First Friday events

With some galleries closing for January as they do annual cleaning and reorganizing, it’s a good time for new artists to shine this month. Fortunately, young photographers have chosen this First Friday to show off what they learned in the 12-week PhotoVoice classes taught in Rand Paul’s Homer Middle School and Alayne Tetor’s Homer High School classes. Tara Schmidt and Rachel Romberg of the South Peninsula Haven House team have joined with local artists to teach youth photographic techniques that also can be used to address social issues. The Homer Prevention Project cosponsored the project.

Twenty-two students and two adult mentors show their work in an opening reception from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday at K-Bay Caffe on Pioneer Avenue. A panel of students will talk about their work and the experience going through the program. At 6:30 p.m. several young poets also will perform spoken-word pieces inspired by photographs in the exhibit.

“PhotoVoice is an evidence-based strategy that’s been proven to be effective in many communities to address a wide array of complex social issues, including alcohol use,” said Esther Hammerschlag, director of the Homer Prevention Project.

The Homer Prevention Project is a collaborative effort in response to health priorities identified by a Homer community health needs assessment. One priority is reducing underage drinking and adult binge and heavy drinking.

Students were challenged to use photography to answer the question “What factors in the community might affect a teen’s decision to drink or not to drink alcohol?” Weekly classes might include a professional photographer discussing how he or she takes photographs and student discussion and critiques of photos they took.

Visitors to the show will be asked to fill out comment cards on the exhibit to help guide improvements in future workshops. Commenters will receive a $1-off coupon from K-Bay Caffe.

Also opening on Friday is a show of Alaska Native portraits by Lynda Reed and Diane Widom at Picture Alaska. Bunnell Street Arts Center won’t be holding a First Friday show, but will have a Second Friday opening on Jan. 10, “ReCollections,” mixed-media assemblages by a mother-daughter team, Laura Bliss Spaan and Kayla Spaan.

Ptarmigan Arts celebrates the beginning of its 30th year as the second-oldest arts cooperative in Alaska. Join member-artists for a reception marking that milestone.

Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

ReCollections, mixed-media assemblages by Kayla Spaan and Laura Bliss Spaan

5-7 p.m. Jan. 10, Second Friday Opening Reception; 6 p.m., artists talk

Kayla Spaan and Laura Bliss Spaan are a mother-daughter duo who share a penchant for collecting and a passion for recycling. Kayla is a paper-pulp painter and printmaker from Homer. Her mother, Laura, is a filmmaker from Anchorage who creates mixed-media assemblages. They have created a landscape “animated by Styrofoam packing forms punctuated with glowing x-rays, cafeteria trays awash in watery moving images from around the world, immersive kinetics made from pulped mantras on paper and hundreds of plastic lids collected in Homer nested in an explosion of recovered color,” they write.

Fireweed Gallery

475 E. Pioneer Ave.

Fireweed at the Fireweed and Other Local Renderings, paintings by Dan Coe

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Fireweed Gallery closes for its winter break on Jan. 5, but holds a repeat reception for its December exhibit, Dan Coe’s “Fireweed at the Fireweed.” There also is a sale for its last days before it closes. Fireweed reopens on Feb. 7. 

K-Bay Caffe

397 W. Pioneer Ave.

Making Choices About Alcohol:  A Youth PhotoVoice Exhibit, by middle school and high school student artists

5:30-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

PhotoVoice is one of five strategies developed by the Homer Prevention Project to address underage drinking and adult binge drinking. The exhibit is the result of a 12-week class that  taught students to use photography to address the issue of underage drinking. Photographers will be introduced and a panel of students will talk about their work and experience going through the program.  At 6:30 p.m., several young poets will perform spoken word poetry they wrote based on photographs from the exhibit. The exhibit is sponsored by the Homer Prevention Project and is in partnership with other local organizations, including Haven House.

Picture Alaska 

448 E. Pioneer Ave. 

New Work by Lynda Reed and Dianne Widom

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception 

Featured this month are Alaska Native portraits in watercolor by Lynda Reed and giclee by Diane Widow. Reed’s Native portraits were inspired by photos obtained from the Carrie Museum in Nome and a photograph by Bill Scott of “Dora” while watching the Homer Winter Carnival parade in the early 90s. Dianne Widom lived in Nome for several years, becoming well known for her portraits of the local inhabitants.

Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery

471 E. Pioneer Ave.

30th anniversary reception, by various artists

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

All 31 current member-owners of Ptarmigan Arts Gallery, the second oldest co-op in Alaska, invite First Friday vistors to stop in for hot cider and treats and help it celebrate the  beginning of its 30th year of offering a venue for the Homer arts community and providing scholarships to young artists.