Homer Alaska - Arts

Story last updated at 4:07 PM on Wednesday, February 1, 2012

First Friday Returns!

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer

After a bitter cold January hiatus, First Friday returns for February. Two stand-out shows of contemporary Alaska Native artists highlight this month's exhibits. Nicholas Galanin, showing at Bunnell Street Arts Center, and Sonya Kelliher-Combs, showing at the Pratt Museum, exemplify the best of modern Native art that acknowledges traditional themes while also expanding the boundaries of popular perceptions.

Making her first solo appearance in a show at Fireweed Gallery, Homer artist and jewelry maker Mary Huff presents hammered and etched silver and copper pieces that combine gemstones with wood, bone and shell, giving her work an earthy and organic feel.

Also new this month are art and other donated items on display at the Homer Council on the Arts for South Peninsula Haven House's Shelter from the Storm exhibit. Those items will be auctioned off next month for Haven House's annual Women of Distinction awards banquet.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael. armstrong@homernews.com.

AJ's OldTown Steakhouse and Tavern

120 W. Bunnell Ave.

While You Were Sleeping, astronomical photography by Dennis C. Anderson

5-8 p.m., First Friday Reception

Homer artist Dennis C. Anderson has developed a following for his vivid, sharp photographs of the northern lights and other celestial objects. He shoots with large format cameras he calls "Franken-cameras" built from things like the lens from a high-altitude camera designed for U-2 planes. Anderson does all his own printing as well as matting and framing.

Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

Things are Looking Native, Natives Looking Whiter, installation and live performance by Nicholas Galanin 5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception; 5 p.m., artist talk

Performance by Nicholas Galanin, Silver Jackson and Allison Warden 9-10:30 p.m.; donations appreciated

Born in Sitka, Tlingit-Aleut artist Nicholas Galanin has trained in both traditional and contemporary art and pursues both paths in his art. Galanin most recently exhibited at the Peabody Essex Museum in London. "In the business of this 'Indian Art World' I have become impatient with the institutional prescription and its monolithic attempt to define culture as it unfolds. Native American Art will not be commonly defined as our work moves freely through time," he writes in his artist's statement. Galanin joins Silver Jackson and Inupiaq rap artist Allison Warden, also known as AKU-MATU, in a performance following the reception.

Fireweed Gallery

475 E. Pioneer Ave.

Winter Moon Metals, handwrought jewelry by Mary Huff 4-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Homer artist Mary Huff, who also runs the Spit shop Salty Girls, hammers and etches sterling silver and copper and combines them with what she calls "the moody, bluesy" gemstones of labradorite, moonstone and aquamarine, and then mixes them in with wood, bone, and shell. "I feel as if I have just launched myself off a springboard into an endless world of creativity," Huff writes in her artist's statement. "My head is spinning with ideas to combine metals with the stringing and beading I have been doing for years."

Homer Council on the Arts

344 W. Pioneer Ave.

Shelter From the Storm, by various artists 5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

As part of South Peninsula Haven House's annual Women of Distinction awards ceremony and dinner, artists were invited to submit works on the theme "Shelter From the Storm," to be auctioned at Women of Distinction dinner at 5:30 p.m. March 23 at Land's End Resort. Tickets are $35 a plate and on sale at Haven House. Art and other items, including a king-sized quilt, is on exhibit at the Homer Council on the Arts. Nominations for the Women of Distinction awards are due Feb. 24. For more information, visit Haven House's website at www.havenhousealaska.org.

Picture Alaska

448 E. Pioneer Ave.

Open House 5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Picture Alaska continues showing the paintings of Jim Buncak. Although there is not a new exhibit this month, the gallery holds an open house and First Friday reception.

Pratt Museum

3779 Bartlett Street

Qupak, new works by Sonya Kelliher-Combs 5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Raised in Nome, Alaska Native artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs works in synthetic, organic, traditional and modern materials in mixed-media painting and sculpture. Of her work, the Pratt Museum said Kelliher-Combs "moves beyond oppositions between Western/Native culture, self-other and man/nature, to examine their interrelationships and interdependence, while also questioning accepted notions of beauty. Her process includes the relationship of her work to skin, the surface by which an individual is mediated in culture." Kelliher-Combs has exhibited widely in Alaska and elsewhere in the United States, with shows at the National Museum of American Indian Art and the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art. She is the recipient of the 2010 Governor's Arts Award.

Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery

471 E. Pioneer Ave.

Out On a Limb, works by various artists 5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Ten Ptarmigan Arts artists present their solutions for cabin fever with wild and winter blues art work that goes "out on a limb." Featured are Kathi Drew, Jelena Fliehman, Deb Lowney, Gary Lyon, Cindy Nelson, Marali Sargeant-Smith and Toby Tyler. Marilee Dupree and Linda Skelton also collaborated on installation art.

Treasure Chest

451 Sterling Highway

Pink Ice and Red Hearts, work by various artists 5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

The Treasure Chest, located in the Ocean Shores minimall across from Homer Middle School, features works by Darlene Lorentzson and Wendy Salam.