Locals Artists, New Art
On the First Friday of every month, galleries, boutiques, and locally owned businesses welcome the public to get out on the town and see what they have to offer.
Every location approaches First Friday with its own style, with events ranging from live music to lectures to receptions where guests can speak with local artists about their work. Many galleries, museums, and shops extend their hours to accommodate Alaska’s art collectors, enthusiasts, and novices. Whether you drop by a favorite gallery or stroll the streets to visit as many locations as possible, Alaska’s First Fridays present awesome opportunities to connect with and support the artists that live and create among us. Below Alaska Business has listed just a few locations that participate in First Friday around the state.
Stephan Fine Arts | The Crest Gallery | Captain Cook Coffee Cubby: At the Hotel Captain Cook, these three locations coordinate to host First Friday events. This month Annie Brace will be available from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Stephan Fine Arts; Renate Martin has scheduled time from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Crest Gallery; and the Alaska Artist’s Guild is doing a group showing of new works at the Captain Cook Coffee Cubby, with the artists on site from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. stephanfinearts.com
2 Friends: Self identifying as “a most unusual gallery,” 2 Friends carries a collection of original art as well as rare and hard-to-find resale pieces; its inventory changes regularly and ranges from glass work and wood carvings to bags and clothing. The store features specific artists during their First Friday reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. that also includes chocolate and sparkling cider. 2friendsgallery.com
Aurora Fine Art: Established in 1990, “Aurora Fine Art Gallery has been the epicenter of high-end Alaskan art for over twenty years,” according to the gallery, which hosts artist meet-and-greets and work demonstrations in addition to its First Friday art show. aurorafineart-alaska.com
Anchorage Museum: “Open galleries. Open minds. Open late.” is how the Anchorage Museum describes its approach to First Friday. The museum arranges a range of activities for First Friday, including dancing, music, talks and lectures, food, and more. anchoragemuseum.org
Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center: From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center hosts a reception featuring the work of an Interior Alaskan artist. Artists interested in booking can contact the Alaska Public Lands Information Center. 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. morristhompsoncenter.org
Bear Gallery: For First Friday the Fairbanks Arts Association Bear Gallery opens a new art exhibit and hosts a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Artists in the exhibit are invited to attend to discuss their work with the public. fairbanksarts.org
Two Street Gallery: Producing works in ceramic, painting, limited edition prints, sculpture, scrimshaw, textiles, photography, jewelry, collage, and mixed media, the artists of Two Street Gallery operate as a partnership to provide original art and gifts to collectors and one-time visitors. Guests can meet with the artists and sample refreshments on First Friday. 2streetgallery.com
If Only… a fine store: Now in operation for twenty years, If Only is the vision of five Alaskan women that was founded to serve the Fairbanks community and invite visitors in as guests. In addition to participating in First Friday, the store also hosts an annual holiday open house and solstice celebrations. ifonlyalaska.com
Fireweed Gallery: Open year round, this gallery is a regular participant in Homer’s First Friday scene. Fireweed Gallery offers a selection of original arts, prints, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, and other hand-made items. fireweedgallery.com
Art Shop Gallery: In addition to works from new (to the gallery) Alaskan potters Birch Grove Studios and Kristen Edwards, the gallery carries Alaskan art, limited edition prints, fine art posters, and a selection of Alaskan gifts, including Native crafts made of ivory and bone. Art Shop Gallery regularly participates in First Friday in Homer from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. artshopgallery.com
Ptarmigan Arts: In operation for more than thirty years, in 2013 Ptarmigan Arts was purchased by a cooperative of artists (now numbering thirty-seven), who own, operate, and staff the gallery in addition to creating the beautiful works found there. For First Friday the gallery exhibits a new show with an artist’s reception that includes refreshments. ptarmiganarts.com
Bunnell Street Arts Center: This gallery’s mission is “to nurture and support innovative art of exceptional quality in all media.” On First Friday this month, the gallery will be opening an exhibit by Alicia Kelly, with an artist talk taking place at 6 p.m. bunnellarts.org
Alaska State Museum: The museum is open late for First Friday every month, extending its hours to 7 p.m. and offering free admission. museums.alaska.gov/asm/
Davis Gallery: Located at Centennial Hall and operated by the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, the Davis gallery opens new exhibits by Alaskan artists quarterly in June, September, December, and March. Public receptions to the current exhibit take place from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. during First Friday. jahc.org/jacc/davis-gallery/
In This Issue
Out of the Mine and into the Smelter
Mining has long been a key fixture of Alaska’s economy. On a small scale, people flock to the 49th state to tour different operations. Kennecott Mine was once a booming copper mining site and is now a National Historic Landmark, attracting tourists eager to visit the ghost town and get a feel of the Gold Rush era it once dominated.