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First Friday, Stepping Up, Stepping Out and a Fine Tme Out On The Town

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Well, another First Friday has come and gone, and what an enjoyable evening it was. For Martha Flores and I the evening really underscored some of the best qualities and benefits of living in this wonderful valley. The convenience of being able to shop for hors d’ oeuvres for our Home Art Sale this weekend before heading to an office party at the 434 Orondo Counseling Center… meeting there with not only our close friends and co-workers but to met an artist new to us by the name of Cameron Nichols who is interested in working on a project with Martha as well. This and having good conversation with others on all the issues of importance before heading out to do the First Friday Art Walk was a treasure in itself. Our first stop on the art tour was the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, where they had displayed the bronze’s made from the wax figures created by 600 fifth graders in the valley several weeks back with the help and guidance of the renowned sculptor Kevin Patel. I recall getting a chance to observe and photograph (mostly video) some of the students as they worked on their projects. What delight that was to watch and what a treat for those kids to have the help of such a well known artist and such a personable individual with great kid teaching skills. The finished pieces at the museum look great. I only wish I could have room in this blog to show photos of all the kids work. Here are a few to wet your appetite. But, I really encourage everyone reading this to head on over to the museum this month to see the bronzes up close and personal as it were. Next we stopped in briefly over at Amanda’s book store. I really want to put a new piece of art in there for Amanda. I shared with her that I came by a week or two ago to change out the art for her and she was closed. I learned they had gone to California for part of the month, but she is fully open again. I’m glad for that as I really want to put something new in there for her and as Amada’s is yet another place along with Two Rivers Gallery where one can find good used art books in town it’s a nice place to stop and visit and look for classic art books.

Next, it was off to the Step Above Gallery which was a whole new experience for Martha as she had never been there before. And, she was glad she came. We were both very pleased to look at the art of Rob Blackaby. We stayed longer than we planned just taking in the quality of his work. The beach scenes and the children at play as well as the river and stream paintings with such good depiction of shadow, light and reflection were really something to behold.

Finally it was off to one of our favorite stops… the Two Rivers Gallery. There we enjoyed the art of Judith Frisco the featured artist and the many other artist on display this month. The wood workings of Kurt Davis were a treat. I was really amazed at the wonderful lines in the grains of the rich tropical woods he used from Africa and South America to produce the lovely piece he had there. Kurt, as many may know is a builder of fine guitars as well and the Music of the evening performed by Kirk Lewellen was played all or in part on instruments made by Kurt. His work looked right at home next to the exquisite wood works of Milo Mirabeli. Martha really enjoyed and was truly impressed to see the catalogue of Milo’s larger pieces that have been shown and sold in galleries across the country. And, of course there were so many items there priced under a hundred dollars for the Two River Gallery annual Christmas show. It was hard to keep Martha from buying up the store.

While there we met another new person… well, one we have known through email but not in person. That person being the amiable Rachel Hanson, Editor of the GO! in the Wenatchee World. What a joy it was for both Martha and I to meet and chat with her about the GO!, and the development of the art scene in Wenatchee and how it has changed and grown in just the last few years.

While we were there Santa stopped by and gave me my well deserved lump of coal and candy canes to those better souls than I. Jan Theriault was there taking pictures of the party atmosphere and was as engaging as ever with his special ‘look’ that he honed over years of teaching and displays occasionally form the likes of me. Ahh… that brings back fond memories of those early years in grade school. All kidding aside, Jan has much to be happy and proud for. All his long efforts to form the new 501c3 for the gallery is complete and ready for the board approval and voila – independence from the museum. Congratulations Jan on a job well done. And in the end, the gallery looked great. Thanks in no small measure to the efforts of Russ Hepler who hung the show and the volunteer work of Cyndy Ruprecht & Judith Frisco who took down the wall paper in one of the rooms and did a fine job of repainting. The wall hanging art shows so much better in there now. Good Job Judy and Cyndy, you've really made a fine contribution to the gallery.

And, after all of that there was still time to go out to dinner before heading home. There’s no place like Wenatchee. Doing all of that in a few hours without rush or stress. We are so lucky to live here in our little valley. Well, enough for now - Peace, Joy and Happy Holidays.