As the summer winds down, new exhibits feature traditional Alaska themes of landscapes and nature.
Several exhibits are related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a collaborative exhibit at the Homer Council on the Arts by Kayla Bloom and Desiree Hagen, sculptures by Anvil Catlin Williamson at Bunnell Street Arts Center, and the kickoff of a participatory show at the Pratt Museum, “Postcards from Unprecedented Times.” At the Pratt, visitors are invited to document the pandemic through art, poetry, collage and other forms. Christina Wilson’s exhibit, “100 Days, 100 Paintings,” offers a focused effort by her in the midst of Alaska’s quarantine starting in May.
Homer photographer and artist Taz Tally has an exhibit with his photographs printed on metal at the Art Shop Gallery. Nature artist Abbey Ullen shows how birds offer hope in her exhibit, “Feathered Friends,” at Ptarmigan Arts. An exhibit for landscape artist Tracy Hansen opens at Grace Ridge Brewery while another landscape artist, Steven Gordon, has a show at Bunnell Street Arts Center.
Art Shop Gallery
202 W. Pioneer Ave.
Photography by Taz Tally
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Homer photographer and author Taz Tally shows news work printed in color and black-and-white on metal. His show includes photos he took at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado that earned him the 2020 Artist in Residence Award there.
Bunnell Street Arts Center
106 W. Bunnell Ave.
“Land Acknowledgement in Action: an ephemeral sign installation/land marking project,” by Melissa Shaginoff
11 a.m.-noon via Zoom
New work by Steven Gordon and Anvil Catlin Williamson
6 p.m. artists talk via Zoom
As part of a Bunnell series, “Tuggeht: Land Acknowledgment of Dena’ina and Sugpiaq lands,” to advance awareness, participation and visible acknowledgment of Indigenous lands, artist and social activist Melissa Shaginoff holds a talk via Zoom, “Land Acknowledgement in Action: an ephemeral sign installation/ land marking project.” Shaginoff is part of the Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay’dini’aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village). An Ahtna and Paiute person, she also is the curator of Alaska Pacific University’s Art Galleries. Register to participate via Zoom or watch on Facebook Live at Bunnell’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BunnellArts/.
An exhibit by Anchorage artist Steven Gordon and Fairbanks artist Anvil Catlin Williamson opens Friday. Although there is no First Friday reception, the artists hold a talk via Zoom. Register in advance at this Zoom link to participate in the conversation or watch on Facebook Live by going to Bunnell’s Facebook page.
Steven Gordon has been painting the landscape of southcentral Alaska for the past 35 years in a painterly realist style. He went to Dartmouth College and then earned his master of fine arts from the University of Iowa in 1984 and came to Alaska to start his adventures with the life and land of Alaska. He’s taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University and 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.
Anvil Catlin Williamson was born and raised in Spokane, Washington, but has been a permanent resident of Fairbanks since 2008. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2016 and has been a full-time artist since 2017.
Using animal imagery combined with non-organic components, Anvil’s ceramic and mixed-media sculptures explore the roles of suffering and empathy in the individual life. This current body of work entitled “Shelter” delves into the human need for safety as well as community.
“All of us have recently experienced changes in how we relate to our physical and emotional shelters in the shadow of current events. The subjects you see represent individuals struggling to find or provide shelter amidst the various forms of isolation that often come with it,” Williamson writes of her work.
475 E. Pioneer Ave.
100 Days, 100 Paintings, by Christina Wilson
No First Friday reception
In “100 Days, 100 Paintings,” Anchorage artist Christina Wilson said that starting on May 15 she aimed to create an original painting each day for 100 days to improve artistic technique and promote self-expression. She attempts to emulate the world around her through Alaska landscapes and animals she experiences in her life. This project has brought many other passions to the surface for her, including the process of publishing her fourth children’s book about rural Alaska. She also has been able to explore new techniques in acrylic, gouache and oil paint. She has been exploring the concept of “reckless art,” where many of her paintings are made only with her fingers, which she believes one is never too old to finger paint.
Wilson writes that on her business card she has a quote from artist Henri Matisse: “Creativity Takes Courage.” T
“This quote by artist Henri Matisse is a quintessential reason why I create art,” she writes. “My paintings have a piece of my vulnerability and hints of my courageous style that show bright color, intense texture and lively movement, all of which leads me to think of myself as an artist who travels outside the boundaries of conventional painting. I travel outside the boundaries of my paintings both figuratively and literally as many of my works are inspired by foreign people, intriguing conversations and vast landscapes in my journeys outside of the United States.”
Wilson is a contemporary landscape painter and an instructor of studio arts at at Alaska Pacific University and a Contemporary Landscape Artist in Anchorage, Alaska. She has published three children’s books: “Ravens Love French Fries,” “Peek-a-boo Bear,” and “Mom, I want to go on the Airplane.” She enjoys painting photographs she has taken throughout her world travels in Africa, Europe, Asia and Southeast Asia and North America. Wilson has a bachelor of arts in art history from the University of Minnesota-Morris and a master of science in counseling psychology at Alaska Pacific University. A Licensed Professional Counselor, she uses expressive arts therapyin her practice. A Minnesota native, she moved to Alaska to follow the love of her life, her husband, Jonah, after they met in the Peace Corps in West Africa.
Grace Ridge Brewery
3388 B. Street off Ocean Drive
New work by Tracy Hansen
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Artist Tracy Hansen shows her landscape and other paintings. Of her work, she writes, ““I see beauty and motion all around us. Whether it’s flowers and the trees swaying in the wind or the sea life we are so fortunate to enjoy, I try to capture a moment that will remain.”
Homer Council on the Arts
355 W. Pioneer Ave.
Reflect Respond Rebuild, a collaborative exhibit by Desiree Hagen and Kayla Bloom
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Artists Desiree Hagen and Kayla Bloom present an exhibit, “Reflect Respond Rebuild,” that includes both personal works and a collaborative installation. Of their show, they write, “Papermaking is a disruptive act: chopping, cooking and beating the fibers, then ultimately rebuilding and shaping them into a substrate. Hagen and Bloom view paper making as a metaphor for life during Corona. Through reflecting on our individual and collective traumas, they are also reevaluating our histories and through their work addressing what can no longer be tolerated. In processing fibers with significant or intentional meanings and reconstituting them into handmade paper, their goal is to disrupt the old narratives.”
Any sales of their work after gallery commission will be donated to an organization that brings recognition to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery
471 E. Pioneer Ave.
Feathered Friends, paintings by Abbey Ullen
Abbey Ullen writes that birds have been a constant in her life, and a reminder of hope. While working on these pieces she was reminded of the times in her life that feathered friends have given her assurance. In this show she highlighted some of her favorite friends and tried to evoke a feeling of hopefulness and joy through bold colors and expressive mark making. Some works are done with oil to achieve the amazing action and textures that she has always admired about birds.
Ullen has been a lifelong lover of art and started painting as a young girl. She is self taught, and in 2018 she was exhibted at the Kenai Peninsula Emerging Artist show and has been involved in creating local community murals. Her current work can be viewed in several businesses in Soldotna. Ullen works in a variety of media, including acrylic, ink and paper. View more of her art on Instagram @abbeyulen.
For the safety of artists and customers, there will not be a First Friday reception. The gallery is currently open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday.
3779 Bartlett St.
Kickoff event: Postcards from Unprecedented Times
5-8 p.m., First Friday
The Pratt Museum is committed to collecting and sharing the stories of Kachemak Bay, from both the past and present. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to face dramatic changes to their way of life, and undoubtedly our world will continue to shift.
“We want to document this present moment with your voices,” the Pratt writes. “On the evening of Friday, Aug. 7, join us at the Pratt to send a postcard to the future documenting and reflecting on our present times. You may write a letter, draw, collage, or whatever else strikes your fancy. We will scan your submission to be included in our digital archives and become part of the story we tell about this moment.”