‘Tis the season to enjoy holiday traditions, like skating on Beluga Lake, taking in the Christmas tree lighting events, preparing your favorite cookie recipe, writing cards, getting tickets to the Nutcracker Ballet, and making plans to attend Homer’s Nutcracker Faire. Between the Faire and December’s Art Gallery First Friday, you are sure to find something for all the loved ones on your holiday shopping list.
Sponsored by Homer Council on the Arts, the Nutcracker Faire has been around since the 1980s and is back in full swing this year for the first time since 2020, with 63 vendors selling locally made and produced goods, including arts, crafts, wearable’s, and more. There will also be food booths, a kid’s craft booth, nonprofit booths, and live music on the stage, including the Brass Quintet, Classical Swing Choir, Homer Ukulele, Jazz Band, Jones Family, KP Brass Band, Carol Comfort’s piano students, Katy Clan’s violin students and OPUS youth students.
The Nutcracker Faire runs 1 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, with the first hour of each day masks required. Several of the local art galleries will be at the Faire as well, so check individual listings for that information, as well as Opening Receptions and their new holiday hours.
Don’t miss the Christmas Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. Chapman Elementary School also holds a Craft Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the school. Proceeds benefit the Chapman basketball program.
Art Shop Gallery
202 W. Pioneer Ave.
New work by Barbara Lavallee
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Art Shop Gallery hosts Alaska artist Barbara Lavallee. Through exposure to Alaska Native culture, Lavallee has developed a distinctive style that celebrates the joy, resilience,and hard work that characterizes Alaska Native life. She paints whimsical scenes in transparent watercolor, playing hot colors against a white background. On display will be her new prints, Puppy Love and Peek-A-Boo, along with her 2023 Wild Alaska calendar, which she will be on hand to sign.
Bunnell Street Arts Center
106 W. Bunnell Ave.
“Mother,” a collaborative exhibit
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception, with artist performance at 5:45p.m., followed by artist talks at 6 p.m.
Bunnell Street Arts Center presents Mother, a collaborative exhibit by artists across the state that will include art, performance and a mending workshop. The exhibit opens at 5 p.m. and will commence with “Nurturing,” a short performance of the exploration of care by Myesha Callahan Freet at 5:45 p.m., followed by artist talks at 6 p.m.
“The word Mother conjures comfort, expectation, humility, defiance, entanglement, lineage, disappointment, rage, and bliss. The state is simultaneously verdant and mundane, a vein of generational knowledge and deep intuition tempered by unknowing and unlearning,” writes Brianna Allen, the exhibit coordinator. “’Mother’ is created from within our mothering experience, but also in response to our relationships with one another — sustenance, balm, commitment, and reckoning. We do this work to contextualize, remember, and honor all stages of mothering.”
Participating artists include Amy Komar, Brianna Allen and Carla Klinker Cope of Homer, Myesha Callahan Freet from Chugiak, Somer Hahm from Fairbanks, Lily Wooshkindein Da.Aat Hope from Juneau, and Amy Meissner from Anchorage.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to noon, Meissner will lead a Mending Workshop at Bunnell. Attendees are invited to bring a garment in need of hand repair and work together with the artist to care for, accompany and prolong the life of the textile. Simple supplies will be available to share or attendees can bring their own needle, thread yarn and scissors. Fee is by donation. Register by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maximum 20 participants.
As part of “Mother,” “MOMologues” will be a live community performance, created by Brianna Allen and directed by Jennifer Norton and Mercedes Harness, held Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Bunnell. The program is 21+, and limited to one night only. Tickets are $50 and include one drink token, with proceeds benefitting Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic. Tickets are available through KBFPC at kbfpc.org.
Creative Fires Studio and Dean Gallery
40374 Waterman Rd.
Visit their booth at the Nutcracker Faire
Creative Fires Studio and the Dean Gallery is family owned and features a wide range of contemporary Alaska art, from significant focal point wood and metal wall art to bronze sculptures, intricately carved wood panels, and specialty prints on wood, metal, and paper, as well as greeting cards and stickers. Stop by their booth at this year’s Nutcracker Faire where they will primarily have metal and wood prints, as well as bronzes, heat colored steel originals, and smaller items like cards, buttons, stickers, and magnets.
475 E. Pioneer Ave.
No opening reception; the gallery closes at 5 p.m.
Fireweed Gallery continues its current exhibit, “Our Town,” a vibrant collaboration of colorful drawings by two local artists, depicting many of Homer’s iconic buildings, as well as rustic cabins, barns, and more. Illustrated by Teresa Aldridge and colored by Erik Behnke, “Our Town” was a year in the making and features both originals and prints of their collaborative work, as well as framed prints, and scarves with Behnke’s designs embroidered onto them.
Grace Ridge Brewery
870 Smoky Bay Way off Lake Street
Woodworking by Kim Schuster
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Grace Ridge Brewing features woodworking and ink pointillism drawings by Kim Schuster. Schuster came to Alaska in 2012 to pursue a masters degree in marine biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She works for the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and guides in the Antarctic in the off-season. Woodworking has been Schuster’s passion since discovering the art in middle school. Her favorite tool is a scroll saw, which is used to cut a single piece of wood into many individual units, each of which is sanded and painted before being glued back together to create the final product. Woodworking in remote areas proved challenging, as scroll saws portable, so she also uses ink pointillism as a way to create art in remote environments. Exploring polar regions has given Schuster a rich array of experiences to draw inspiration from and her hope is that her art communicates science to the public.
Homer Council on the Arts
355 W. Pioneer Ave.
“Fun with 5×7”
Visit their booth at the Nutcracker Faire
Homer Council on the Arts continues their current exhibit, “Fun with 5×7,” paintings, photography and mixed media in 5×7 dimensions by more than 20 local artists of all ages and art experiences. HCOA hosts the Nutcracker Faire on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2 and 3, at Homer High School and invites you to visit their booth during the Faire. HCOA’s gallery hours for Faire weekend will be Friday, Dec. 1, 1-5 p.m., and closed Saturday.
Kachemak Bay Campus
533 E. Pioneer Ave.
Communicating Art Through Science by Homer Flex High School and KBC Semester by the Bay students
4-7 p.m. First Friday Opening Reception
This Friday the Kachemak Bay Campus will be spotlighting the art of Homer Flex High School and KBC Semester by the Bay students titled Communicating Art Through Science. Stop by the KBC commons and see re-articulated harbor seal and sea otter skeletons, watersheds and glaciers made from acrylic pours, and scientific illustrations.
Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery
471 E. Pioneer Ave.
Ptarmigan Arts artists have been busy creating new work for the holiday season and invite everyone to stop by and see what they have been hard at work at, what is new on display. They are now open for holiday hours, every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Christmas. They will also be open for extended hours on First Friday until 7 p.m. On Dec. 16 to 18, artist Jean Steele will hold a pop up show featuring her jewelry as well as her watercolor originals and prints.
3779 Bartlett St.
“Salmon Culture: Kachemak Bay Connections”
4-6 p.m. First Friday Reception
The Pratt Museum continues its “Salmon Culture” exhibits in both the Main Gallery and the Community Gallery and will host a First Friday reception. “Salmon Culture” and sister exhibit, “Salmon Culture: Kachemak Bay Connections” share stories and celebrates our connection with salmon around Alaska, through a variety of artwork — paintings, sculpture, jewelry, mixed media, and more, by artists from around the state.
On Saturday, Dec. 10, from 7-9 p.m., the museum hosts Glacier Salon, a benefit for the Pratt Museum & Park, featuring Homer’s own Glacier Salon Quartet for a performance of Hayden String Quartet Op. 76 #4 “The Sunrise” and Dvorak String Quartet Op. 96 “The American”. Members of the Glacier Salon Quarter are: Marcio Candido on Violin I, Daniel Perry on Violin II, Nancy Darigo on Viola, and Mannfried Funk on Cello. Wine and dessert to follow the performance. A suggested donation of $100 per person. Seating is limited. Please rsvp to email@example.com.
Homer Chamber of Commerce Holiday Tree Lighting
Thursday, Dec. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Stop by the Chamber on Thursday, December 1 for the annual tree lighting. Meet Santa Claus, enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores, listen to Homer High School Choir perform Christmas carols and have your kiddos write letters to Santa!
Anchor Point Chamber of Commerce Christmas Tree Lighting
Saturday, Dec. 3, 6 p.m.