 p.m. at the museum. Bellamy’s work includes several large ceramic works as well as some works in fish skin. Her show is on exhibit through Nov. 10.
Art Shop Gallery
207 W. Pioneer Ave.
Time to Unlock the Treasure Corner
by various artists
5-7:30 p.m., First Friday Reception
The Art Shop Gallery features selections from the gallery at half price as well as original work this summer from its Summer Artist series.
Bunnell Street Arts Center
106 W. Bunnell Ave.
Nature Remembered, paintings by Karla Freeman
Art openings this month feature exhibits from two of Homer’s most distinguished artists, R.W. “Toby” Tyler, showing at Ptarmigan Arts, and Karla Freeman, showing at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Tyler and Freeman have art careers stretching back 50 years. Tyler first came to Alaska in 1953. Freeman, who has spent the last six years in Baja, Mexico, lived in Homer for 40 years.
Walk around Homer and what do you see? On Saturday mornings at Friendship Terrace in the Homer Senior Center, from five to 12 people strum their ukuleles. At the Farmer’s Market, the Homer Ukulele Group Society — that’s HUGS for short — performs. In the window of Cornish Music on Pioneer Avenue, a rainbow of brightly colored ukuleles is displayed.
Heck, Homer’s former mayor and retired judge, James Hornaday, has even cut an album of ukulele tunes.
Ukulele mania has hit Homer.