Get to Know the Artists at the Art Shop Gallery
Please scroll down to learn about the artists.
The watercolor paintings of Byron Birdsall are distillations of reality, scenes reduced to their basics with the integrity of the subject undiminished. In Birdsall's hands, light takes on a thousand forms, whether inspired by the relentless vertical rays of the East African coast, a hazy palpable dawn over Samoa, or the silent light of the winter Northland that illuminates but does not warm. It is this essential aspect of light that is at the heart of Birdsall's art. It is the life he gives this light that has cast him to the forefront of Alaska's art community and beyond.
Byron Birdsall's paintings are included in the collections of a number of museums and public institutions, hang in corporate board rooms and atriums, are owned by royalty, presidents, new fans, and loyal friends. The printing of a U.S. Postage stamp in 1992, designed by the artist and commemorating the building of the Alcan Highway, was a personal high point for Birdsall, an avid stamp collector.
In 2005 Birdsall had the honor of appointment to the American Academy in Rome where he worked and painted for three months. Currently he is painting for a book to be published by a maritime transport company with holdings around the world. This has taken the inveterate traveler to South America, Korea, Boston, and Sakhalin Island. In addition, Birdsall has painted a series of images of Jerusalem.
A frequent visitor to Homer and our Gallery, Byron and his wife now divide their time between their homes on Whidbey Island in Washington State and Anchorage, Alaska.
Erik is a young adult artist and Special Olympic Athlete from Alaska. He was born when his parents were trappers at Lake Clark, and grew up in many small towns and villages with his mother, a "bush/rural" teacher. Today he lives in the artist community of Homer.
He has been developing his skill in art for over 10 years, with his favorite medium being a combination of pen and felt tip marker. He draws all of his black lines in his own creative style and adds color as he imagines.
As an adult with Down's Syndrome, Erik's innocence prevails in all of his art. His goal is to work independently as an Alaskan artist, sharing this colorful, childlike view of life.
Clay artist Elizabeth Berezin moved to Alaska with her husband in 1975 after completing a B.A. In literature.
Elizabeth makes wheel-thrown pottery and hand-built pottery of stoneware clay. Much of her work is functional tableware, but she also enjoys constructing sculptures and wall pieces. Though largely self-taught, she has attended college art classes and workshops with national and international clay artists. Her work has placed in many local juried shows over the past twenty-five years.
Guitta Corey has lived and worked as an artist in Alaska since 1979. Her work is in private collections across the U.S., as well as in public buildings in Alaska. She draws her inspiration from the vast beauty of the Alaskan landscape.
Guitta graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in printmaking.
In 1995, Guitta began working with Oriental papers to create original collages, and many of her originals have been printed as giclee prints since then. Her prints have deckled edges and are mounted in acid free shrink wrap.
All of her collages have been created using paper adhered with acrylic medium. In some cases, gold or mixed metal leaf has been applied. The surface that the paper is adhered to, called the support, is either 300 lb. watercolor paper which is 100% rag, or it is a material called multimedia art board, which is neutral pH. Washi, or Japanese handmade papers, as well as ornamental papers from India and other parts of Asia, are used for the creation of the collage image. Some of the papers are opaque, others are delicate and translucent. An original collage may be created by building up many layers of translucent papers to achieve the desired textural or color effects.
JoAnn George's artwork reflects her life in the Tlingit Indian village of Angoon, Alaska, where she has lived since 1967. Born and raised in New Hampshire, she earned a degree in earth science before moving to Angoon to teach school. In this remote village, she met and married Gabriel George, a fish biologist and sport fishing guide.
JoAnn was introduced into Tlingit culture through her marriage and subsequent life in Angoon, interpreting this knowledge through her artwork. Her original colored-ink drawings, paintings, collages, etchings, and reproductions depict the richness of Tlingit life and legend, as well as views of Southeast Alaska and its abundant wildlife. Parents of two grown children, JoAnn and her husband live in the Killerwhale Clan House on Angoon waterfront.
As a professional artist, JoAnn has received recognition and awards, including an award for excellence from the National Parks and Monuments Association for illustrations in Carved History. Her work was included in the "1984 Calendar of Women Artists" and she received a commission from Sea World of San Diego to produce limited edition prints dedicated for the new killer whale stadium in 1987. She was selected "1990 Artist of the Year" by Who's Who in Alaska Arts and Crafts.
Brad is a professional full-time artist living in Homer, Alaska for the last 30 years or so. During that time he has made a living doing commercial artwork as well as participating in numerous fine art events. His art includes prints, sculpture, painting and drawing. The Art Shop Gallery carries both his prints and originals. As you will see he has a love for classical art styles and a special interest in mythological ideas such as Mermaids and Nature Spirits. His love of Alaska comes through strong.
A happy Eskimo child hiding in the closet peeking out from under her mother's parka, a Native dancer moving to the century old music of a walrus drum, or a hot tub full of friends on a snowy winter evening are just a few of the images Barbara Lavallee has offered in her popular watercolors. Lavallee, a native of Davenport, Iowa, grew up in Wisconsin and received a degree in art from Illinois Wesleyan Univ. After teaching art in Arizona on a Navajo Indian Reservation, she took a position at Mount Edgecumbe Native School in Sitka, Alaska in 1970.
Now living in Anchorage, Lavallee is a prolific painter, with many originals reproduced into limited edition prints. In addition, she has become nationally known as an illustrator of children's books. Her best known is Mama Do You Love Me? for which she received the coveted 1991 Golden Kite Award for the Society Of Children's Book Writers for excellence in illustration.
Lavallee is known for her happy people working, playing, and living with smiles on their faces. Her watercolors portray whimsical, stylized characters in vibrant colors reflecting her interest in people. Lavallee can't imagine her life without painting. "I want people to have fun. If people look and smile, then I feel the art is a success."
An Inupiaq artist from Point Hope, Ken Lisbourne is married to Iva Lisbourne, a respected doll maker.
In the 1890s, Eskimos in northwestern Alaska were introduced to paper, watercolors, crayons and pencils by teachers from mission and government schools. The drawings produced as a consequence of this cultural fusion derive from the aboriginal traditions of pictographs, petroglyphs ("rock art") and scrimshaw.
In the 20th century many native artists who, in centuries past, would have drawn in snow or incised hunt tallies or calendars on bone, have adopted mediums such as reindeer skin, paper and canvas.
While most native artists learned primarily from relatives, Ken Lisbourne thinks to be technically schooled in fine arts and Native arts was also vital to his profession as a Native artist. Ken works in both watercolor and colored pencil on paper.
Rie Munoz (re moo nyos), a Dutch-American, was born and raised in California. She has lived in Alaska since 1951, when she traveled up the Inside Passage by steamship, fell in love with Juneau, and gave herself until the boat left the next day to find a job and a place to live. Since then Juneau has been home to Munoz.
Munoz studied art at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, and at the University of Alaska-Juneau. Rie received the University of Alaska's Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree in May of 1999. Her reproductions and original prints are carried by galleries throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Norway, Japan, England, and Holland. She has had many solo watercolor exhibits in Alaska, Oregon and Washington State.
Of the many jobs she has held-journalist, teacher, museum curator, artist, mother- one of her most memorable was as a teacher on King Island in 1951, where she taught 25 Eskimo children. The island was a I3-hour umiak (a walrus skin boat) voyage from Nome, an experience she remembers vividly. During her years in Alaska, Munoz has lived in a variety of small Alaskan communities, including prospecting and mining camps.
Born in Wisconsin, Bruce W. Nelson has been using his paintbrush to reflect the world around him since he was 8 years old. His parents saw an early glimpse of talent and had him tutored in oil painting. Bruce attended Rockford College in Illinois. A deep regard for nature as well as a need for employable skill led to a minor in biology, but he majored in art. School was followed by a year in Europe to study the European approach to art and also to explore himself.
In 1980 on a summer vacation while in college, he came to Alaska for a commercial fishing job and never left. He fished on many different boats and different fisheries throughout the state of Alaska- from deck hand to skipper.
His work exposed him to much of remote Alaska and gave him time to closely observe coastal landscapes and the wildlife. Drawing or painting when he had any time off, he finally devoted full time to his painting in 1989.
As a professional artist he has many originals, reproductions and posters to his credit. Some of his works include 3 local Kodiak crab festival posters, 1996 Alaska State medallion, 2001 Indiana state trout stamp, works for Ducks Unlimited, Alaska Outdoor Council, and was awarded a grant for the only scientific illustrations of a complete set of the Gray whale bones. Other paintings have been purchased by Alaskan Museums, NOAA/NMFS, Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game, Alaska State Parks, Kodiak Island Visitor Center and art collectors.
Bruce lives and works out of his studio on Kodiak Island.
Alaska artist Gail Niebrugge paints with a tiny brush creating millions of small dots of color, a technique called pointillism. She developed this style during a period of bed rest while recovering from neck and back injuries, and is an inspiration to others who struggle to conquer crippling pain.
Gail Niebrugge, WHS, holds a Masters degree in Illustration from Syracuse University, New York, is a signature member of Watercolor USA Honor Society, and is the artist/author of the best-selling book, Gail Niebrugge's Alaska Wildflowers.
Nathalie Parenteau was born in Montreal, Quebec. After graduating from high school, she came to the Yukon while volunteering with a youth group. Fascinated with the uniqueness of the area, she decided to extend her visit in the North and here she remains.
She spent the next few years in the wilderness of southwestern Yukon where she enjoyed a closeness with nature. The aesthetic and peacefulness of such a relationship inspired her to draw and paint. In the winter of 1988-89 she set out for a trip around the world which took her into the most secret aspects of human culture. She completed a Bachelor of Science in 1993 at the University of Western Ontario. Nathalie now feels that she has enough information, experience and sensitivity to create works that can reach the viewer at an emotional and aesthetic level.
Nathalie Parenteau's artistic skills come from extended experimentation with subject and media. She has taught herself to create balanced tableaux with a special attention to the mood created. She feels that she gains a vast amount of information and knowledge by sharing with her peers.
Katie Sevigny was born in East Chicago, Illinois. She studied art at the Chicago Art Institute and the Academy of Art in Chicago. Katie moved to Haines, Alaska, in 1994 as a young adult in search of a better life. She met her husband, Craig, in 1997. Together, they moved to Anchorage in 2000, married, and now have two children.
Her work has evolved from oil realism to whimsical, colorful, happy art. She attributes her art evolution to her children, who inspire her daily. Katie currently has her own galleries in downtown Anchorage, where she works daily.
Taz Tally is a Homer, Alaska photographer who specializes in black and white landscape photography. Taz’s interest in photography began when he was 9 years old on a cross country flight with his dad, aboard a 4-engine, propeller-driven Constellation Airliner. During this trip, to Taz’s delight, his dad introduced him to f-stops, shutter speeds, and ASA, and Taz’s love affair with photography began.
Taz is an avid outdoorsman with a PhD in geology, who enjoys hiking, kayaking, skiing, and biking adventures that provide inspiration for many of his photographs. In addition to his photographic art, Taz is also an author, having published more than a dozen digital imaging and adventure books, including his popular 50 Hikes in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Taz shares his passion for photography, digital imaging, geology, and outdoor adventures by teaching a variety of online and classroom courses through the University of Alaska, Lynda.com, and Sessions.edu. Taz is a much sought-after speaker for a variety of events, including the annual GraphExpo Exposition in Chicago. Taz also offers personalized photography and outdoor adventures to individuals and groups.
Taz chooses black and white as his medium because he likes to focus on landscape forms, textures, and fabrics without the distraction of color. Black and white has a stark purity that he really enjoys. He is most satisfied when he captures landscapes in their simplest, most elegant forms. He enjoys the entire creative process, from image capture through printing.
Longtime resident of Homer, Alaska, artist Shirley Timmreck paints in oils, acrylics, watercolors, monotype, inks and collage. Shirley studied art at Newcomb College and subsequently taught art for many years in New Orleans. From her home and hillside studio among the fireweed and wild roses, Shirley transcribes Alaska's magic to her canvas and also writes plays. Several of her plays have been produced in Homer, Alaska and Boston, Massachusetts.
We have many more of Shirley's unframed originals in the Gallery. They feature her "Old Girls" in watercolor with prices from $90-$150 depending on size. They are involved in such pastimes as having tea, arranging flowers and playing cards. Please call or email for a scan of some that we have currently available.
Alaska is a never-ending source of inspiration for Ed Tussey. Winner of national and state awards, Ed is a full-time, freelance artist who captures on canvas the majesty of Alaska's interior, coastal, and marine environments and wildlife. A lifelong Alaskan, Ed lives on the Kenai Peninsula in the coastal town of Homer, Alaska, with his wife Jacki and their daughters, Rachel and Rheanna.
Collectors of Ed Tussey's art are drawn to the impeccable detail with which his brush carefully defines, and realistically portrays, birds, mammals, and marine life in their natural settings. Ed's ability to accurately represent Alaska's wildlife stems from years of observing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats on land and sea. He studied art and oceanography while attending college in Washington state. He has spend countless hours in remote wilderness areas and has traveled extensively throughout the coastal waters of Alaska, the Pacific Ocean, and the Bering Sea.
The Tusseys self-published their first limited edition print series in 1985, and since then many of the editions have been collected and are listed as sold out. Ed's originals and prints can be found in galleries, museums and private collections throughout Alaska, the continental U.S., Canada, and around the world.
Jon Van Zyle
Art is his life and Alaska, all of Alaska, has been his inspiration. Artist Jon Van Zyle has seen more of Alaska in a much more unique way than most can ever hope to experience. Jon has twice completed the 1049 miles of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race between Anchorage and Nome. From these adventures he has created the yearly Iditarod poster series commemorating the race and his involvement. In 1979 he was made official Iditarod artist, a title he still holds today. In 2004 he was inducted into the Iditarod Hall of Fame.
His acrylic paintings go beyond the race though, and encompass so much of the Alaska beauty. Jon's reputation as a storyteller through his art is further enhanced by his art prints, posters and stone lithographs. Dog teams, landscapes, wildlife Alaskan faces from native to newcomer, portray an intimacy with the land and its people. He touches on history with studies of Alaskan pioneers and native traditions and lore recording the Alaskan spirit. Public acceptance of his shared feeling through his art has been his greatest reward.
Jon's art career has spanned over 3 decades. A prolific artist, he produces numerous paintings a year for one-man exhibitions in the United States as well as Europe. Illustrating at least two children's books a year since 1993 for prestigious publishers has earned him a reputation with a younger audience as well as many awards for his children's art. His limited edition prints and posters sell out regularly with well over 250 editions in the last 25 years.
Jon and his wife, Jona, also an artist, travel extensively, gathering material and experiences for the continuous production of works of art. The Van Zyles live near Eagle River where they raise and train Siberian Huskies. Both inspirational and functional, the dogs play a large part in their lives together.
Nancy has been a resident of Homer, Alaska since 1980. She perfected her art here, but has recently moved to Santa Barbara for the winter months, and returns to Homer for the beautiful Alaskan summers.
Nancy is quickly emerging as a refreshing and important voice in America's contemporary art scene. Her works have been featured in internationally published calendars, datebooks and greeting cards and have also been selected to appear in such periodicals as American Artist and Art in America.
Surprisingly disarming and folksy, her paintings offer a view into the realm of a contemporary artist at once embracing the simple spirit of her surroundings and transforming the elitism of fine art into an at tangible and graceful humor.
Unflinching in her humor and warmth, Nancy creates a universe exclusive of nobody., where the muses speak of us all.
Nancy's older prints are printed on Enhanced Matte Finish Paper, and her new series is printed on 100% Velvet Fine Art Paper