Art lovers can walk — or ride — for July First Friday

Often happening near the Fourth of July weekend, First Fridays in July tend to be the busiest of the year’s monthly art openings. Visitors and residents can count on seeing a diverse selection of art, and this July First Friday is no exception.

This Friday, gallery visitors don’t have to walk between Old Town and Pioneer Avenue to galleries, but can take the Homer Trolley on its inaugural First Friday Gallery Hop. Starting at 5:15 p.m. at Bunnell Street Arts Center, for an $8 evening pass, art lovers can ride between Bunnell and galleries on Pioneer Avenue.

Unique to Friday’s art openings is Tom Reed’s “Moved By a Mountain” exhibit, both a show of his black-and-white photographs and a release of his new photographic essay book by the same title. Subtitled “Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska,” the show features the stunning views from Reed’s cabin near Mile 17 East End Road across Kachemak Bay toward Dixon Glacier.

Reed’s introduction and essay tells a common Homer story: how a young man in his 20s came to Homer, was profoundly touched by the beauty of the bay and put down roots. Reed found land down a dirt road off Moonrise Street.

“I have come to fall in love with the land, but what made me want to live here was the view,” Reed writes.

Dominating that view is what Reed calls “the Throneroom,” “a crescent shaped nunatak … spectacular, regal, majestic,” he writes. A photographer as well as a writer, Reed’s show includes images of that view. The book publishes those images along with his essay contemplating why such a dramatic view can be so inspiring.

At Bunnell Street Arts Center, curator Michael Walsh has assembled a show that asks the question, “What is a native Alaskan?” That’s “native” with a lowercase “n,” to include art by Alaskans born or raised here of all cultures. “How long does it take to live here to be called a native Alaskan?” Walsh also asks. Originally shown at OutNorth ArtHouse in Anchorage, “native Alaskan” includes work by Homer as well as other Alaska artists.

Other shows include work by jewelry artist Liz Bowen at the Art Shop Gallery, paintings by Rebecca Middleton at Fireweed Gallery, silk paintings by JoAnne Noyles at Picture Alaska, fiber art by Grace Errea at Ptarmigan Arts and a free reception at the Pratt Museum of its “Encounters: Whales in Our Waters” before it ends July 21.

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