As Alaska moves into midsummer, all that makes this the best place to experience the season unfolds. Thick rows of purple-blue lupine line the Homer Spit Trail and roadsides around town. Forget-me-nots, chocolate lillies and columbine have begun to bloom. The last bit of snow has melted on all but the highest mountain peaks. Moose calves, sandhill crane chicks, ducks and geese seem to double their size every week. Everywhere the brilliant colors of summer dot the landscape.
And so the art this month also brightens the days. Artists explore the Alaska landscape at numerous galleries. That’s the theme of a group show at the Homer Council on the Arts, where artists show that landscapes can be created in not just paint, but other media. At the Art Shop Gallery, Ninilchik artist Theresa Gonzalez gets her inspiration from the land, as seen in her vivid paintings of fireweed fields. At Bunnell Street Arts Center, Anchorage painter Steve Gordon looks to the “beauty, patterns, colors and rhythms of a landscape” for his art. At Fireweed Gallery, Homer artist Dianne Spence-Chorman also explores landscapes with her show, “Peaks and Views.”
In a special show highlighting Disability Pride Month, artists experiencing disabilities have created work for a group show at Grace Ridge Brewing, part of the Independent Living Center’s kick-off for Disability Pride Month events.
In other media, Jeff, Ranja and M’fanwy Dean at the Dean Family Gallery show their original carvings and prints, large heat-colored metal wall art and bronzes, and giclee prints. At Ptarmigan Arts, Lynn Marie Naden, a longtime Homer artist known for her clay work and paper castings, shows her exploration into fiber art, with images and designs on silk and other fabrics that have been painted, dyed and printed. Ceramics artist Lisa Wood, showing with Gordon at Bunnell, looks at how a simple pot can celebrate gathering together after a long pandemic.
Reach Michael Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art Shop Gallery
202 W. Pioneer Ave.
Beautiful Alaska in all Seasons, original acrylic paintings by Theresa Gonzalez
5-7:30 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
On her web page, Ninilchik artist Theresa Gonzalez describes herself as “a wife, mother and artist living and painting in arguably the most beautiful place in the world, the vast and varied expanse we call Alaska. She loves to travel all over Alaska exploring everything from Denali National Park, to the ice carvings in Fairbanks, to tiny coastal communities, to the rivers and tundras and all the wild lands in between. Her travels are not limited to Alaska, and Theresa finds art inspiration wherever she goes.”
Gonzalez writes that her inspiration comes from all she “sees and experiences in the great outdoors, from epic scenery and abundant wildlife, from the tallest peak to the rocky coastlines, to the people and places that make Alaska so special, to nature in its abundance of treasures large and small.”
Gonzalez and her family live in an old log cabin on a lovely homestead on the Kenai Peninsula, where she gardens, picks berries, and enjoys her many chickens and ducks and the frequent moose that stroll through her yard.
Bunnell Street Arts Center
106 W. Bunnell Ave.
Gathering, ceramic art by Lisa Wood
Restoration, paintings by Steve Gordon
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception, with 6 p.m. artists talk
Of her exhibit, “Gathering,” Homer artist Lisa Wood writes, “The last two years have made me long for gatherings. These pots celebrate getting back together. They are for large gatherings, the ones we’ve missed and the ones to come. The pots are fired in a kiln using two cords of wood. The kiln gets stoked for 30 to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit, and takes four days to cool.”
Wood has been a studio potter since 1997. She started working with clay as a child when her mother took her to a ceramics class at Seattle’s Pike’s Place Market. She came to Alaska when she was 17 and enrolled in college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Lisa studied ceramics there, then moved to Homer, taking every workshop that was offered through Bunnell Street Arts Center, including Warren McKenzie, Clary Ilian, Jeff Oestrich, Mary Barringer and Linda Christiansen, Ron Meyers and Anne Hirondelle.
Of his show, “Restoration,” Anchorage artist Steve Gordon writes, “Walking through the wilderness in Southcentral Alaska is a spiritual and soul supporting experience. It both grounds your life in the present as well as lifts your soul in the transcendent. Modern living can cause a person to rush through life at a multi-task pace, and the driving pressure of modern living is not sustainable. Slowing down life to see the world at a walking pace allows time for your soul to catch up with your body.
“Beauty is the antidote to the broken, fragmented, rushed pace of modern living. I experience nature by hiking, backpacking, and sea kayaking — at a human’s speed. I record these impressions with a cell phone camera and develop the paintings in my home studio. By sitting in one spot to absorb beauty, patterns, colors and rhythms of a landscape, one can bring life and restoration to the soul. May this exhibit be a balm and restoration to your weary soul. Enjoy.”
Gordon has been painting the landscape of Southcentral Alaska for the past 35 years in a painterly realist style. He grew up in Dubuque, Iowa, and went to Dartmouth College, where he met his wife, Karen. Together they have four adult children. Steven got his master of fine arts from the University of Iowa in 1984 and headed to Alaska. He has taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University, has done numerous painting workshops, and artist-in-the-school residencies across the state. His work can be seen in many private, public and corporate collections.
Creative Fires Studio and Dean Gallery
40374 Waterman Rd.
New work by Jeff, Ranja and M’fanwy Dean
5-7:30 p.m. First Friday Reception
The Dean Gallery features art by Jeff, Ranja and M’fanwy Dean, including original carvings and prints by M’fanwy, Jeff’s large heat-colored metal wall art and Ranja’s bronzes and giclee prints. M’fanwy’s epic carved wood panel, “Changing Skies,” is now available as a print on maple.
475 E. Pioneer Ave.
Peaks and Views, paintings by Dianne Spence-Chorman
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Homer artist Dianne Spence-Chorman shows “Peaks and Views,” Alaska landscapes in oil. Of her work, she writes “To those of us living in this land of head-turning views, the mundane can feel majestic, and the majestic somehow intimate. These paintings are glimpses of some captivating influences of our Alaskan landscape. The images are mere reminders of reality, but I hope they will be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.”
Grace Ridge Brewery
870 Smoky Bay Way off Lake Street
National Disability Pride Month art by various artists
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
July is National Disability Pride Month along with the anniversary of the signing of the American with Disabilities Act. To help celebrate and raise awareness, the Independent Living Center will hold lots of fun events this month ito raise funds and help community members experiencing disabilities. ILC is a local nonprofit organization that helps people and families living with disabilities to have access to all the tools, resources and understanding of rights and accessibility issues to live how and where they choose. To kick-off, Disability Pride Month, ILC and Grace Ridge Brewing Co. showcase local artists living with disabilities. Come learn about other fun events planned for July and learn more about ILC and the inclusive recreation program called T.R.A.I.L.S. All art will be for sale to help the community members serves. Grace Ridge Brewing also has chosen ILC as the Nonprofit of the Month.
Homer Council on the Arts
355 W. Pioneer Ave.
Landscape art by various artists
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
The Homer Council on the Arts’ July exhibit will be a group show. Artists responded to an open call to interpret a “landscape” theme in any medium. Works have been done in various paint media, photography, fiber art and block printing, and ranging in size from 4 inches to 7 feet.
Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery
471 E. Pioneer Ave.
Fabric art by Lynn Marie Naden
Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended First Friday hours until 7 p.m.
Ptarmigan Arts’ newest member, Lynn Marie Naden, shows fiber art with images and designs that have been painted, dyed, printed or marbled. A longtime Homer artist known for her clay work, Naden has recently found herself enamored with fiber.
“Seven years ago, I went to an impromptu workshop with the Homer Fiber arts group on silk painting and have been exuberantly exploring the different methods of hand painting silk and fabrics, dyeing, marbling and printing,” she writes.
Her display contains a variety of hand painted silk scarves and wall hangings, cloth tea towels, and hand-dyed wax kitchen wraps made with her own concoction of filtered organic beeswax, jojoba oil, and pine rosin.