Homer Alaska - Arts

Story last updated at 10:18 PM on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

First Friday Features Birds

Staff Writer

With a First Friday coinciding with the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival weekend, it's only natural that many galleries feature exhibits with bird themes. Take the wide perspective with Homer photographer Scott Dickerson's "Alaska: a shorebird's perspective" at the Art Shop Gallery. Dickerson, a surfer and kayaker, has become known for his adventure photography. Dickerson received a $5,000 Rasmuson grant in 2009 to help purchase a paramotor, a parachute with a propeller motor, to expand his photography. In this show he flies like a shorebird — although not as far — with new perspectives on Alaska's coastline.

Ben Firth and his children have created an artistic dynasty out of the family studio near Blackwater Bend in Anchor Point. The children regularly win or place in the annual Federal Junior Duck Stamp painting competitions. See their art together in its various media with "Artwork of the Firth Family" at Ptarmigan Arts. Whether wood burning or paintings, they show many different perspectives on the avian wonders of the world.

At Picture Alaska, glass artist Susanne Ratcliffe Wilson also creates art with bird images for "Fragile World," her first solo show in Homer. Her glass images are like paintings on glass, permanent but also delicate. At Fireweed Gallery, Laura Mendola shows another side of glass media, with vessels and tiles. The Kachemak Bay Watercolor Society also shows its annual spring show at Fireweed.

Another new Homer artist, Melisse Reichman, reminds us of the winter we endured with "On Ice," photographs and sculptures of the many varieties of ice.

A big treat this First Friday are youth art shows from preschool to high school. Kachemak Kids, Paul Banks Elementary School and West Homer Elementary School all have student shows that give a hint of careers to come and talents already thriving. Flex School also has a show of literary, performing and visual art, including ceramic art inspired by an artist in the school residency by Homer artist Ahna Iredale.

Flex School

4122 Ben Walters Lane

Student art show by various artists

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

For Flex School's first ever First Friday, students show creative efforts in all media and genres, including pottery, photography, musical performances and literary art. Artist in the school Ahna Iredale taught at Flex this year, and the show features ceramic art she inspired students to create.

Kachemak Kids 2nd annual Children's Art Show

3838 Bartlett Street

2nd annual Children's Art Show by various artists

4-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Young artists show paintings, collages, mixed media, short films and more. Enjoy food, beverages and conversation with the artists.


Photo provided

Paul Banks Elementary School studnt Rhodes Turner shows his sculpture made of nylon stockings and coat hangers.

Paul Banks Elementary School

1340 East End Road

Student art show by various artists

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Students at Paul Banks Elementary School present their first First Friday show. Work includes almost 500 pieces of original art in a variety of media, including sculptures, dot art, potato stamps and pastels.

West Homer Elementary School

995 Soundview Ave.

Student art show by various artists

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

West Homer Elementary School students show drawings, pottery, paintings and sculpture. They also will have an artist trading card display set up so community artists can trade cards with student artists.

Art Shop Gallery

207 W. Pioneer Ave.

Alaska: a shorebird's perspective by Scott Dickerson

5-7:30 p.m., First Friday Reception

Local photographer Scott Dickerson shows aerial photographs taken from his paramotor, a propelled parachute. With ceramics artist Maygen Jannetta, Dickerson also shows his photographs of Bristol Bay through June 26 at the Pratt Museum.

Bunnell Street Arts Center

106 W. Bunnell Ave.

The language of American pottery curated by Annette Bellamy and Steve Godfrey

5-7 p.m., First Friday Opening Reception; 6 p.m., curator's talk

Curators Annette Bellamy and Steve Godfrey have put together an exhibition of functional pottery by national artists. Featured are works by Randy Johnston, Shoko Teruyama, Scott Goldberg, Mary Barringer, Jan McKeachie-Johnston, Mary Louise Carter, Linda Christianson, Jennifer Allen, Ron Meyer, Andy Shaw, Naomi Dalglish and Michael Hunt. Bellamy and Godfrey speak about the show at the opening.


Fireweed Gallery

475 E. Pioneer Ave.

15th annual Kachemak Bay Watercolor Society Spring show New work by Laura Mendola

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Included in the Watercolor Society's show is a new collaborative painting, a portrait. Using a photograph of a model divided into squares, artists painted a segment each of the image.

Anchorage artist Laura Mendola works in kiln fired fused glass. Gathering her inspiration from nature, she creates decorative and functional vessels, jewelry, and tiles.


Melisse Reichman's "Brocade."

Homer Council on the Arts

344 W. Pioneer Ave.

On Ice, photographs and sculpture by Melisse Reichman

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

An artist new to Homer, Melisse Reichman collected images of ice on her first winter here while walking around town and ice skating on Beluga Lake and the wetlands along Kachemak Drive.

"Each time I visited these places the ice formations would be different than the time before. This made my compulsion to document them all the greater," she writes. "What might be ordinary to a seasoned Homerite has been brand new to me and most exciting to me."


Picture Alaska

448 E. Pioneer Ave.

Fragile World, fused glass by Susanne Ratcliffe Wilson

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Many of Susanne Ratcliffe Wilson's fused glass works feature birds to go along with the opening for the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. She also teaches a workshop 11 a.m.-5 p.m. May 14 and 6-8 p.m. May 16 at Homer Art & Frame Co., Picture Alaska's companion store. Students learn to make a fused glass plate.


Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery

471 E. Pioneer Ave.

Artwork of the Firth Family

5-7 p.m., First Friday Reception

Anchor Point artist Ben Firth and his children Aurora, Sarah, Silas and Josiah work in a wide variety of media, from Ben's antler carvings to Josiah's wood burnings. Much of their work features birds as a theme, in fitting with shorebird weekend. The Firth children have been frequent winners or runners-up in the Alaska Federal Junior Duck Stamp competitions. The family also competes frequently in the Fairbanks ice sculpture competitions.