Creating home wherever you are

How do you find a home when you find yourself away from the land you’ve grown up in?
For Native Alaskans who have left the village for the big city, for young Alaskans who have moved to the Lower 48 to find careers and for new Alaskans who have left homes Outside, that can be a common theme. It’s one Minneapolis artist Emily Johnson has found herself exploring in her narrative-based performance installations.

Homer artists receive Rasmuson grants

Four Homer artists have received Rasmuson Foundation project grants or fellowships, the foundation announced on Wednesday. Awarded grants are:

• George Overpeck, a wood artist, for a $7,500 project grant;

• John Whittier, a media artist, for a $7,500 project grant.

• Erin Coughlin Hollowell, a poet, an $18,000 fellowship, and

• Ahna Iredale, a ceramic artist, an $18,000 fellowship.

Salvage Art exhibit is at River Festival in June

ReGroup seeks artists to submit art made from trash for its  Salvage Art Exhibit at the Kenai River Festival June 7-9. ReGroup is a Kenai Peninsula nonprofit educational group of concerned people interested in developing public awareness of the benefits of waste reduction, reuse and recycling through educational and citizen participation. Festival attendees will be able asked to vote for their favorites among three categories for two different age groups. Exhibit entries will be on display throughout the Kenai River Festival.

Facing the Elements seeks outdoor art work

The Pratt Museum has issued a call for art for its annual Facing the Elements outdoor show. First started in 1994, the exhibit combines work by guest artists, community artists and local youth. It runs from June through September, with art installed on the forest trail behind the museum. As the Pratt proceeds with its plan to expand the museum, this will be the final summer for Facing the Elements until the new museum is built.

Gao wins piano competition

A Homer 7th grader, Jimmy Gao, won first prize in the Intermediate II Division at the Alaska Piano Competition. At the competition on May 4 for young pianists through grade 12 and sponsored by the University of Alaska Anchorage, Gao performed works by Beethoven, Schumann and Bartok. 

The judge selected his performance of Schumann’s “Mignon” Op. 68, No. 35 for the Winners’ Recital on May 5. A student of Joel Pietsch at the Harbor School of Music & Dance, Gao performs at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre for the school’s end-of-year recital.

‘Giulio Cesare’ is last opera of the season

Have you ever wondered how Caesar and Cleopatra got hooked up? Find out in David McVicar’s production of Handel’s “Giulio Cesare,” the last opera of the Live at the Met in HD season. It shows at 6 p.m. May 23 at the Homer Theatre.

Some romances are a bit rocky at the start. In this production, McVicar has set the classic tale of Caesar and Cleopatra in the glory days of the British Empire. Justin Davidson of New York Magazine said in complex opera productions something always seems to go wrong.

Biologist turned filmmaker schools other scientists on art of storytelling

For scientists to connect to citizens, it’s as easy as A-B-T.

On April 17 at the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership’s Science Symposium, keynote speaker Randy Olson tossed out a new approach to scientists. Rather than just laying out the facts, scientists should inspire people with something elemental to the human experience — stories.

“The public’s not interested in science,” Olson said. “The number one thing the general public is interested in is other human beings.”

Namesake mountain drew shorebird artist to Alaska

The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival featured artists have much in common in their choice of subject — shorebirds, of course — but Mary Bee Kaufman, this year’s featured artist, stands out among them in one way: She’s the only featured artist to have an Alaska peak named after her. 

It’s that mountain that brought Kaufman up to Alaska.

First Friday Events

Art Shop Gallery

207 W. Pioneer Ave.

New Work by Nancy Wise
5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

New to the Art Shop Gallery is glass artist Nancy Wise, who shows work she calls “fused recycled glass.” Her pieces combine recycled window and float glass with reactive dry enamels, aluminum, copper, mica and even Kachemak Bay sand.

Bunnell Street
Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

Wildlife art shows preview shorebird festival

As hundreds of geese, dozens of cranes and a few shorebirds descended on Homer last weekend, and with the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival happening next week, it seems natural that this Friday’s art openings should feature art of birds and wildlife. Festival artist and naturalist MaryBee Kaufman has a show, “The Art of Birds,” at the Fireweed Gallery. At Ptarmigan Arts, another naturalist artist, Kristin Link of Girdwood and McCarthy, shows her paintings and field sketches, “Feathers, Stones and Flowers.”

Improv class is May 18

Improvisational performer and teacher Martin Zeller offers a 5-hour improvisational theater workshop from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m. May 18 at the Art Barn, 1060 East End Road. The fee is $40 for the class. Zeller was the founder and director of Fresh Produce, an improv troupe, and was artistic director and performed with Blue Door Theatre in Spokane, Wash. The workshop introduces and explores the skills and concepts of improvisation. For information and to register, call Zeller at 235-6589 or (509) 294-0451.

Show opens at Cosmic Kitchen

While there is no First Friday reception, Anchor Point artist Gary Sheridan will visit Cosmic Kitchen from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday for the opening of a show at the Pioneer Avenue restaurant, celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. Sheridan shows art in a variety of media, including photography.

‘On the Wing’ concert starts off shorebird weekend

To kick off the 21st annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, “On the Wing,” a musical celebration of birds, holds its 10th annual performance at 8 p.m. May 9 at the Homer Theatre. Organized by musician Sunrise Sjoeberg with support from the Sourdough Bakery, the evening features original bird poetry, performances by the Homer Ukulele Group, the Seaside Singers and other local musicians. Sharon Friesen-Schulz performs a debut of “Alaska is My Home” from her new “Fireweed” CD.

2013 Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference


WHEN: June 14-18

WHERE: Land's End Resort

Keynote speaker: Naomi Shihab Nye


$375 through 5 p.m., May 4

$395 May 5 - June 14

Fee includes entry to all conference activities including opening dinner, workshops and luncheons.

Post-conference workshop

"Nature Across the Genres: Breathing the Wild in Poems, Stories and Creative Nonfiction," with John Daniel

WHEN: June 18-20

WHERE: Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge

Cost: $400, includes housing, food, boat taxi


Writers' conference faculty give advice

Although the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference won't happen until June 14 to 18 at Land's End Resort, the early registration deadline with discount rates ends at 5 p.m. May 4. Besides, in years when the conference has sold out, many writers have been disappointed who didn't register quickly. Registration continues through June 14 until the conference fills up.

Homer writer, teacher publishes first poetry collection

Reading Erin Coughlin Hollowell's first poetry collection, "Pause, Traveler," is like sipping single malt Scotch whisky, with its complicated and subtle tastes. Seasoned in New York and then matured in Alaska, the palate of her poetry evokes the nature writing of Robert Frost, the simplicity of Marianne Moore, the metaphors of Hart Crane, the imagery of Ezra Pound and the pure delight in language of Walt Whitman.

"If you go all the way back, like when I was young, I read Yeats," Hollowell said when told of the analogy. "That list could go on forever."

Homer Seniors Citizens present annual talent show Saturday

Homer Senior Citizens will present their annual talent show from 7-9:30 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School’s Mariner Theater. It is a benefit for the senior center.

Tickets are $10 per person or $15 per family and are available from Homer Senior Citizens and at the door.

The show promises to be hilarious, say the organizers.

Steve Mueller is the event’s emcee.


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