First Friday features Mary Epperson Day celebration

For Mary Epperson Day on this month’s First Friday, with a slew of art openings it will be hard to fit them all in before heading to the Homer Council on the Arts at 7 p.m. for its annual meeting and celebration of the life of Epperson, a music teacher and art advocate who died in 2016.

June shows include several exhibits by indigenous artists or artists from Alaska villages. Alutiiq/Sugpiaq artist Linda Infante Lyons and Sarah Beaty, of the Gwich’in village of Fort Yukon, show their work at Bunnell Street Arts Center. At The Shop, Mi’kmaq/Inuit artist Jonathan S. Green shows his prints in a show with ceramic artist Alanna DeRocchi.

Artist Lori Jenkins, known at the Homer Farmers Market for her Synergy Gardens and the Alaska Garlic Project, has a new show of en plein air paintings at Grace Ridge Brewery. Other Homer artists showing work include Karen Roush at HCOA and Ranja v Dean at the Dean Gallery.

It’s not quite the Musee d’Orsay, but for this month the Fireweed Gallery features artists working “In the Manner Of” artists that could be found in Paris. Local artists have creatively interpreted the works of Van Gogh, Klimt, Kahlo and others.

Other Alaska artists showing include Douglas Francois Girard at the Art Shop Gallery and his “Bird Block” bird paintings and Soldotna artist Abbey Ulen at Ptarmigan Arts.

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

Art Shop Gallery

202 W. Pioneer Ave.

The Call of Homer, paintings by Douglas Francois Girard

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

Douglas Francois Girard shows new original paintings of birds in their environment. He paints Alaska birds and other wildlife in acrylics and prints the image on 100% cotton paper, adheres it to pine or poplar wood and gives each block two coats of varnish for what he calls Bird Blocks.

“I created my first Bird Block when I was 13,” he writes in his artist’s statement. “I painted a bird of paradise with acrylic on paper, glued it to the wood and then varnished it. Little did I know then I would be making many more Bird Blocks decades later. It wasn’t until I was married that my wife opened my eyes to the hidden world around me. I was amazed I had lived for so many years without realizing the beauty of birds that flit in and out of our sight.”

Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

New work by Linda Infante Lyons and Sarah Beaty

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

In her paintings, Linda Infante Lyons combines elements of Christian iconography with the Alutiiq tradition. — a combination that also reflects her heritage as a descendant of Alutiiq/Sugpiaq and Russian/Estonian ancestors.

“The Russian occupation was swift and devastating for the indigenous people and living creatures of the region,” she writes. “Lost and repressed language, cultural knowledge and spiritual traditions are slowly being rediscovered and brought to light.

“With this new series of landscape paintings and Christian icon inspired portraits, I take a deeper look at the world view of my Alutiiq ancestors, finding affinity in many ways with my own.”

Ceramic artist Sarah Beaty comes from Fort Yukon, a Gwich’in village of 600 people north of Fairbanks. Of her work, she writes, “I pair simple drawings with ice and sky colored pots; generate repeating, tessellating patterns that have missing pieces or fall apart as they cover a curve; draw clouds with clay. I aim to make work that is special and also disarming – my version of village-Arctic-neo Alaskana; work that is lovely.”

Dean Gallery

40373 Waterman Road

Drawings by Ranja v Dean

5-9 p.m., First Friday Reception

Artist Ranja v Dean shows drawings Inspired by her deep connection with the four-legged kingdom, the magic of life and many a night adventuring beneath the stars.

Fireweed Gallery

475 E. Pioneer Ave.

In the Manner Of, paintings by various artists

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Fireweed Gallery presents “In The Manner Of,” an exhibit by local artists creatively interpreting artworks inspired by well-known artists throughout the ages. Featured are Klimt by Susan DeFrancia; Frida Kahlo by Char Jump, Van Gogh by Mary Huff, Sydney Lawrence by Cindy Nelson, Paul Klee by Michael Murray, Andrew Wyeth by Jan Peyton, Sharlene Cline by Eva Stoval, Modigliani and Van Gogh by Donna Martin, Georgia O’Keefe by Melinda Hershberger, and other participants.

Grace Ridge Brewery

3388 B. Street off Ocean Drive

En plein air paintings by Lori Jenkins

5-9 p.m., First Friday

Artist Lori Jenkins created her en plein air paintings while camping. After moving to Homer in 2002, Jenkins started the Alaska Garlic Project and Synergy Gardens with her husband Wayne and their son Obadiah. Lori studied and taught art while homesteading and raising a family in the North Georgia Mountains and now raises Alaska-acclimatized garlic. She says she works to merge aesthetic beauty with practical sustenance.

Homer Council on the Arts

344 W. Pioneer Ave.

New work by Karen Roush

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Mary Epperson Day annual meeting and arts award celebration

7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Artist Karen Roush holds a reception for her show from 5-7 p.m. followed by the Homer Council on the Arts annual meeting and Mary Epperson Day celebration with music and the annual arts awards.

Roush is a visual artist and writer living in Homer who works primarily in oil and cold wax. Of her work, she writes: “To paint with abandonment — applying wax, scratching it back, dissolving layers, applying more wax and more texture, was endless. … With oil and cold wax, I have reached a new level in my work — a spiritual calling, reaching deep inside to allow images to flow through me as the medium.”

Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery

471 E. Pioneer Ave.

Life by the Water, new work by Abbey Ulen

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Soldotna artist Abbey Ulen works in a variety of media, including acrylic, ink and paper. A lifelong Alaska beachcomber, she finds herself inspecting the smallest of worlds and strange creatures. Her show was inspired by those many layers that make up a bigger picture of our world. By using multiple layers of mediums such as paper, texture and ink she writes that she hopes to encourage the viewers to look a little closer at the minor things that might go unseen.

The Shop: Kachemak Bay Art Space

60388 Bear Creek Court

New work by Alanna DeRocchi and Jonathan S. Green

7-9 p.m., First Friday Reception

With live music by Blue Belly, The Shop’s First Friday reception features artists Alanna DeRocchi and Jonathan S. Green. DeRocchi is a ceramic sculptor from Anchorage, where she teaches at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She received an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2010. Since graduating, she has done artist residency programs in South Korea and Montana and has received a Rasmuson Foundation project award to support a solo exhibition at the Anchorage Museum.

Now living in Anchorage, Green is of Mi’kmaq and Inuit, British and Scottish heritage from Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador. He does not know a lot about his indigenous heritage but is trying to learn more. Green received an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Alberta. Green has been an artist in residence at the University of Alaska Anchorage, SNAP Printshop in Edmonton, Alberta, and St. Michael’s Printshop in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska.

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