Local artist has exhibit in honor of passed gallery owner

Posted 10/6/22

The full force of flowers, the strength that stands in trees, and the freedom held by the wings of birds are all on display in Margaret Woodcock’s current exhibit “Paintings, Collages, …

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Local artist has exhibit in honor of passed gallery owner

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The full force of flowers, the strength that stands in trees, and the freedom held by the wings of birds are all on display in Margaret Woodcock’s current exhibit “Paintings, Collages, Prints,” at the Bayside Gallery located inside the Old Alcohol Plant Inn in Port Hadlock.

With the exhibit closing on Oct. 16, art lovers only have one week left to take it all in, and Woodcock offers an abundance.

Like artists throughout the ages, Woodcock takes inspiration from the natural world and channels it into her work which viewers are offered an eye-full of at this latest show.

Her smaller scale work has long been available to purchase and view at the Port Townsend Gallery, but, as walls are limited in that cooperative space, the Bayside Gallery has given Woodcock a chance to bring out the big stuff.

“I have 50 pieces [in the show] and it’s a combination of some very large paintings. The largest one is 4-feet by 6-feet,” Woodcock said.

Woodcock has been known for her collages and printmaking, and with these larger pieces she takes the multimedia genre in a more subtle direction. Behind the vibrant forms, somewhat abstracted yet always recognizable, lurk maps, charts, and texts that have been pasted and painted over adding a depth of texture to the work.

“Even in the paintings, I’ll fill the whole panel up with collage, and the things I’m collaging on there might be a scientific illustration of say a plant, or it might be a bird illustration, or it might be somebody’s zoological botany notes or something like that. And I’ll fill it up with that and those become some of the underlying inspirations for how I then get to the end result,” Woodcock said.

“At the end of the painting, a lot of the time you don’t see the collage, other times you see more of it,” she added.

This is the first show in the newly reopened Bayside Gallery and Woodcock has dedicated her exhibit to the life of Susan Keister, who passed away just one week before the show could open.

Keister was one of the owners of the Old Alcohol Plant along with her husband and another couple, and she was a driving force behind the gallery.

“She didn’t get to see the show, so I wanted to dedicate the show to her and her efforts to want to continue the artistic element that they have out there at the Old Alcohol Plant,” Woodcock said.

As well as being an avid supporter of the arts, Keister was an artist in her own right.

“She’s was an artist, as well, and we’re going to have some of her pieces hanging in the front here,” said Bethany Smith, director of marketing for the Old Alcohol Plant. Keister’s work is destined for the entryway to the inn.

“She did painting and she did sketching, too,” Smith added.

Beyond her love of arts, Keister was also community driven and the gallery doubles as not only a venue for art but an avenue to raise funds for Bayside Housing & Services, a nonprofit which provides transitional housing, meals, and wrap-around services for people facing homelessness.

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