Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 8:52 PM on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Homer Art & Frame caters to community's creativity

Grand opening scheduled for this Saturday, Sunday

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer


Photographer: Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Homer Art & Frame Company is in the old Homer Independent Hardware building on Lake Street.

In the Homer retail world, new businesses often start with a dream. Lynda Reed, owner of Picture Alaska, said she would drive by the old Homer Independent Hardware building on Lake Street and look at its empty storefront.

"I kept seeing that blank side of the building and picturing it in my mind: art classes, picture framing," she said.

April 18, Reed made that happen. With new bright-red siding and a remodeled interior, the old store opened as Homer Art & Frame Company. The owner of Picture Alaska at 448 E. Pioneer Ave., Reed has moved the art supply and framing shop of her gallery to Homer Art & Frame. On Saturday and Sunday Homer Art & Frame has its grand opening, with refreshments, music and art demonstrations.

The new store allows more room to display and do framing and show an expanded line of art supplies.

Paint brushes? Oils? Acrylics? Colored pencils? Art pens? Encaustic pigments? Sketchbooks? The tools artists in one of America's top 100 art towns need to create can be found at Homer Art & Frame.

"We're going to find out what Homer wants in terms of art supplies," Reed said. "We're here to serve the creative spirit of Homer."

That also means providing a service Reed couldn't do at her smaller store: art classes. Homer Art & Frame already has lined up a full roster of classes for May. Some classes, like Painting Light in Oils, taught be Sharlan Watson, run a day a week for five weeks. Other classes are one-day workshops, like Exploding Boxes, 2-4 p.m. May 21, taught by Shandley Kerls. One of Homer's premiere watercolor artists, Paula Dickey, teaches Introduction to Water Color 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. May 28.

Rates for classes run from $10-15 an hour. Watson's workshops are $180 for 15 hours of instruction, Kerls' workshop is $28 and Dickey's is $45.

A back room at the store has plenty of space for students. A nearby kitchen and break room offers more space for informal talks over a brown-bag lunch. Reed said she plans to offer a variety of workshops in most art forms. Classes will be for young artists from grade school on up and for adults.

"Once we get open and people see what we have, there will be all sorts of ideas for community involvement to have fun with art," Reed said.

The classroom space also offers artists showing at Picture Alaska room to hold workshops, so students can see an artist's work and then learn from the artist. Next month's Picture Alaska artist, Susanne Ratcliffe Wilson, who does fused glass, will teach Fused Glass 101 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. May 14 and 6-8 p.m. May 16.

At Reed's old store, which includes The Upstairs Boutique, a woman's fine clothing store, moving the frame shop and art supply area out will open up more downstairs space. Reed said she'll be remodeling this summer.

"It will be a collective array of fine art and fabulous fashion," Reed said.

Ellen Lord, Picture Alaska's frame manager, is now managing Homer Art & Frame. Reed credits Lord with helping make the new store happen.

"With her wonderful abilities I was able to make this happen," Reed said. "Now we've made it happen."

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