In the found-object steel sculptures that have become Homer artist Don Henry’s trademark, forks, knives and spoons turn into sailing ships, birds and flowers. In Henry’s retrospective show at the Pratt Museum, Bikes by the Bay, the longtime and prolific artist has created full-scale sculptures you can sit in and straddle.
At some of Bunnell Street Arts Center’s Artist in Residency programs, artists use the space as a working studio, with the gallery walls secondary to the creative experience. For a residency last year with paper artist Desiree Hagen and last month with Mandy Bernard, the experience could be called, “Wreck this gallery.”
Musicians, teacher present program
Thornton Wilder’s classic 1930s play about small-town America, “Our Town,” has been described as vintage Americana in the early 20th century. In explaining the play to the all-ages student cast, Homer High School band teacher Amy Johnson put another spin on it:
Backcountry film fest is today
The Homer Bookstore has released its best seller list for books sold in 2016. Local authors wrote seven of the top-10 books, including the number-1 book, “Homestead Kitchen: Stores and Recipes from Our Hearth to Yours,” by Eve and Eivin Kilcher. The memoir and cookbook by the “Alaska: The Last Frontier” reality-TV show stars also set the all-time best-seller record for the Homer Bookstore, selling almost 1,000 copies.
Following the move in June 2015 of Jazzline dance director Jocelyn Shiro from Alaska to Hawaii, Homer’s adult dance community became adrift. Shiro’s troupe of women, men and youth dancers for years had put on an annual dance production. Youth dance found a home at Harbor School of Music, but Shiro’s departure left a void.
At the Homer Council on the Arts annual meeting, art lovers get a special treat: a reprise showing of the late Gaye Wolfe’s 2011 portrait show, “Human Tapestry,” an exhibit of portraits Wolfe did before she died in 2012. Wolfe’s show featured paintings of artists, musicians, teachers and cultural leaders. Wolfe donated her portraits to HCOA with the intent that they be sold to support arts council programs.
Now that snow has fallen on Homer and Beluga Lake has frozen hard enough to possibly support a Subaru, it might actually feel like winter. Whether sloppy wet or bitter cold, mid-January brings a reliable sign of the season: the annual Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour Festival.
Telluride Mountain Film on Tour
The Homer Council on the Arts holds its annual meeting and arts awards presentation at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, at its offices. The evening also includes a kick-off of the Gaye Wolfe portrait auction, featuring paintings by the late Homer artist. Before she died, Wolfe did a series of portraits of these arts, music and cultural icons: Toby Tyler, Shirley Timmreck, Renda Horn, Jill Berryman, Ahna Iredale, Alex Combs and Annette Bellamy, Mavis Muller, Lynn Naden, Ron Senungetuk, Laura and Peter Norton and Asia Freeman, Karla Freeman and Betty Weiser Kaplun.
HCOA offers circus, scrimshaw,
Giuseppe Verdi (1831-1901) strides like a giant over the world of opera, and it is impossible to overstate the importance of his contribution to world culture. Equally a great dramatist and a great melodist, Verdi gives us operas that interconnect personal narrative with universal archetypes, masterpieces that split the heart and soul wide open with a longing that binds us to a greater whole.
The Metropolitan Opera’s Live at the Met HD production of Verdi’s “Nabucco” shows at 6 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Homer Theatre followed by his “La Traviata” at 6 p.m. March 23.
Now that Homer starts its fourth time exploring literature through the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read program, organizers have come up with a system that works. Pick a book. Invite the town to read it together. Bring together scholars, writers and book lovers to explore the work. Stir. Repeat as necessary.
Auditions take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, in the Mariner Theatre for the spring production, “Circus Auditions!” Call backs for auditions will be on Sunday, Jan. 22, at times to be announced.
The show seeks female and male performers of all ages who can act, sing, play an instrument, dance, do gymnastics, ride a unicycle, juggle and have skills in other circus arts such as trapeze and aerial silks.
Sally Oberstein directs the show based on a script by her and Michael McKinney. Shelly Erickson is the musical director with choreography by Anne Gittinger.
Big Read Kick-Off Event
6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14
Alice’s, 195 E. Pioneer Ave.
Listen to a staged reading of Our Town by Pier One Theatre at Alice’s Champagne Palace.
4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 24, Homer Public Library
The Homer Public Library offers a regular monthly book club the last Tuesday of every month. In January they will discuss The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town. All are welcome.
Love Letters in the Snow with Erin Hollowell
Homer artist Mandy Bernard is the January artist in residence at Bunnell Street Arts Center.
Bernard’s textile work illustrates elements of Alaska’s wild landscape that are repeated through pattern and silkscreen. For January, she will create a large-scale pattern installation comprised of organic elements personally and communally collected from the field. This installation will explore the intersection of the natural environment and a strong personal connection to place. For more information, visit www.bunnellarts.org.
Starting Friday, Alice’s Champagne Palace teams up with Salmonfest to bring a music series, the Salmonfest Concert Series, to Homer that will continue through the August Salmonfest Aftershock Concerts.
With many galleries closing or on hiatus for January, one only gallery this month, Ptarmigan Arts, holds a First Friday show. Ptarmigan continues its December show of works by Sebastian Troy Pierre, a Homer artist who moved last year to Alaska from Florida. Fireweed Arts closes Saturday until Feb. 7. The Homer Council on the Arts has been closed for the holidays and reopens on Jan. 16. Bunnell Street Arts Center is open but won't have a First Friday show as artist-in-residence Mandy Bernard prepares for her residency.
Volunteers planning the 2017 Kenai Peninsula local history conference got a wonderful surprise in December. Long-lost films of a 1974 Kenai history conference have been found, salvaged and digitized.
The recovery culminated a string of unlikely events, with the credit going to modern technology and the skilled staff at the Alaska State Library Historical Collections in Juneau.