First Friday: Photographs at Grace Ridge Brewing in Homer, Alaska

Pot fishing for grey cod in Kachemak Bay, Alaska. Photo by Clay Duda.
Pot fishing for grey cod in Kachemak Bay, Alaska.

I’m excited to announce that I will have a selection of photographic prints on display for the month of February at Grace Ridge Brewing, 870 Smoky Bay Way in Homer, Alaska. The exhibition kicks off with a “First Friday” opener on Feb. 3, 5-7 p.m.

Appalachian-inspired brooms crafted by Willow Q. Jones will also be on display.

The work focuses on people’s intersection with nature and the environment, how we rely on the world around us for sustenance but too often take it for granted. Two of Alaska’s economic pillars are fishing and tourism. Many people are out of their element and can seem aloof when traveling to new places, and many natural wonders today are heavily trafficked and commodified.

Alaska is known as one of the last frontiers of “wild and free,” but the developments of the 21st century are steadily encroaching on wildernesses and remote communities. Increasingly barriers to the natural world herd hundreds and thousands of visitors along a well-manicured path — a raised boardwalk to the edge of the Anchor River where thickets of alders once offered reprieve — and create a detachment from the rustic reality we’re seeking.

We also rely on the hills and seas for food and fun in Alaska. Many of us fish and hunt to fill the freezer for winter, and many of us consider ourselves stewards of the natural world (if, for no other reason, to protect doing the things we love). But we also take advantage of this bounty for food and economics without remorse. I’m a charter boat captain who kills thousands of fish every year, but my hope is to connect people better with their food and where it comes from. Ultimately I strive to take less than I give to this world, but is that even possible?

My hope is that these photos spark an introspective journey into thinking about your own relationship with the world around you, whether you’re in a big city or sitting at the end of a dirt road in Homer, Alaska.

The work is a mix of modern and traditional photographic techniques. The majority of photos are capture with a 35mm film camera, developed by hand at home, and when possible printed in my darkroom here in Homer (archival black and white silver gelatin prints).

If you have a chance, please swing by Grace Ridge Brewing during the month of February, have a pint and browse the gallery wall.



Clay Duda is a mariner, photographer, and writer living in Homer, Alaska.