Story last updated at 12:23 p.m. Friday, September 6, 2002

Photos, paintings adorn fall galleries
by Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: entertainment
"Caribou in Morning Fog" by M. Scott Moon  
Among the many art exhibits this month, Homer plays host to the annual "AlaskaWILD 2002" show presented by the Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers.

The photography show, which focuses on images from Alaska's vast outdoors, tours the state through this year before moving on to the International Photography Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

It shows at the Homer Council on the Arts this month with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday.

According to a release from the show, the 30 or so images are selected because they "reflect a fondness and appreciation for the outdoors of Alaska and the creatures that inhabit it. Such images encompass many aspects of Alaska, including its magnificent landscapes and wildlife, the intimacy and delicate state of nature, and human recreation or interaction."

photo: entertainment
"Redoubt Sunset," by Dirk Westphall  
At the Fireweed Gallery, Anchorage artist Beth Blankenship's oil and acrylic paintings, titled "Jewels of Summer" will hang this month. An opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday. In her artist's statement, Blankenship alludes to the impact of nature on her work and the inspiration behind her paintings.

"Summertime strolls through the garden and walks on the beach are some of my greatest pleasures in life. My eyes find the variety of color and texture in flowers and shells to be immensely satisfying," she said.

In addition to acrylics and oils, Blankenship works in beads, Japanese paper, polymer clay, found objects and paints on an assortment of surfaces, including a bowling ball case.

At Picture Alaska, Wasilla artist Christopher Wakefield will display his paintings. A reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday.

Wakefield's latest exhibit works with bold colors and is all about entertainment, said the artist in his statement, and draws from nature.

photo: entertainment
"Birch Leaf Medley" by John DeLapp  
"When I say entertainment, I mean that when people look at my work, I want to elicit a moment of joy, calm and a means of escape from the daily grind of life that tears away at our sanity," he said.

Wakefield has recently returned to art in earnest and works in a host of media including metal sculpture, watercolor, oil and acrylic.

At the Bunnell Street Gallery, Anchorage artist Katherine Coons will exhibit "Chance Operations -- On the Stick," a series of abstract paintings forming calligraphic messages. A slide presentation with the artist will be held at 4:30 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Coons' resume includes shows in both alternative and professional galleries in the Los Angeles area. Though new to Alaska, she has already won an honorable mention at the All Alaska Juried Art Exhibit at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, and will be exhibiting at the Alaska Pacific University gallery in February.

At the Ptarmigan Arts Back Room Gallery, an exhibit of watercolors by Jan Thurston titled "Still Water Reflections" will be on display through the month. An opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday.

Carey James can be reached at