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.
For New Year’s Eve in Homer, bars celebrate in two time zones: New York style at 8 p.m., with a live television broadcast of the ball dropping at Times Square, or at local time at midnight. From East End Road to the end of the road, revelers have a choice of celebrations from the raucous to the sedate.
Former Pier One Theatre director Lance Petersen has received the Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities for individual artist.
The Alaska Humanities Forum and the Alaska State Council on the Arts announced the recipients earlier this month.
The Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities is an annual partnership between the Alaska Humanities Forum, the Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA), the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation, and the Office of the Governor to recognize and honor noteworthy contributions to the arts and humanities in Alaska.
Homer will get a Christmas morning treat when CBS broadcasts a holiday special with the Kilcher family. “Holiday Homecoming with Jewel” features Homer’s famous musical star, Jewel Kilcher, her aunt Mossy Kilcher, and some of the stars of the Discovery Channel reality TV show, “Alaska: The Last Frontier” — Jewel’s dad Atz Kilcher, Bonnie Dupree, Eve and Eivin Kilcher, and Nikos Kilcher. The special airs locally at 9 a.m. Dec. 25 on KTVA Channel 11. The show features singing with Jewel, Atz Kilcher, Dupree, Mossy Kilcher and Jewel’s 5-year-old son, Kase.
Among cultural institutions in Homer, the Pratt Museum has pioneered a unique spot. As a museum of natural history, history, culture and art, its exhibits often connect those aspects of the Pratt’s collections. “Inspired by Diaries,” on exhibit through Dec. 29, asked artists to create works in contemplation of diaries and journals in the museum’s collection or those of the artists. The show also bridges literary heritage and visual art.
Artist teaches winter classes for new year
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.
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
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.
Several times a week, youth services librarian Claudia Haines holds Storytime in the Homer Public Library’s Joy Griffin Children’s Room. For ages 3-5 and 2 and younger, Haines reads books, sings songs and holds games, all with the goal of forming literacy — and inspiring children with the joy of reading.
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:
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
Art lovers can add a new venue to their art walk on First Friday: a show of art created by Homer Connections students from classes they’ve taken this semester. Homeschooled students who took art classes this semester show their work from 3-4 p.m. Friday at All Hopped Up Espresso on West Pioneer Avenue.
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