Fish and Fire: Ninilchik resident writes stories of his life

Ninilchik resident Mike Chihuly has lived enough lives to write several books since moving to Alaska more than 60 years ago. Instead, he packed them all into one.

Chihuly’s book, “Alaska Fish and Fire,” was published in August and released in October. It catalogs Chihuly’s life experiences from growing up in Alaska and working on the state Board of Fisheries to his time spent on the Agulowak River and working as the chief of Ninilchik Emergency Services.

“I probably should have written two or three books,” he said of the broad range of topics covered in the memoir.

Arts in brief

Peyton does watercolor demo Saturday at Fireweed Gallery

Watercolor artist Jan Peyton does a demonstration from 2-4:30 p.m. Saturday at Fireweed Gallery. She will show techniques like wet-on-wet painting and how to add pigment to wet areas to create a translucent effect. The demonstration is free.

Peyton also displays her work at Fireweed Gallery.


Saulitis ‘Becoming Earth’ book makes PEN Literary Award list

The Arts in brief

Big Read starts next month

The Friends of the Homer Public Library presents its third Homer Big Read. The focus of the community read will be Thornton Wilder’s books “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” and “Our Town.” Together the community will examine the themes of the books, including how communities and individuals make sense of tragedy, what it means to make a life in a small town, how to seize the day, and the continued importance of reading and literature in a well-examined life.

28th annual Homer Nutcracker Ballet continues the magic

Homer might be as cold as Moscow this winter, but when it comes to the annual production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, citizens, we’re not talking the Bolshoi Ballet. At the end of the road, and now in its 28th year, the Cosmic Hamlet’s production can be a bit, well, unusual. That’s part of the charm that makes Homer Nutcracker Productions’ version not a cookie-cutter Nutcracker.

Consider some of the ways the Nutcracker gets done Homer style:

First Friday events

All Hopped Up Espresso

280 W. Pioneer Ave.

Homer Connections K-12 Student Art by various artists

3-4 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception

Homer Connections students who are taking an art course this semester — painting, drawing, ceramics, photography, printmaking or digital art — share their work at the Homer Connections First Friday K-12 Art Show. Appetizers, coffee and hot cocoa will be provided.


Art Shop Gallery

202 W. Pioneer Ave.

Customer Appreciation Night

Arts in brief

Nutcracker Faire runs this weekend

The Homer Council on the Arts annual Nutcracker Faire runs 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday in the Homer High School Commons and gym. The faire features artists and crafters selling local, handmade gifts, food, live music and from 1-3 p.m. both days, a visit from Santa Claus. The Nutcracker Ballet also opens at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Mariner Theatre.


Corcoran School to host Bunnell’s

‘Decolonizing Alaska’ exhibit

Library Journal gives Homer library highest ranking — 2016 Star Library

The Homer Public Library is a 2016 Star Library in the annual ranking of U.S. public libraries by Library Journal. In its index of Public Library Service, Homer Public Library is one of only 260 libraries to receive the highest rankings from the prestigious publication for the U.S. library community. This is the fifth time HPL has been named a Star Library in the nine-year history of the index.

Fundraiser challenge starts to name Storyknife house after Saulitis

Poet Peggy Shumaker and her husband Joe Usibelli announced they would like to name the Storyknife main house after poet, writer and teacher Eva Saulitis. The cost of the house is $250,000, and Shumaker and Usibelli will match every dollar donated two-to-one.

Saulitis died in 2016 of breast cancer. A teacher at Kachemak Bay Campus and the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference, Saulitis wrote several books of poetry, a memoir, “Into Great Silence,” and a series of essays about dying, “Becoming Earth.”

Kilcher cookbook depicts delicious life

“Homestead Kitchen” was born out of the same kind of connection that started the Kilcher family’s reality television show — a Facebook message to Eivin Kilcher.

“Alaska: The Last Frontier,” the Discovery channel show that made the Kilchers a family name known in households across the United States, had been on for about three years when a literary agent reached out to Eivin and asked if there was interest in writing a book. Coincidentally, he and his wife Eve had tossed the idea around of writing a cookbook around before, so they pitched it.

The Arts in Brief

Lavallee visits Art Shop Gallery

Artist Barbara Lavallee visits the Art Shop Gallery from 1-6 p.m. Saturday. She will be available to personalize and sign calendars, prints and books. Call the gallery at 235-7076 to have items signed if unable to make the visit.

To see Lavallee’s new work, visit


Bunnell 10x10 show up Friday

Solo show launches young artist's career

“Windows,” this month’s solo exhibit by Felicity Jones at the Homer Council on the Arts, expands on the idea of a traditional art show. While many exhibits feature art carefully hung on walls, Jones, 17, presents her art as if you’d walked into a living room. A large window stands at the front of the gallery, with empty picture frames and other windows lying on the floor or hung on walls. Sculpture stands hold Sculpy clay figurines. Pen-and-ink drawings dominate the show.

The Arts in Brief

Inspired by Diaries exhibit opens

The Pratt Museum’s Inspired by Diaries exhibit opens with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday. Have you ever kept a diary or journal? Had the opportunity to peruse the personal writing of your ancestors?

Several diaries and journals are held in the collections of the Pratt Museum. Their stories range from weather reports and moose sightings to extended narrative and personal reflection. Often the written word leaves much to be imagined, and can serve as a jumping-off point for something more.

Legendary folk musician Gorka plays in Homer

Slide into your 50s, and sometimes things you put aside years ago don’t look as bad as you might have thought. That’s the perspective legendary folk singer John Gorka gained recently when he took a look at an album he recorded in 1985 at age 27 with producer Jim Rooney at Cowboy Jack Clements’ studio in Nashville, Tenn. Backed by a full band, Gorka recorded the album in five days — and then he shelved it.

Arts in brief

John Gorka performs Nov. 11 at Bunnell

Downward Dog Productions presents Red House Records recording artist John Gorka in concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Tickets are $26-28, on sale at Bunnell.

First Friday events

Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

Artist in Residence work by Claudio Orso-Giacone

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

Rasmuson Artist in Residence Claudio Orso Giacone’s closing exhibit includes new works created during his residency at Bunnell. On Nov. 18 Bunnell opens its “10 x 10” annual members exhibit of works up to 10-inches square in any media.

Fireweed Gallery

475 E. Pioneer Ave.

Old and New, by Michael Murray

5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening

Exhibits feature old, new

November’s First Friday openings feature a mix of the old and new. That describes not only the collection of artists, but also the title of watercolor artist Michael Murray’s exhibit at Fireweed Gallery, “Old and New.” A veteran artist who has been creating since childhood, Murray is a founding member of the Kachemak Bay Watercolor Society and a longtime exhibitor at local galleries. Another longtime artist born before statehood, Karol Kahn Miller, shows her original pencil drawings at Ptarmigan Arts.

Second City troupe offers improv with a political bite

By the time Chicago-based improvisational theater group Second City rolls into town, game seven of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians will be over. So, whew, Homer audiences won’t have to worry about the traveling troupe forgetting to show up for its performance at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Mariner Theatre.

“Free Speech! (While Supplies Last)” brings back to Homer the wacky humor when Second City presented “The Best of Second City” in 2015. This time around, it’s a show with some political bite.


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