In 2003, outdoor-lover Dan Bigley was mauled by a brown bear on the Kenai Peninsula. The story of his survival, consequential blindness and rediscovery of life is now a book written with former Daily News feature writer Deb McKinney. Both will be present for the book release party for "Beyond the Bear," 5-6 p.m. Saturday at Tap Root Public House, 3300 Spenard Road. Admission is free.
Last month different artists took turns executing original paintings at Blaine's Art Supply, one per day. The paintings were then put up for auction to benefit Helping Hand for Nepal, a nonprofit effort to alleviate poverty by supplying medicine, education and water supplies to the Himalayan nation. The show of the finished work and the wrap up of the auction takes place 5-6:30 p.m. Friday at the store, 1025 Photo Ave. (corner of Cope Street and Benson Boulevard). If you can't join the celebration, you can still view the paintings and make a bid online at blainesart.com
Tanya Tomkins has made a specialty of baroque music and is the first cellist to win the Bodky Competition for Early Music Soloists. Recently her interpretation of Bach's Suites for Cello has drawn particular praise. She has performed at Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress and Holland's elegant Concertgebouw. At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, she will perform in Alaska with Anchorage music professor John Lutterman in the UAA Fine Arts Building Recital Hall. Both swap between contemporary and baroque cellos, but the announced program will focus on the era around 1700, with work by Vivaldi, Bach and Geminiani. Tickets are available at centertix.net.