Some galleries or venues won’t be holding First Friday receptions, while others, like Grace Ridge Brewing, are in the process of moving into their new space. This month features an eclectic mix of exhibits.
At Bunnell Street Arts Center, artists John Hagen, Kristin Link and Michael Walsh hold a group show, “Sound of Wind and Grass,” looking at the intersection of environmental observation and nostalgia.
For October, the time when some cultures see a thinning of the veil that separates the worlds of the living and the dead, artist Carly Garay presents “The Art of Ancestor Veneration” at the Homer Council on the Arts. For her show, she invites visitors to bring objects or images of deceased loved ones to hang or display.
At the Pratt Museum & Park, in commemoration of the two-year anniversary of the disappearance of Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, First Friday will honor her memory. Donations will be accepted for the Loved & Lost Bench being created by artist Brad Hughes that honors Murnane and all the missing.
Other exhibits include photography and painting by Lorna “Bee” Branzuela at Fireweed Gallery and wildlife photography by Diane Briggs at Ptarmigan Arts.
Bunnell Street Arts Center
106 W. Bunnell Ave.
Sound of Wind and Grass, group art show
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception, with 6 p.m. artists talk. Face masks required and capacity is limited to 50%.
In a group show, “Sound of Wind and Grass,” artists John Hagen, Kristin Link and Michael Walsh explore the intersection of environmental observation and nostalgia. The show features photographs by Hagen, cyanotype, drawing and collage by Link and a new short movie by Walsh.
Of his photographs, Hagen writes, “I went to Ugashik, Alaska to look for what my ancestors left behind. They were wiped out by the Spanish Flu in 1918. I expected to find ghosts. I didn’t expect to experience a pandemic while I was artistically exploring the multigenerational impacts of a pandemic. I suspect the feelings of loneliness I felt were what my Unangan ancestors experienced as a pandemic raged in the world around them. I felt the fear and suspicion that they likely felt as they wondered if neighbors and newcomers were bringing plague to the village. Bristol Bay is a tough part of the world. The land is actively trying to erase all traces of your existence while you are still there. The grass grows quick to cover anything left sitting. Metal rusts, wood rots, buildings collapse and boats sink. The sod barabaras my ancestors once lived in are distant memories. I knew I wouldn’t find direct evidence of my ancestors, though someone once told me if you can still find glass beads in the dirt where they once lived. In the end, the only thing that was left was the sound of the wind and the grass.”
Link has created cyanotypes, a photographic process that uses ultraviolet light to expose an image and create a blueprint. Of her work, she writes, “Solastalgia (noun) is a word created by Glen Albrecht in 2003 from the Latin word solacium (comfort) and the Ancient Greek work algia (pain). It is derived from nostalgia and means the homesickness one gets when still at home, but the environment has been altered and feels unfamiliar.
“This project began taking shape during the summers I worked as a glacier guide, taking tourists for day hikes on the Root Glacier. Over the years I recognized certain features as friends and to notice the incredible change as the glaciers I came to know melted. This collection explores these glaciers as well as their watersheds in Alaska through cyanotype, drawing, and collage. … Using drawings as negatives, I create something that is part photo and part drawing, to capture a moment of beauty within these water and icescapes which are changing so quickly. Through layering drawing, photo, and collage, the work explores multiple ways we can come to understand and remember these dynamic worlds. I strive to find the beauty in the change and the memories of the landscapes I have been able to experience.”
Of his film, “The Sky Looks Back,” Walsh writes, “Our capacity for hearing and seeing is limited to what is near and close, so how do we quantify our relationship with the natural world when even in the most remote corners of South Central Alaska human-created sounds are inescapable and the true vastness of this firmament that holds us is only visible to the sky above? The Sky Looks Back is intended to be a humble reminder of our existence in this immensely beautiful landscape.”
475 E. Pioneer Ave.
Mixed Palette, photography and painting by Lorna “Bee” Branzuela
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Homer artist Lorna “Bee” Branzuela shows her photography and paintings. Branzuela writes that she enjoys the outdoors and finds all natural things fascinating, trying to capture the unusual or uncommon in her photographs. Sometimes while focusing, she discovers something she has not seen before, like a crab spider hiding under a wild rose. For her paintings, she uses a watercolor background with acrylic and oils applied. Branzuela took the nickname “Bee” because of her love of bees and the difficulty some found in pronouncing her last name.
Homer Council on the Arts
355 W. Pioneer Ave.
The Art of Ancestor Veneration, by Carly Garay
5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception
Of her show, Carly Garay writes, “I will be creating an altar to each of the four primary elements: earth, air, fire, water. I am considering these elements as our greater collective ancestors. Each altar will feature medium format film photography and assemblage. In the center of the gallery will be an installation for the element of spirit. In this center, I invite the community to bring letters, prayers, and/or images of deceased loved ones to hang and display in an act of reverence, connection, and affection for our beloved dead.”
Garay says that her show came about from “my curiosity, intrigue and a divine pull toward the cross-cultural practice of ancestor veneration.” She created images using an antique medium-format film camera from Ukraine.
Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery
471 E. Pioneer Ave.
Photography by Diane Briggs
First Friday extended hours, 10 a.m to 8 p.m.
Ptarmigan Arts presents work by its newest member, wildlife photographer Diane Briggs.
Pratt Museum & Park
3779 Bartlett St.
Honoring Anesha “Duffy” Murnane
October’s First Friday at the Pratt Museum & Park is dedicated to the memory of Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, the Homer woman who disappeared two years ago this October and is presumed dead. Enjoy light refreshments, explore the museum, and take a moment to remember Anesha “Duffy” Murnane. Come together as a community and honor her life and memory.
Donations during this First Friday will go toward the Loved & Lost memorial bench for Duffy and all the missing. Brad Hughes is the Homer artist creating the bench. Donations can be made for the bench at the reception or online at http://gofundme.com/f/lovedandlostmemorial or https://www.homerumcalasak.org/Donate.html.