Art in abstract

Abstract art on display during Art Walk

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Editor’s note: To be included in the monthly Art Walk feature, please send information to cmcdaniel@ptleader.com no later than the 15th of each month.

Art can be made out of anything. Kim Simonelli’s medium of choice is steel, and the resulting abstract geometric shapes represent an idea or emotion.

“I am not trying to make a thing,” Simonelli said. “I am just trying to make a shape that has energy, motion and balance.”

Simonelli’s works, along with those of the late Mary Lou Kostal, will be featured this month at the newly renovated Northwind Arts Center, 701 Water St. in Port Townsend.

Simonelli will be at the center Feb. 2 during the Port Townsend Art Walk to discuss his art.

During Art Walk, which is held from 5 to 8 p.m. the first Saturday of each month, several venues will be open to the public with various art forms on display.

Simonelli said he is fascinated with simple geometric shapes and the possibilities of combining basic curves, circles and rectangles into an endless variety of complex three-dimensional sculptures.

There is a constant challenge to keep the finished artwork as simple as possible to preserve the geometric relationships and create a compelling sculpture, Simonelli said.

Simonelli is a retired computer data and applications analyst who now spends much of his time working in his shop on sculptures.

“I wanted to be a sculptor, so I gave it a go,” he said.

Creating metal sculptures is much different than analyzing computer code, Simonelli said.

Still, he begins his designs with computer drawings, which lets him quickly create, size and move two-dimensional geometric shapes.

He may also start a project with nothing more than a quick 2D sketch consisting of a few lines and shapes. The third dimension is added when Simonelli assembles sculptures, which average about 24 to 36 inches high, he said.

“Over the last year, I have averaged about two (sculptures) a month,” Simonelli said. “That is what I am doing every day unless I am doing something else.”

Simonelli will be the featured speaker at an art talk at 1 p.m. Feb. 3 at Northwind.

Kostal’s works

Art created by abstract expressionist painter Mary Lou Kostal from the 1950s through 2010 will complement Simonelli’s works on display at Northwind.

Kostal began painting in the 1950s in New York City. She moved to the West Coast in the 1960s and settled on Bainbridge Island, according to a news release.

“Confronting a blank canvas or sheet of paper and thinking how I will bring an idea to life from the world within is very exciting to me,” Kostal had said. “This communication is directed from the same inner voice that produces a literary work or musical composition, a great philosophical thought or an invention. And what is more abstract than music?”

Kostal and Simonelli’s works will be on display through Feb. 24. Exhibit hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays. The center is closed Tuesdays.

For more information, call 360-379-1086.

Bishop Victorian Motel, 714 Washington St. in Port Townsend, will feature paintings by Jane Kilburn and photographs by Kerry Tremain during Art Walk.

After a career in public relations, public affairs and international tourism promotion, Kilburn rediscovered art after her first “Paint your Palette” on a Friday night at the Port Townsend School of the Arts, according to a news release. She currently serves on the boards of the PTSA and the Fort Worden Public Development Authority.

Tremain was the editor-in-chief of California magazine and creative director of Mother Jones, and co-founded the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography. He has curated photography exhibits in France, Mexico and the United States. He currently serves on the PTSA board. For more information, call 360-381-7048.

Gallery 9, 1012 Water St. in Port Townsend this month will feature the artwork of Gary Rainwater, who will be on hand during art walk to meet the public.

Rainwater spent 22 years as a firefighter in Los Angeles and worked on boats and as a painter and woodcarver.

Rainwater’s array of painting themes stem from these diverse interests, and includes boats, nature and rustic scenes. He likes to paint big and bold, in oils, with a thoughtful hand.

Gallery 9 is open from 11-65every day. See gallery-9.com or call 360-379-8881 for more information.

Port Townsend Gallery, 715 Water St. in Port Townsend, will feature the works of Loran Scruggs and Mike Biskup during Art Walk.

Both artists will be present to answer questions.

Biskup, a contemporary watercolor painter of imaginary landscapes and abstractions, will have a new series on display. He seeks to create art using non-toxic materials and said he has been making his own paints from natural mineral earth pigments, arabic guma and honey before he seals his paintings with beeswax. He also builds his own frames using salvaged lumber.

Scruggs has been making works out of aluminum cans since 1991, according to a news release.

She later began making whistles out of bottle caps and plaques out of tin and wood.

The Port Townsend Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 360-379-8110.

Port Townsend School of the Arts Downtown, 236 Taylor St. in Port Townsend, will feature valentine calligraphy in action by Rebecca Wild, who will be on hand to create personalized valentine cards for visitors during Art Walk.

Then throughout February, the gallery will host FEAST, an exhibit featuring the works of the school’s faculty. FEAST celebrates an abundance of food, flora, color and form, according to a news release.

Participating instructors include Marcy Gordon, Meg Kaczyk, Cheri Kopp, Kim Kopp, Rick Myers, Suzanne Lamon, Linda Okazaki, Mary O’Shaughnessy, Julie Read, Frank Samuelson, Kerry Tremain, Charlie Van Gilder, Lindsey Wayland, Dana Weir, Rebecca Wild and Chris Witkowski.

Many of the teachers also will be on site during Art Walk to greet the public and talk about the classes they offer at Fort Worden.

Regular gallery hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, or by appointment.

For more information, call 360-344-4479.

Taps at the Guardhouse during Art Walk will feature art by artist Loran Scruggs from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 2, as an early start to Art Walk.

Scruggs has been making works out of tin cans since 1991, primarily working in 3D then, creating patterns on paper and then transferring them to tin, according to a news release.

“My art work is about joy, play and reuse,” Scruggs said. “My work references childhood, as that was a time of the most play. Play is a time of being in the moment, no past or future worries, a time of joy. I’m attracted to reuse, too, because it requires creative thinking (play) to re-purpose something anew. I also reuse images for the challenge of recreating them in another medium.”

Scruggs' latest mixed media series is on display now through April at Taps.

Taps, located on the Fort Worden campus, is open from noon to 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from noon to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Two Sisters Gallery, 210 Polk St., on the second floor of the Kuhn Building in Port Townsend, will display original works by artist Lisa Allison Blohm during Art Walk.

Blohm will be raising funds for orcas and introducing her third painting, “Sweet Synchronicity,” in her new series, “Forever in our Hearts,” which is dedicated to the southern resident orca calves who have died in recent years.

All three paintings in the series will be on display along with other recent works.

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