Ptarmigan Arts Cooperative Corporation provides a venue where Alaskan artists can exhibit and sell their artwork. Co-op members work together to enhance the artistic and cultural life of Homer through monthly shows in the Back Room Gallery, through youth art scholarships, and through mutual support.
Ptarmigan Arts is located at 471 Pioneer Avenue in downtown Homer. The gallery is open daily year-round except on major holidays. For further information or questions, please contact the gallery at 907-235-5345 or by email at contact us.
THE HISTORY OF PTARMIGAN ARTS
Ptarmigan Arts was established in 1984 by building owner Sharon McKemie Bauer and it is one of Alaska’s oldest art galleries in Homer. For 29 years the gallery was operated under a blended structure combining private ownership with cooperative management by the artists.
Initially in the 1980s, Ptarmigan Arts was set up with a retail space and several “open air” studio spaces so that customers could interact and view the artists at work. As more artists kept joining, it then became an art gallery. In 1992, the area for the Back Room Gallery was renovated as a new venue for solo exhibits. See the Back Room Gallery for information on the current exhibit and past shows. If you are interested in having a pop-up weekend show of 1-2 days, starting on a Friday or Saturday, please see the Pop-Up Show Application and Artist Information Sheet for details. You can also email us at email@example.com.
A turning point for our gallery occurred on June 1, 2013. Ptarmigan Arts became a cooperative art gallery with over 30 artist-members and an elected Board of Directors and officers. As one artist said about the cooperative structure of Ptarmigan Arts, “It’s nice to be part owner of an art gallery where all of the member artists share in the responsibilities and rewards of running the business. It creates a positive family atmosphere.”
MEMBERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES AND REWARDS
Each member of Ptarmigan Arts is a part owner of the gallery. The members make decisions about the operation of the gallery, jury in new artists through the jurying process, and receive a proportionate share of the profits of the business. Members are expected to serve on committees that focus on specific aspects of running the gallery. They are also encouraged to serve as a member of the Board of Directors or as an officer.Member artists rent their display areas and share the cost of the gallery utilities. The artists design and arrange their individual displays and set their own prices.
Members are responsible for working one day per month as the resident artist and cashier. This gives the artists an opportunity to interact with gallery customers and provides customers with a knowledgeable salesperson who can explain the techniques and materials used by fellow artists.
Because all of the work involved in the day-to-day operation of the gallery is done by the members, the sales commission for artwork sales is considerably lower than at other fine art galleries.
INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS
Alaska and Homer artists are cordially invited to have their artwork juried in and, upon acceptance, apply for membership in the cooperative. The jurying process takes place at regular meetings held the third Wednesday of each month. If you would like to be part of a thriving, successful art gallery owned and operated by its members, please stop by the gallery or contact us by phone or email. If interested, here is the brochure entitled Invitation to Artists.
PTARMIGAN ARTS GIVES BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
Ptarmigan Arts is a member of the Homer Council on the Arts and the Homer Chamber of Commerce. Many members generously volunteer their time and artwork throughout the year in support of local non-profit organizations.
In the mid-1990s, the gallery established a scholarship fund and an annual award for local high school students to encourage their education in the visual arts. In recent years the scholarship fund was transferred to the Homer Foundation and is now supported by a permanent endowment fund. The proceeds of the fund are used to provide an annual $1,000 scholarship to a deserving student who shows promise in the arts.
If you know of or have a family member that is a high school student (11th or 12th grade) who would like to apply for this scholarship, please see the 2021 Ptarmigan Arts Visual Arts Scholarship Application for information and the online application. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation or a bequest to the scholarship fund through the Homer Foundation, please contact us for more information or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.