More art with April’s First Friday

Now that spring has arrived, it’s not just crocuses popping up around town. New venues also appear this month for First Friday shows, including a twist on the usual opening. At the Homer Elks Lodge, the artist becomes the show when painter Dan Coe does a four-hour stint on the back porch making an original work of art on a 4-foot-by-8-foot sheet of plywood.

“It will be more a performance piece than a finished painting,” Coe said.

Admission to the “paint in” is $1, but supports the Homer Elks scholarship program. Coe paints from 5 to 9 p.m. Art lovers can place silent bids until 9 p.m. Organizer Gordy Vernon said Coe gets a guaranteed $100 an hour, and any proceeds over $300 are split with Coe and the scholarship program. Vernon said he wanted to do something different for First Friday.

“I wanted it big and bold,” he said. “The idea of doing it in all four hours on First Friday makes it reckless.”

While the usual galleries hold shows, the Pratt Museum and the Homer Public Library — periodic but not monthly First Friday venues — also have shows. At the Pratt, artist Faith Revell shows “Bird Dance,” works paired with natural history pieces from the museum collection.

At the Homer Public Library, Anchorage fiber artist Keren Lowell visits and speaks about her work, “Graph,” made from to-do lists and other items overlaid on seismic graphs of microquakes at Cook Inlet volcanoes. Another fiber artist displays her work at Bunnell Street Arts Center, April Artist in Residence Abigail Kokai.

First Friday also marks the start of Jubilee, the annual celebration of youth performing and visual art. The Pratt has a show of youth art in its downstairs gallery, and other youth art also is on display at the Homer Council on the Arts.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at

Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

Artist in Residence, quilts by Abigail Kokai

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

This month’s Artist in Residence, Abigail Kokai, works in quilts. “Life is a series of layers that can be quantified into linear sequences as single years, techniques, education and personal experiences,” she says of her work. For Kokai, these layers translate into the layers of a quilt. Kokai said she sees herself as “observer-participant and preserves observations and stories as quilted documents.” Her quilts depict site-specific happenings of everyday life as observed and personally experienced.
During her residency, Kokai will lead workshops as contemporary sewing circles, sharing her processes of sketching, observing, storytelling and quilt-making. She will invite contributions from participants and hopes to collect patterns, stories and meaningful fabrics to use in the construction of quilt pieces. 

Fireweed Gallery

475 E. Pioneer Ave.

Aurora, photographs by Dennis Anderson

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Homer photographer Dennis Anderson’s show of northern lights continues at Fireweed Gallery.

Homer Council on the Arts

344 W. Pioneer Ave.

Jubilee Youth Visual Art Exhibit, by various artists

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

As part of Jubilee, the annual celebration of youth art, the Homer Council on the Arts displays works by local youth artists. Other youth art also is at the Pratt Museum.

Homer Elks Lodge

215 Jenny Way

Paint in by Dan Coe

5-9 p.m., First Friday
$1 admission

Through the summer for every First Friday, the Homer Elks Lodge features an artist painting on the back deck as a fundraiser for its scholarship fund. For $1 admission, visitors can watch the artist paint for several hours on a 4-foot-by-8-foot plywood canvas and then bid on the finished work. The artist is guaranteed at least $100 an hour, and any amount over $300 is split between the artist and the Homer Elks Club scholarship fund. The first featured artist is Dan Coe, who painted the fireweed mural on Bunnell Avenue on the Driftwood RV Park fence.
“It will be more a performance piece than a finished painting,” Coe said of his work. He also will paint in two sections so the work can be split in half.
Friday night also is steak night at the Elks, with a concession stand serving popcorn and pork chipotle tacos. The kitchen is open 6-8 p.m. and the bar until 10 p.m.

Homer Public Library

344 W. Hazel Ave.

Graph by Keren Lowell

5:30 p.m., First Friday Reception and artist’s talk

Anchorage artist Keren Lowell shows her work, “Graph,” part of her larger show, “Groundwork,” recently shown at the Anchorage Musem. “Graph” is made from hundreds of to-do lists, torn into strips and reassembled over a long period of time. The secondary texture overlaid on the surfaces of collaged text comes from webicorder images from the Alaska Volcano Observatory, and is meant to invoke the subtle and enormous forces at work as they shape the terrain of her life. Lowell is the coordinator of the Fiber Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and also works at the Alaska State Council on the Arts, coordinating office activities, travel and events. She is a board member of the International Gallery of Contemporary Art and recently joined the Anchorage Community Works, a nonprofit art space, and hosts weekly open studio sessions in the Stitch Loft there. “Graph” remains on display at the library from April 3 through June 26.

Pratt Museum

3779 Bartlett Street

Bird Dance, by Faith Revell
Jubilee Youth Visual Art Exhibit, by various artists

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception; 5:30 p.m., artist’s talk

Artist Faith Revell’s drawings and paintings in “Bird Dance” focus on movement and have a strong kinesthetic quality, often gestural in nature. Her work is paired with selected artifacts from the Pratt Museum’s natural history collection, as well as video and audio. Showing in the lower gallery are works from the annual Jubilee Youth Visual Art Exhibit. Other youth art also is at the Homer Council on the Arts.

Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery

471 E. Pioneer Ave.

Water, paintings by Carolyn Seymour

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Carolyn Seymour lived, traveled and studied abroad to develop her skills with various techniques in two-dimensional expressions. Her early work was mostly watercolors, oil and tempera mediums. While living in Paris, she experimented with abstract design in printmaking, silk screen, etchings, intaglio, viscosity printing engravings, and portraiture in woodcut. Later, in the Pacific Northwest, she renewed her technique in watercolor and mastered stained-glass design. Throughout her career, she has especially enjoyed creating portraits of the changing stages and growth of her family.
Her landscape method was to sketch with pastel “en plein aire” and then render the sketch in a larger acrylic or watercolor work, creating several works of the same subject in different mediums. She enjoys experimenting and letting serendipity play a large part in the final work, but maintains the basic goal of clear communications with the viewer.
In 2005, when Carolyn was 83, she became visually impaired. Her search for ways to create led to expressions through embossed cards that she produces each Christmas. She currently lives in Evergreen, Colo., but is a frequent visitor to Homer, where her daughter, Susan Oesting, lives and manages her work.

Painting by Carolyn Seymour

Painting by Carolyn Seymour

Painting by Carolyn Seymour

Painting by Carolyn Seymour

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