One of Homer’s most revered elder artists, R.W. “Toby” Tyler, gets some special attention in a show opening Friday at Ptarmigan Arts. “Surprises from Toby’s Attic” features treasures from a career dating back to 1961 in Homer, when Tyler opened the 8×10 Studio in a historic log building next to Alaska Wildberry Products. A former school teacher, Tyler, 89, has been a longtime gardener and naturalist, themes reflected in his scientifically accurate watercolor paintings of Alaska plants and flowers. Some of those prints will be shown, including a 5-year project he did showing the seasonal changes of local flora.
New for the show are recent works Tyler has done since recovering from a stroke in 2014. Tyler returned to painting in a studio set up for him at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and has been working in oils with palette knife and paintbrush.
Another artist exploring Alaska wildlife and scenery is Eagle River artist Amanda Brannon. Brannon does scratch-board etchings on clayboard and has become known for her whimsical drawings. The 2014 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival artist, Brannon’s painting of a bristle thighed curlew had a serious as well as a silly version — the curlew as a “bird nerd” with rubber boots and binoculars.
Two visual artists take different approaches to photography. Homer artist Lauren Semivan sets up elaborate, staged photographs taken with a 20th century large-format camera. She shows her work at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Homer News graphic artist Aaron Carpenter’s images are equally as intricate, but use the more modern technique of combining and manipulating photographs using computer graphics tools. Carpenter’s show, “Technological Organica,” opens at the Homer Council on the Arts.