First Friday events

Homer’s diverse artist community builds on a tradition of longtime artists that has been enhanced by newer arrivals equally entranced by Kachemak Bay’s scenery and setting.

Fiber artist Eileen Wythe, who first came to Homer in 1949, not only shows her quilts but also shell and driftwood art at Ptarmigan Arts. At Bunnell Street Arts Center, relative newcomer Brianna Allen, who came to Homer in 2008, is part of a two-woman show with Rita Pfenninger, “Northern Latitudes.” Allen, an active member of the Old Town renaissance, and Pfenninger, a retired McNeil Canyon School teacher, both work in plein air — painting outdoors.

At Fireweed Gallery, another longtime Alaskan, Wasilla artist Nancy Angelini Crawford, shows her watercolor, pastel and oil paintings. “Oh, the places we’ve seen and people we’ve known,” Crawford says. “If we could just paint them all and hang them on the wall.”

Sometimes Homer artists need to break out of their Alaska boxes and reinvigorate their art with adventures in the outside world. Photographer and artist Christina Whiting did that with her Camino de Santiago show in 2012, photographs and writings from her pilgrimage along the ancient spiritual trail. Whiting also spent almost a year living in Brooklyn, N.Y. Out of that experience is her latest show, “I New York,” opening at the Homer Council on the Arts. Whiting also does a talk and slideshow at 5:30 p.m. Monday at HCOA.

Music also fills First Friday with the grand opening of Cornish Music at its new location next to the Art Shop Gallery. Music will be provided by Cornish Music in the gallery.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at

Art Shop Gallery

202 W. Pioneer Avenue

Cornish Music grand opening

5-7:30 p.m., First Friday Reception

Cornish Music has recently moved in next door to the Art Shop Gallery. For First Friday, Cornish Music provides musical entertainment upstairs in the gallery. Also featured are new photographs on canvas and metal by Taz Tally, with sale prices on older traditional and framed prints.


Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

Northern Latitudes,

paintings by Brianna Allen
and Rita Pfenninger
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception; 6 p.m., artists talk

Homer artist Brianna Allen first came here in 2008 for the summer. That visit resulted in her first Bunnell show, “Nighttime Wardens and Vigilantes.” She has a bachelors in fine arts from the University of Southern Maine and studied at the National Latvian Academy of Art in Riga, Latvia. This show features landscapes painted with mixed-media and oils. The paintings start as plein air — open air — studies with on-site focuses in composition and value by using oil sticks and a limited paint palate. Allen writes that before leaving the site, she makes notes of visual cues, like “Mountains pale, a sparseness to them” or “clouds help to pattern the shadows.”
“This body of work is dedicated to this organization’s heart and vision for deeply enriching the Homer art community in which it serves,” she writes. “Homer would not have been my home for so long, if it were not for the Bunnell Street Arts Center.”
Like Allen’s work, artist and retired McNeil Canyon School teacher Rita Pfenninger also paints en plein air.
“My attraction to the rich colors and dramatic lighting of northern latitudes probably originates from my early childhood in Minnesota, and has been reinforced by having  lived my adult life in Alaska,” she writes. “I love to explore the forms and patterns in nature: snow on mountains, shadows on hills, ice and grass, water and clouds.”


Fireweed Gallery

475 E. Pioneer Ave.

Journey of the Heart,

watercolors, pastels and oils by
Nancy Angelini Crawford
5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

“Oh the places we’ve seen and people we’ve known,” Nancy Angelini Crawford writes of her show, “If we could just paint them all and hang them on the wall.” After living in Wasilla for more than 30 years and raising a family, Crawford put her art back on center stage and began taking watercolor classes and studied with contemporary masters such as Kevin McPherson, David Gallup, Dean Larson and others.  Inspired by Alaska’s beautiful scenery, the sea and her travels, she says that no matter the media, her goal is to know the techniques well, apply them, and then embellish with her own style.


Homer Council on the Arts

344 W. Pioneer Ave.

I New York, by Christina Whiting
5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Slideshow and storytelling presentation
5:30-7 p.m., Monday

Homer writer and photographer Christina Whiting went to Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2012 intending to visit for three months, but wound up loving it so much she spent almost a year there. “While I love Homer for its proximity, beauty and sense of community, I was easily swooned by the anonymity, chaos and creative energy of New York City.,” she writes. “Some of my most joyous moments included conversations with strangers, making friends, walking anonymously down the streets, people watching, discovering wild, natural spaces and the moment when I felt completely connected to the city, that I was no longer an outsider looking in.”
Her show features photographs and stories that came out of her visit. At 5:30 p.m. Monday, Whiting also does a slideshow and storytelling presentation.


Picture Alaska 

448 E. Pioneer Ave. 

Closing Business Sale
5-7:30 p.m., First Friday Reception 

Although in the mist of a closing business sale, the gallery still has a wide selection of Alaska art and Native crafts. Everyone is invited to stop by and enjoy light refreshments and savings on art, fashion and gifts.


Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery

471 E. Pioneer Ave.

Fiber and other art by Eileen Wythe

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

This show features long-time Homer resident Eileen Wythe’s works of art, including fiber art and hand crafted driftwood and shell art. Wythe is a well-known and respected quilter, but the show also includes delicate shell flower arrangements and useful items embellished with shells gathered from the beaches of Kachemak Bay. Wythe first came to Homer Alaska in September 1949 aboard the Alaska Steamship Denali. She attended Homer High School as a freshman then returned to Wyoming in May 1950, graduating in 1953. She returned to Homer Jan. 1, 1954, at which time she began working for Homer Electric, continuing employment off and on over the next 40 years. During this time she has walked the beaches of Kachemak Bay, picking up driftwood, shells and rocks and using these items to craft art works from nature. Sometimes antique items such as glass canning lids are included. She began quilting in the 1950s and currently designs most of her quilts. Quilting methods used include needle turn appliqué, machine piecing and hand quilting as well as some hand dyed fabrics.