On the weekend that celebrates Mary Epperson, the creative heart of Homer, colorful and vibrant art shows at galleries around town. The Art Shop Gallery features original pastels and prints of Alaska wildlife by Kasilof artist Benjamin Steven. More art of Alaska flora and fauna is shown by Anchorage artist Tarryn Zerbinos at Grace Ridge Brewery
At the Fireweed Gallery, local artists Jan Peyton and Char Jump have repurposed old buoys into colorful garden art. In another dual show, ceramic artist Cynthia Morelli and fiber artist Colleen Firmin Thomas exhibit at Bunnell Street Arts Center.
David Rosenthal’s show, Painting at the End of the Ice Age, continues at the Pratt Museum & Park. He returns Friday to do an artist talk. At the Homer Council on the Arts, Fairbanks artist Iris Sutton offers an older perspective of the Ice Age, Exploring Beringia, from the last glacial maximum 20,000 years ago.
On Saturday, HCOA celebrates Mary Epperson Day with arts and crafts booths and music by local groups.
Art Shop Gallery
202 W. Pioneer Ave.
Pastel originals and prints by Benjamin Steven
5-7:30 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Kasilof artist Benjamin Stevens shows his original pastels and prints. Stevens grew up in Michigan, where “I fell in love with nature and animals at a young age and built a life surrounded by nature,” he writes. He studied business at Northern Michigan University, and also developed his skills as an artist and outdoorsman. After college, he worked as a fishing guide and met his wife, Brittany. They travel as often as they can and made it a goal to get as much of their diet as possible from nature. After traveling, “we decided Alaska was where we belonged,” he writes. In Alaska they hunt and fish for all their meat and forage for fruits and vegetables. In addition to his art, Stevens works as an alpine hiking and fishing guide.
Bunnell Street Arts Center
106 W. Bunnell Ave.
Core Reverberations by Cynthia Morelli and new work by Colleen Firmin Thomas
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception, with 6 p.m. artists talks.
Homer ceramic artist Cynthia Morelli and mixed-media artist Colleen Firmin Thomas show their work in June. Morelli’s show, Core Exhibitions, is centered her body’s skeleton and the emotions that reside within her core.
“Working within this small-stature female frame, I search for a definition of female in my sculpture that is raw, impulsive, explosive and exuberant: formidable enough to survive, thrive and be playful,” she writes. “I view these energetic qualities in a positive light and feel it is vital that my impetus to make work stems from who I am – an emotional being within my female physical structure.”
Colleen Firmin Thomas grew up in the Gwich’in community of Fort Yukon and in Fairbanks.
“My work is an exploration of living in the space between two cultures,” she writes in her artist statement. “… As a child these two communities often seemed to represent two opposing worlds: my Gwich’in culture and my non-native Western culture. I often struggled to reconcile the two and my place in them. Working with traditional Gwich’in sewing materials and other elements from nature allows me to show the influence of my two cultures. I choose materials that bring feelings of comfort, home, care and belonging.”
475 E. Pioneer Ave.
Creatively Painted Upcycled Buoys by Jan Peyton and Char Jump
5-7 p.m. First Friday
Homer artists Jan Peyton and Char Jump have upcycled old trawl buoys from the 1980s from when there were shrimp in Kachemak Bay and retrieved Styrofoam buoys from old seine skiffs where they were sitting atop rotting net mounds in the forests of local backyards. After scrubbing and priming them, they have colorfully repurposed them with images of Homer’s flora and fauna into art for garden, yard, and driveway.
Grace Ridge Brewery
3388 B. Street off Ocean Drive
Acrylic paintings by Tarryn Zerbinos
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Tarryn Zerbinos describes her work as “vibrant.” According to her biography, “She enjoys mixing realism and abstract art to create a world that is thought provoking and warms your heart and home. She pulls inspiration from the world around her. This includes the mountains of Alaska, wildlife, traveling, and motherhood.”
Born in Alaska and raised in Wisconsin, Zerbinos studied fine art at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. She returned to Alaska, first traveling to Utqiagvik.
“Quickly her two week visit in Utqiagvik transitioned to a permanent move” according to her biography.” t wasn’t until a few years down the road when she had her two children that she realized she needed to get back into doing what she loves, which is creating. She now spends her time living in Anchorage painting murals, windows for businesses, creating art on her down time, and exploring the backcountry of Alaska with her husband, her two sons, and their dog.”
Homer Council on the Arts
355 W. Pioneer Ave.
Exploring Beringia by Iris Sutton
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Mary Epperson Day
noon- 5 p.m. Saturday
In her show, Fairbanks artist Iris Sutton explores the last glacial maximum 20,000 years ago when mammoths, horses and steppe bison roamed across Beringia, the land mass connecting Russia and Alaska.
“I love learning about science, the environment and especially wildlife,” Sutton writes. “My paintings explore the natural landscapes and animals of Alaska with vibrant color and are large-scale sometimes up to four or five feet long. My paintings are inspired by my trips on foot, by dog team or car around Alaska. I enjoy sharing my work with friends, family and the larger community.”
Sutton grew up in rural Alaska, including a remote homesite in Interior Alaska and to fish camp in the summers. She also lived in Manley Hot Springs and Nome.
“Over my lifetime I have seen many changes, from salmon numbers drastically declining, to melting permafrost and increases in temperature and wildfire.,” she writes. “My goals with my art are to inspire a love and respect for the natural world, to inspire children to explore, learn and experiment with art and nature themselves.”
On Saturday, the Homer Council on the Arts celebrates Mary Epperson Day to honor the teacher and arts supporter known as the “creative heart of Homer” before she died in 2016. As an avid supporter of the arts, Epperson helped found numerous arts and charitable organizations and served on the Homer Council on the Arts. Mary Epperson Day is held on or near her birthday to honor her contributions to the arts. The event features art and craft booths, vendors, and music by the ukulele group HUGS, Jake’s Bluegrass Jam, Johnny B and Shamwari Marimba.
3779 Bartlett St.
Painting at the End of the Ice Age, by David Rosenthal
5:30 p.m., artist’s talk
David Rosenthal’s “Painting at the End of the Ice Age,” remains on exhibit. At 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 3, he does an artist talk about his show. From 6-8 p.m. Friday or 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, he teaches a watercolor workshop. The workshops demonstrate three simple watercolor exercises that show how to use light, color and space to create realistic images. The fee is $48 a person; all materials are provided. Space is limited. Reserve your spot at davidrosenthalpratt.eventbrite.com.