Someone stopped us in the grocery store this morning to ask where Ted’s Woodshop is located. We don’t operate a retail storefront, but we do have a presence in Ptarmigan Arts Gallery in Homer, Alaska. It was no surprise to learn that Homer has been listed by Expedia’s Viewfinder blog as one of the most artistic cities in the United States. You can read the entire article here America’s Most Artistic Towns.
Let us tell you a little more about Homer and the art community as we know it. We moved here from Fairbanks in 2008. Wanting to move south and closer to the water, Homer was an ideal destination for us. We were also drawn by the little town’s reputation as an artistic and creative place where we hoped that our fledgling business, Ted’s Woodshop, would thrive. After all, you can turn just so many bowls before you run out of storage space and need to find a way to market and sell them.
Enter Ptarmigan Arts Gallery in Homer, Alaska, established in the 1980’s. We have been honored to be a part of Ptarmigan Arts since December 2008. It’s not just a business — it’s more like a family.
In June of 2013, the group of Ptarmigan artists purchased the business and incorporated it as a true cooperative. Owned and operated by over 30 member-artists, the gallery is supported entirely through sales of artwork and the volunteer efforts of its members. Every member has an ownership interest in the gallery, and on any given day one of the artists will be staffing the cashier station and available to help customers select just the right piece of artwork. You can learn more about Ptarmigan Arts on the gallery’s webpage.
Sure, we sell Ted’s work through our online store on this website but we love having a gallery presence where people can admire his creations in person. We recently changed up our display area, spiffing up a bit with new paint and adjustable shelves. Five or six other Ptarmigan members also moved or expanded their display spaces, so if you haven’t been in for a while this would be a good time to check out the gallery improvements.
On the first Friday of every month, from 5 to 7 p.m., Ptarmigan Arts Gallery participates in Homer’s “First Friday” event. The gallery members host an opening reception for artwork exhibited as a Back Room Gallery show in a spacious and welcoming display area. The month-long exhibits offer an opportunity for Ptarmigan artists and visiting non-member artists to showcase their work.
Ted and two fellow wood turners are pulling out all the stops to prepare for their June 2017 Back Room Gallery show. Their July 2016 show was a big success, and nobody had more fun than those three guys. I expect that the June show will be equally as much fun, and from what I’ve seen of Ted’s new turnings there will be more than a few surprises for show visitors.