First Friday includes play readings at HCOA

A howling blizzard for First Friday in February knocked out power and put a damper on the monthly art openings. A few galleries held Second Friday shows after cancelling, but some of those shows continue if art lovers missed last month’s gallery visits. At Ptarmigan Arts, Anchorage photographer Dave Parkhurst’s show of aurora images continues — a timely event considering the good aurora viewing Homer has been having with clear skies this month. This Friday, Ptarmigan Arts, the longtime artists’ cooperative, kicks off its 30th anniversary celebration with a free gift certificate drawing in appreciation of its loyal supporters.

Two new shows open this month. At Bunnell Street Arts Center, exhibits have been timed to complement the visits of Old Town Artists in Residence. Last month, the quilts of Maria Shell provided a brightly colored backdrop for the drumming and dancing workshops of African performers Soriba and Shelley Fofana. This month, the subdued cast paper and other sculptures of Fairbanks sculptor Annie Duffy will fit in with interactive theater workshops being done by visiting Iñupiaq interdisciplinary and performance artist Allison Warden. Warden, also known as Aku-Matu, will develop an interactive play called “Let Glow.”

Vagabond photographer and writer Christina Whiting shows her latest work that has come about from her travels. Last year, Whiting did a show from her pilgrimage in Spain on the Camino de Santiago. Her latest show, “Falling Through the Rabbit Hole,” came about from a three-month visit to New York City.

“Like Alice in Wonderland, I dropped through the rabbit hole, but came out in New York City,” she said. “Everything was new, interesting and amazing to me, and my senses were acutely awake as I soaked it all in.”

Michael Armstrong can be reached at

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