July Art Walk

From Leader Staff Reports
Posted 7/3/19
Port Townsend Art Walk steps out from 5 to 8 p.m. the first Saturday of each month, offering you a mixture of styles and media on display as you duck into local galleries and other venues.

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July Art Walk

Port Townsend Art Walk steps out from 5 to 8 p.m. the first Saturday of each month, offering you a mixture of styles and media on display as you duck into local galleries and other venues. The Artful Sailor Whole Earth Nautical Supply, 410 Washington St., will feature the works of Jeff Simmons, a maker of ships in bottles. During Art Walk, Simmons will be on hand to meet the public and discuss his works, including a bottled rendition of Schooner Martha. There’ll be music, refreshments and camaraderie amidst the traditional aromas of pine tar, hemp and bee’s wax. Gallery 9, 1012 Water St., will feature the works of painter Linda Lundell and woodworker Robin McKann. Lundell is an environmental artist living in Port Townsend. Born in California, she first saw the Olympic rainforest 40 years ago as a result of an exploration up the western coast of the United States, according to a news release. “Never before had I seen such rich verdant vegetation in one habitat, more beautiful to me than the Amazon,” Lundell said. “The atmosphere in the Olympic rainforest glowed green with a profusion of life. The reverent hike to the glaciers at the center of the Olympics was an unforgettable journey.” McKann is presenting new work using found, saved and selectively harvested trees to evoke the beauty they created to him, in a mutually beneficial relationship. “My desire, as a young man, to work with my hands and coupled with a love of wood, led me to a construction site digging ditches,” McKann said. “Through the years, I learned on the job, every aspect of home building and woodworking.” McKann moved to Port Townsend in 2000. The move allowed him to follow his dream of creating functional pieces of art from sustainably harvested wood, he said. The pieces are finished with several coats of hand-rubbed pure tung oil. “This ensures a durable, water resistant, nontoxic surface that enhances the natural beauty of the wood,” McKann said. Gallery 9 is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. See gallery-9.com or call 360-379-8881 for more information. Northwind Arts Center, 701 Water St., will feature “Compare and Contrast” in the Artist Showcase as well as “Sea Rites.” Compare and Contrast: Compare and Contrast features three 2D and one 3D artist, with each having developed a body of work that holds together as one, but is intentionally varied and diverse, according to a news release. Port Townsend contemporary watercolor painter Mike Biskup is known for his imaginary landscapes and abstractions, according to a news release. In his paintings, everything flows together – colors, lines and shapes, people, places and things are woven into one harmonious functional system. “On the surface my paintings are simply places I’d love to visit – mysterious, primarily benevolent, colorful worlds where everything works,” Biskup said. Kathy Constantine experiments with new combinations of materials and different approaches to a subject. She works primarily in acrylic mixed media, acrylic and pastels but mixed media is where she feels there is the greatest opportunity to experiment, according to the release. Constantine works in abstract, impressionistic, and primitive styles and her paintings often include figurative birds, animals or human figures. Woodworker Evan Miller has been studying art since he was about 7 years old, according to a press release. Years later, when Miller started working in the mega yacht industry, he became fascinated with how wood veneer could be used to obtain the look of wood, and how it allowed him to create patterns and designs with greater accuracy and interest than using solid wood. “Mostly, I try to not get in the way of the enjoyment of such beautiful grains that come from magnificent trees,” Miller said. Clay worker Charlie Van Gilder has been creating pieces, many inspired by dogs, for many years. “From the start, working with clay was an addiction,” Van Gilder said. “Clay has a memory of its own. At best I try to find a moment when the clay and I both share a voice.” Van Gilder ’s entire life has been about Art and Art Education – as a teacher and as a student. “The important thing is to be perceptive, engaged and to think creatively and to have an open mind.” Compare and Contrast runs through July 28. Sea Rites: Rebecca Welti and Rebecca Wild focus on diverse relationships between art and nature to guide their work. Welti uses a microscope to examine the unseen world of plankton and carves their naturally sculptural forms in wood. “Having spent most of my life carving wood at the ocean’s edge, the tide tables provide a reassuring daily rhythm, and the smells and salty flavors have become essential elements of my artistic language,” Welti said. Local forests supply the alder for her sculptures, and the marine life itself allows her an endless variety of subjects and research, Welti said. “With this exhibit and all my work in the future, I am focusing on the unsung realm of the plankton. These microscopic heroes provide most of Earth’s oxygen, as well as food for all the oceans’ creatures. Yet, they remain invisible to most people.” Welti said her artistic translations of forms and science will hopefully open eyes and inspire others to love and protect the organisms that make life on Earth possible. With prose and poetry, Wild melds graceful letterforms and paint to create a meditative series of oceanic reflections. “Trained as a calligrapher, my work is informed by words and the action of writing,” Wild said. In this series, the colors, forms and textures of the Salish Sea are woven together with selected prose and poetry. “Each piece begins with handwritten words that reflect the mystery, the majesty and the profundity of our powerful yet fragile marine environment,” Wild said. “These words are not always legible in the end, but they are present and form the armature on which I build the painting.” Wild works simultaneously with drawing, painting and calligraphy tools. “It is a slow process of writing and painting; of adding, removing, and revealing,” Wild said. “There are many layers and each one informs the next. It is a lesson in restraint, for a portion of every decision I make is visually present in the end.” Wild’s images are an amalgam of both the natural world and the contrived. “I am greatly inspired by barnacles alive or dead. Their forms, the marks and shells they leave when they die. Those soft whites. They are exquisite and fascinating creatures. If you look closely you will see their delicate shapes that I coax from the background with a pencil and pen. They find their way into most of my art.” Wild said her pieces are quiet and meditative works. “They don’t shout. They ask the viewer to pause, to focus your eyes and explore below the surface. Just like the sea, they are full of minutiae awaiting discovery.” Northwind Arts Center is open 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays. Port Townsend Gallery, 715 Water St., will feature the works of Diane Gale and Tom Saknit. Gale has been a potter for over 25 years. Her focus continues to be developing her own style and voice, grounded in classical American and Japanese techniques, according to a news release. In 2009 she was selected from a large number of candidates to participate in a juried residency in Tokoname, Japan, one of the famous ancient woodfiring sites. This entailed intensive training on throwing techniques, Japanese culture, and woodfiring. In woodfiring, the fuel for the heating of the kiln is wood, and so the wood ash becomes part of the glaze. Resulting surface patterns are unpredictable because of the flame and ash patterns. At the gallery, Gale will be showing her interpretation of iconic forms for sushi and sake service. Several other special pieces will be featured including tall vases with clamshell marks, and woodfired flasks with driftwood stoppers. Saknit’s love of artwork in the process of creation guided his creation of Redacted Photography. In a unique approach to photography, Saknit removes information from a picture, then compresses the color palate. The result invites the viewer to imagine what was once there to supply their unique memory or imagination to complete the experience in what ultimately becomes a very personal interpretation to each viewer. This process, and collaboration with the participant, allows Saknit to bridge mechanical acquisition and fine art with organic deconstruction. Those who consider Saknit’s images will also see the work as a reference to memory and memory loss, allowing his work to be at once excitingly interactive and thoughtfully meditative. A lifelong photographer and digital cinematographer, imagery has been Saknit’s passion for forty plus years, according to the release. 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., will feature the “Innovation Through Repetition” exhibit. PtSA Downtown welcomes a complementary group of artists who work with the repetition of shapes to build innovative and unusual bodies of 3D work, according to a news release. The exhibit includes the striking iconic abstract sculpture of Anne Hirondelle, the folk art-inspired ceramics of George Rodriguez, and the remarkable technically skilled pieces of Celeste Cooning and Jim Romberg. PtSA also welcomes emerging artist Jonah Trople to the exhibit, with his three-dimensional abstract forms evoking an element of play that echo some of the themes in Rodriguez’s work. George Rodriguez was born and raised in the border city of El Paso, Texas. He creates humorous decorative ceramic sculpture addressing his identity and community, according to a press release. Brought up by his mother and four older sisters, Rodriguez quietly observed the love and hard work needed to maintain his family and community. His art began to manifest as a search for his individualized voice. This propelled Rodriguez to infuse journal-like representational sculpture with humor and sweetness. The first in his family to finish college, he received a BFA in ceramics from the University of Texas at El Paso then went on to receive an MFA from the University of Washington. Rodriguez’s work can be found in the permanent collection of the National Mexican Museum of Art in Chicago and in a current exhibition at the Hallie Ford Museum in Salem, Oregon. Celeste Cooning grew up in Indiana, studying painting and art history at Indiana University, Bloomington. Jim Romberg is a Professor Emeritus from Southern Oregon University where he headed the Ceramics Department for nineteen years. He is currently living in Sedona, Arizona where he maintains his studio and is program director for the Eagleheart Center for Art and Inquiry. A studio assistant at Pottery Northwest Seattle for two years, Romberg returned to Claremont Graduate University to work with Paul Soldner. One-year teaching assignments at Texas Tech University and the Anderson Ranch in Aspen, Colorado led to his taking over the ceramics program at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Humanities in Sun Valley, Idaho. Trople is a multidisciplinary artist and signmaker. His work is decidedly layered, with a bold and playful approach. A speciously simple aesthetic weaves together the ideas of magic and memory with the themes of the human condition, cosmic history,dreams, and place. Regular gallery hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, or by appointment. For more information, call 360-344-4479. Two Sisters Gallery, 210 Polk St., on the second floor of the Kuhn Building, will display original works by Lisa Allison Blohm. Blohm will introduce a new original painting in acrylic, featuring Protection Island Tufted Puffins, yet to be titled. This new work is part of an ongoing series titled “Sea Birds in Paradise.” 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. Include “Art Walk” in the subject line. Photos should be at least 300 dpi and 4x6.


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Dawn mohrbacher
There are many other businesses open than the few here. The leader is too busy to visit them, but please, as locals, do pop in and say hi to the businesses the leader didn't include.
Wednesday, July 3