First Friday events

As Homer art lovers know, April always brings a special treat: student art shows from kindergarten to high school at Paul Banks Elementary School and Homer Flex School. Paul Banks holds it annual Arts Extravaganza, with not only displays of student art, but a hands-on art table and performances by the Homer Youth String Orchestra and Preludes, the Paul Banks string instrument ensemble. Homer Flex demonstrates that art continues as students mature and prepare to embark on adult life. For its show, the school features photography done in an Artist in the Schools residency by Taz Tally.

Emerging and mature artists also exhibit at galleries. New artist Britni Siekaniec holds her first show, “Salt,” at Grace Ridge Brewery. Salt has been the theme of her life this year, Siekaniec says, with the founding of the Alaska Salt Co. with her husband, Casey. At Bunnell Street Arts Center, one of Alaska’s premier ceramic artists, Cynthia Morelli, shows her new exhibit of sculpture and paintings, “Visceral Elements.”

Taking advantage of art visitors at Bunnell in Old Town, Homer Folk School kicks off its membership drive with a display of its Homer Folk School Rocks, created by 90-year-old artist Donna Ridener, at the Compass Rose Building on East Bunnell Avenue. People joining the folk school at the $100 level or higher receive a hand-painted rock by Ridener. Learn about folk school programs, too.

Other shows include paintings and jewelry by life and creative partners Rita Pfenninger and Larry Hoare, showing at Fireweed Gallery, fiber art by Linda Robinson at the Homer Council on the Arts, and paintings by artist Jay Wright at Ptarmigan Arts.

Reach Michael Armstrong at

Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

Visceral Elements, ceramic sculpture and paintings by Cynthia Morelli

5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception; 6 p.m., artist talk

Homer artist Cynthia Morelli shows new works in ceramic sculpture and painting. In her artist’s statement, she writes, “In works on paper and with clay, I investigate vigorous energy, what might be conveyed through that energy. When I invest myself, barriers of self consciousness, doubt and defensiveness drop away. I become playful, brave, and follow where the marks and developing forms lead me with absolute trust. My vulnerability is exposed, raw and open. My work is personal and intimate, about vulnerability. My work is about trust.”

Fireweed Gallery

475 E. Pioneer Ave.

Mountain, Foliage, Ocean, Sky, paintings by Rita Pfenninger

Alaskan Gems, jewelry by Larry Hoare

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Wife and husband Rita Pfenninger and Larry Hoare show paintings and gemstone jewelry in their new show. “These married artists have always recognized the creative process in each other as a vehicle to express their shared love of nature in art, Rita through her paintings and Larry with his jewelry creations,” the gallery writes of their show. The couple met as hiking buddies in Girdwood in the early 1970s and soon set up a studio in an old warehouse in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. They moved to Homer in 1985, raised a family, and still love to hike and create art together.

Grace Ridge Brewery

3388 B. Street off Ocean Drive

Salt, paintings by Britni Siekaniec

5-7 p.m., First Friday

Homer artist and writer Britni Siekaniec moved to Homer in 2012 when she was 18. “It feels like, and has always felt like I was meant to live here. My soul is at peace in Homer, and I’ve been presented with one fabulous opportunity after another since I have been here,” she writes. “Shortly after moving here I met the fisherman of my dreams and have been living happily ever after since. Things just seem to fall effortlessly into place for me here — I’m hooked.”

An English major in school with a concentration in writing, she said she gave up her pens and journals for paints and brushes. She studied with Homer artist and teacher Jim Buncak and considers herself a beginning artist. “Salt” is her first show, called because salt has been the theme of her life this year. With her husband Casey she started a small business, Alaska Salt Co., and will also have her wares on display.

Homer Council on the Arts

344 W. Pioneer Ave.

Petals, fiber art by Linda Robinson

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Homer Council on the Arts celebrates spring and the rejuvenation of color, light and rebirth in Linda Robinson’s show, “Petals.” Robinson’s fiber art exhibit includes all original wall hangings created by layering and embellishing hand dyed fabric. She also uses techniques of embroidery and machine and hand quilting.

Homer Flex School

4122 Ben Walters Lane

Photography and other art by student artists

5-7 p.m., First Friday

Homer Flex Students show work done in an artist in the schools residency led by photographer Taz Tally. The exhibit also includes woodworking and ceramics projects.

Homer Folk School

Compass Rose Building, 165 E. Bunnell Ave., Suite D

Homer Folk School Rocks by Donna Ridener

5-8 p.m., First Friday

Homer Folk School kicks off its membership drive with food, drinks and music. The first 100 founding members who give a donation of $100 or more receive a hand painted rock created by Donna Ridener, the 90-year-old mother of board member Robin McAllistar. Each rock features folks in amazing detail and depth in their daily lives. Memberships are available starting at $30 and all members will receive discounts on classes, as well as invitations to special events.

Paul Banks Elementary School

1340 East End Road

Paul Banks Arts Extravagancy by various artists

5-7 p.m., First Friday

Paul Banks Elementary School once again features its spring Art Extravaganza with art in various media from all students. The evening also includes a hands-on art table where students can create a fun art project with their family and bring it home. The evening also features live music by the Homer Youth String Orchestra, violin performances by the Preludes and appetizers served by staff members.

Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery

471 E. Pioneer Ave.

Paintings by Jay Wright

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Ptarmigan Arts presents Anchor Point artist Jay Wright. His show features drawings in several media, including pencil, ink and acrylics. Born in Miami, Florida, as a young child, he was drawn to the outdoors, its abundant wildlife and the adventure of life itself. “As he learned about the local animals and ocean creatures he realized he had a knack for drawing them, and during a life crisis, Jay used his love of nature to soothe his soul,” the gallery writes of him. “Jay captures what his eye sees, the beauty and simplicity of nature at its finest, and this is carried into his artwork.”

Fiber art by Linda Robinson. (Photo provided)

Fiber art by Linda Robinson. (Photo provided)

A painting of a Steller jay by Jay Wright. (Photo provided)

A painting of a Steller jay by Jay Wright. (Photo provided)

A painting of a Steller jay by Jay Wright. (Photo provided)

A painting of a Steller jay by Jay Wright. (Photo provided)

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