Becoming the Centrum Artist-in-Residence has been a dream come true for Meg Kaczyk, who has taken over Building 205’s spacious second floor studio at Fort Worden.
“I am going to be ensconced here for two weeks and I am going to treat it like a job,” she said. “I am going to be here every day working. It is going to be an open door policy.”
An open studio reception is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 30.
Kaczyk has brought in several large canvases, ranging in size from 3 feet by 4 feet to 4 feet by 5 feet, that will be set up on several large tables.
“I can probably work on ten pieces at a time,” she said. “The beauty for me is that I can only go so far before it has to dry, so I don’t have to work and wait.”
After each application of a new layer of paint, each piece must dry at least 24 hours before Kaczyk can begin painting again, she said.
Kaczyk has been working on three separate painting projects. The themes are “Water Ways,” “Big Fruit” and “Madrona.”
All three series are intended to connect viewers with the natural beauty of the North Olympic Peninsula and Salish Sea, she said.
Kaczyk’s process begins with watercolor depictions of a scene that catches her eye, she said.
She then uses the smaller watercolor paintings as a reference, using acrylic enamel and latex paint on larger canvasses.
This residency gives Kaczyk an opportunity to share her work with her students at Port Townsend School of the Arts and the public in a way that is normally not seen.
“Because of the way I work, people don’t really get to see it,” she said. “It is different from the way I teach because it is so wet and it is so big.”
During the residency, Kaczyk will complete a multi-panel installation entitled “Water Ways: Homage to the Salish Sea.” Each panel will envisage a different view of the waterway.
Other paintings will include several in a series entitled Big Fruit, and additional pieces in her Madrona series which began in 2017.
Art and the environment
Kaczyk has invited three regional environmental nonprofit organizations to a public panel discussion with well-known artists, for a conversation about the intersection of art and the environment.
The conversation, part of the Art Salon Series, begins at 7 p.m. May 22 at Northwind Arts Center, 701 Water St. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.
“I want to learn more about the organizations’ particular spheres and see deeper into the visual potential of water, land, and agriculture, as inspiration for my continuing thematic work,” she said.
Participating organizations include Jefferson Land Trust, NW Straits Foundation, and Organic Seed Alliance.
Participating artists are David Eisenhour, Lisa Gilley and Margie McDonald.
Kaczyk will moderate this inquiry into how art might move environmental missions forward, and investigate the synergy of shared purpose for a healthy world.
Kaczyk is anticipating an open-ended dialogue, with audience participation, that can inspire all of us to explore the synergy of shared purpose, and to see how art might naturally contribute to a healthier world.
“I am excited and curious to see where this conversation goes, as a powerful force of healing for our environment and as inspiration in my work.”
Michelle Hagewood, program manager for artist residencies at Centrum, said she is also thrilled about Kaczyk’s residency.
“Meg has put a lot of energy into connecting her work with the local community, both through the open studio and the panel conversation at Northwind, which is something we are really excited to support in residencies going forward.”
Hagewood said Kaczyk’s residency will serve as a template for future residencies.
“I am really excited about opportunities to work with people who are local and to bring in people who have never been here before and can maybe teach us something that we didn’t see before when we came to this place.”