Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A must see show: Picasso at SAM

This show culled from  Picasso's personal collection of his artworks. As the press release from the SAM states "The works in this exhibition come from Picasso’s personal collection—works of art the highly self-aware artist kept for himself with the intent of shaping his own artistic legacy. Drawn from the collection of the Musée National Picasso in Paris—the largest and most important repository of the artist’s work in the world—the exhibition will feature work representing every major period from the artist’s prolific output over eight decades."

Crowds were evident as we stood in line for the Picasso Show: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris. We were ticketed for 3.40. People stood around listening to the Picasso introduction on the complimentary audio tour. Strange sight. Every where you looked, people stood with the audio device pressed to their ears. Listening, waiting for their turn.

The long narrow galleries are are staged with some beautiful works from all the major Picasso periods.
One of my personal favorites is Two Women Running on the Beach [ The Race].
I was so surprised to see how small this painting is . 13 x 16

This show is a great chance to see these treasure while the Musse is under renovations in Paris.
The show runs till January 17, 2011. There are special member only days. A membership is a bargain at $ 65
and includes admission to the museum and this special Picasso show.  Seattle Art Museum
Go and see this show!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Harbor ART Walk Saturday November, 27th 2010

Jaime Ellsworth, Window Shopping, 40 x 30 Oil,
Happy Holidays to all.

The newest addition to the Thanksgiving holiday events in Friday Harbor is the Holiday Harbor Art Walk on Saturday, November 27th. This is a great opportunity to walk the town of Friday Harbor, shopping for holiday gifts while enjoying the hospitality of these participating galleries. This event runs is from 4pm and continues to 7pm,except where noted.

Arctic Raven, 130 First Street, 360.378.3433, featuring” Gifts from the Salish Sea”, the Annual Holiday Show featuring artwork by First Nation members including glass, prints, bentwood boxes. Andy & Wilbur Peterson, Skokomish, will be on hand for a hot cider reception: New work by Susan Point, Shaun Peterson and introducing jewelry by Tamara Rain Bull & clay sculptor David Groat. www.arcticravengallery.com

Gallery San Juan, 232 "A" Street.360.378.1376, will be featuring "Small Treasures, Simple Pleasures", new small paintings by gallery artists including Matt Dollahite, BJ Dollahite, All Currier and James Moore. Matt and BJ will also be showing their most current works in progress. www.gallerysanjuan.com

Island Studios,270 Spring Street, 360.378.6550 is celebrating the diversity of 200 local artists with music books, paintings, pottery, photography, glass art, jewelry, sculpture, textiles and organic soaps, lotions and oils, just to name a few. Darlene Nixon will be demonstrating how she makes her hand sculpted glass jewelry from 2pm – 4pm www.islandstudios.com

Waterworks Gallery, 315 Argyle Street, 360.378.3060 featuring the “25th Annual Holiday Fete” with the artwork of Jaime Ellsworth, paintings; Tom Small, stone sculpture; and Robin & John Gumaelius, ceramic & metal sculptures; displaying artisan jewelry in exotic beads, silver, glass and gold by Tana Acton, Lexi Bec, Dianne Coe, Kathleen Faulkner, James Minson & Tina Finneran. www.waterworksgallery.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ceramic show at Bellevue Arts Museum

Jason Walker, photo courtesy BAM
Sunday, while in Bellevue I was lucky enough to arrive at the Bellevue Art Museum early in the day.
Wahoo I had the whole place to myself.

A friend had mentioned the current show, Clay Throwdown as a must see.

After spending time looking, laughing and enjoying the vast array of works presented I would agree. The juried ceramic works run the gamut of terra cotta forms to very fine porcelain, very serious to very silly, politically correct to politically irreverent.  The quality of the works represented provides an excellent survey of the current state of the world of ceramics in the Northwest.

My kudos to BAM

Go and see this show. BAM has it's own free parking garage right under the museum.
The show runs till Jan 16, 2011.

Congratulations to Dirk Staschke who received the 2010 John & Joyce Price Award of Excellence

Dirk Staschke, My Beautiful Nothing,
photo courtesy of BAM

Remember to vote as there is a $ 5000 prize for the piece with the most votes, I know which is my favorite!

Chris Antemann, photo courtesy of BAM

From their website...

BAM Biennial 2010: Clay Throwdown! is the inaugural edition of BAM's new, juried exhibition series. With over 30 participating artists, it provides a panoramic survey of ceramic art created in the Pacific Northwest and a glimpse into the many directions in which this dynamic medium is moving.
Clay Throwdown! features a select blend of both emerging and established artists with an emphasis on new and site-specific works. It reflects the diverse responses of contemporary artists to one of the oldest media known to man: clay. From personal gestures to commentary on today's social issues, Clay Throwdown! assembles a wide range of voices unique to the Pacific Northwest and our time.

So what can be better, than seeing some amazing new ceramic works and the museum provides free parking!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The dictionary definition of community according to Miriam-Webster Dictionary is : a unified body of individuals: as  the people with common interests living in a particular area : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location. 

Here in Friday Harbor, I helped to establish the Friday Harbor Gallery Association , a loosely [especially for Friday Harbor] group of small business that are all involved in the business of ART. Ranging from a broad smorgasbord of locally based arts and crafts, [Island Studio]  to specializing in the best of Native arts from NW tribes [Arctic Raven] to a talented husband and wife team showcasing their unique artworks [ Gallery San Juan] to a dedicated representative of a way of art not much practiced ie scrimshaw [ Howie Rosenfeld]  and my gallery [Waterworks Gallery] whose mission is to represent artists whose works reflect the Northwest experience.

These diverse organizations are the Friday Harbor Gallery Association, all working to foster the celebration, cultivation and the collecting of artwork, right here in Friday Harbor, San Juan
Island, Washington state. 
This service is for the benefit of the local community and visitor.

In this diverse island, there are other communities that gather for a purpose, the theater groups, Island Stage Left and the San Juan Island Community Theater. Both organizations offer a diverse palette rich in both theater, music and Shakespeare for the benefit of the local community and visitor.

Kudos to the Port of Friday Harbor for their support of the burgeoning local music scene by sponsoring a concert series of live music that lasted all summer long down at the Port stage.
This series is for the benefit of the local community and visitor.

Island Rec with their Music on the Lawn series [ waterworks gallery has been a supporter for the past ten years] supported by various business including Islanders Bank, IPS. This series is for the benefit and enjoyment of the local community and visitors.

The reason for this rambling is to show the community as one that comes together for many cultural , and artistic functions and events . 
WE as  a community share these assets with the community.
WE are proud of the resources we share.

My point ? This community has no community meetings spot , has no town square, has no community space to share .
This community has no heart and soul spot.

This community has recently gone through a process concerning a proposed green space and farmers market that was political, contentious and created many camps both pro and con. 
This process was the reverse of  typical political process where a few voices against were able to outweigh the many voices in favor of the project. 
The political process is not at it's finest, not listening to it's constituency.

Irregardless of what you think or feel for the project, what has been lost in my eyes was the ability to create a green space, , a gathering space, , a town square, , a place for people to congregate.

The additional benefits of a farmer's market is the local food distribution, a community kitchen to foster new local products and projects, and perhaps new local business and a most important benefit to this community - a place of gathering , a place for the creation of a community space for this community.

This is about making changes in a community that has a hard time with change.
Change is difficult.

Part of this project is also a legacy project - changing the landscape of of this community to do the RIGHT thing for the future of the community.

In the great depression the WPA fostered and created many buildings that are still  in active use today, many years later. ie the Mt Hood Timberline Lodge. These buildings were done with government monies to keep people and artisans employed. With the state grant that was made available, Friday Harbor had the opportunity to create a legacy for the community.

Let's not loose the momentum to create a community space for our community.!

Plan to attend the Brickwork's Rising Event at San Juan Vineyards on Sunday, September 12, 4-8pm.
If you can make a donation to support this process, with your help we can make a difference in the  landscape of Friday Harbor.


Exciting  news about the Brickwork's project  SJI Agricultutal Guild Blog


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Art Fairs and the Economy of Originality...From One Artist's Point of View

Dona Reed, Printmaker & Gourd Artist at the 49th Annual Anacortes Arts Festival.
Sunday, with the sunny beautiful weather, I hopped on a ferry and went to the Anacortes Arts Festival.
I wanted to show support for a couple of  friends who exhibit at this Arts Festival. Tom Rierden, created the official poster.

As the weather on Saturday had been cold and miserable, artist did not sell alot of work in the rain.
All miserable and wet, who wants to shop?

I wanted to visit the Anacortes's Art at the Port Show Fine Art Show . This is a juried exhibition that attracts artists from all over the region. Many media are represented from painting to textile and wood, steel to the ceramic arts. My hats of to a well conceived show in a large open warehouse space. I wish we had a large public open space like this here in Friday Harbor!

After the show, I walked up and down the street, looking for something wonderful. Something artful,I found the people that import these beautiful tables clothes from France.
I thought this was a bit odd as  I felt the show was all about original artwork and designs.

I mentioned this to my friend, Dona Reed [ pictured above] and this is the reply I got from her.

Hey Ruth,
Thanks for coming to the Anacortes Art Festival....

I have been thinking about your blog about artists and art fairs. If 
you really want to make a point...tell people about you falling into
the trap of coming to an ART fair (or what is supposed to be "hand
crafted" work) and buying something that is IMPORTED.  Jurors for the
fairs are supposed to be screening such work. We artists cannot
compete with manufactured work and the prices that come with it.  the
"Walmartization" of America has distorted peoples concept of pricing.
Why buy a hand screened T shirt (with original designs) for $25 when
you can get one at Walmart for $3. quality and originality means

Artists have to watch for people taking photos for fear their designs
will be copied and show up at Target or Walmart.  It has

 The quality of the Anacortes Art Fair has suffered because REAL
artists don't apply anymore. It is known for a low end..street
fair.....fine art need not apply.

Just some food for thought.....Dona

I thought I would share another perspective with you.
This is food for thought.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Arts & Community Support

 Happy patrons eating their salads on a sunny Seattle evening.

The community on San Juan Island is very supportive of all the arts organizations on this island.
From Stage Left,  Island Museum of Art, The San Juan Island Community Theater,  The Whale Museum, The San Juan Historical Museum and The San Juan Nature Institute to list a few.
This island is composed of a generous, well educated compassionate and caring artistic community.
Yet all of these organizations struggle to find new ways to help raise funds for their organizations.

Last week, I traveled with Linda Lighton to attend the Seattle Pottery Northwest's Annual Fundraiser, Salad Bowl 2010. This organization Pottery Northwest is celebrating it's 45th year at Seattle Center.
Pottery Northwest is a 501c-3 not for profit organization that develops and promotes excellence in the ceramic arts.

Funds raised at Salad Bowl support the Artists' Residencies Program, helping artist to develop their practice and portfolio by defraying studio costs, materials and exhibition costs; Going Greener by acquiring a new energy efficient kiln to fire larger scale work; and the Professional Artists' Project, allowing artists in other mediums to cross over the bridge to ceramics.

The Salad Bowl fundraiser is held on a summer's evening as a celebratory supper featuring gourmet salads, and delicious deserts from some of Seattle's best restaurants. One should arrive early to choose your personal salad bowl. The salad bowls are created by the students and instructors of Pottery Northwest.

There are large painted platter created for the Salad Bowl auction by area artists [some who have crossed over to to ceramics for this event] Juan Alonso, Charles Kraft,Anne Grgich, Marge Levy, Akio Takamori, Claudia Fitch and many others. These pieces were fabulous, making me wish I had the additional funds to support this part of the event.

I liked the newness of the event, the spirit of the volunteers all pulling together to create an event a FUNdraiser that was fun. Well Done!

How fabulous, what a great group of artists with such lofty and yet functionally adaptable ideas and goals.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shakespeare on San Juan Island

 Island Stage Left's production of King Henry V, photo courtesy John Sinclair

What an amazing week this has been. The weather was summer, flocks of  friends have chosen to show up on the island. After the gallery by day, I am always looking for ways to share island night life with family and friends.

On San Juan Island, we have a treasure called Stage Left whose mission is to provide free professional quality theater to both the residents of  San Juan Island and its visitors.

This year's Shakespeare under the Stars  is King Henry V.

The performances are usually in the evening just prior to sunset. The evening we attended, I remembered to bring my sleeping bag to sit in. Under the stars on San Juan Island, it does Get Cold when the sun sets. That Sunday night the temperature dropped to 49. This has been such an odd summer.

[One can arrive early, bringing a picnic dinner and have a tailgate party. The property that is home to Stage Left has a newly fenced garden. It is a lovely addition to the locale.]

Zipped up in my toasty outfit, hat on my head, I was prepared to be mesmerized by the words of the bard performed on a simply built sturdy stage in the middle of San Juan Island under a moonlight night after a wonderful meal.

The production is an ongoing ensemble cast with each actor playing multiple roles. Costumes are hung on pegs in the rear of the set and are changed repeatedly as actors change their characters.

As with a simplified set, the scenic changes occur with addition or subtraction of  tables and chairs, helping to create the illusion of a palace or a battlefield.

Sitting under the light of a almost half moon was magical.

I found myself closing my eyes and being transported to the days of Henry V .

Politics ruled the day, accented with the human traits of greed and love, etiquette and proprietary, war and peace and of course boy gets girl!

The versatility of this group of actors, the simplicity of the set design, the contemporary and antique costumes all help create the time of Henry V. It is a fabulous production with a stellar cast.

 As it states on the program, "production design elements are kept deliberately simple and concentration is on acting and interpretation. In this way the company is able to focus on the art rather than the administration."

A must see for the summer season of 2010 on San Juan Island! Their spring production of The Clean House By Sarah Ruhl was fantastic.

The show runs a couple of hours without intermission. And the golden buckets await your  financial contribution as we know it is not inexpensive to produce live quality theater. It is marvelous to have such a theater troupe on San Juan Island.

Their website for more info:Stage Left