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William Reese show, Glass Two Ways and the Heaing Power of Art

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What great art I have had the privilege of enjoying these past couple of days in the valley and beyond.

Wednesday was my day to docent at Two Rivers Gallery. And, as it turned out it was just the right day to be there. First off Fran Reese brought down a number a artworks by her late husband William Reese. Jan Theriault the director of the gallery has been wanting to have a William Reese show at the gallery as long as the gallery has been in existence. Well, his dream and the dream of many has finally come true. Those coming in for next month’s show will get to see a collection of oils, etchings and bronzes that will likely garner much attention.

Also being checked in was the artwork of the autistic kids that will be in a special show this weekend. Art is such a wonderful way for all persons young and old to expand their horizons, connect with the world and with themselves, but this is especially true for those with special needs such as these young people. The show this weekend is part of the Autism awareness event put on by the North Central Washington Chapter of the Autism Society of Washington. I really liked the artwork and hope folks in our community will take the time to enjoy the work of these special young artists as I did. Other presentations and activities of this event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at Walla Walla Point Park, Shelter 1, 1351 Walla Walla Ave.

While there I couldn’t help but appreciate some piecec by local artist I really liked such as the ‘Panhandle Interlude in Idaho’ by Hank Langemen and ‘Two Women’ by Judy Elder. I really liked those works a lot.

After finishing my stint at the gallery I made time to check out the traditional Mexican artwork at the the Carlos 1800 restaurant. Martha Flores and I had met the owner when we went on our adventure to Twisp and Winthrop awhile back when we went to see the exhibit at the Confluence gallery. On that trip we ventured up to Winthrop and ate at the Carlos 1800 restaurant up there. After meeting and chatting with Carlos I had determined that I would check out the art at the Wenatchee location. Note to self… Don’t go to a restaurant while hungry thinking I’ll get in take some pics and get out. I must say I did enjoy the food as well as the art.

The collection of lizards, other animals, human caricatures and creatures hard to define made of wood, metal and paper Mache by Armando Jimenez Arragon that adorn the limited display space are fun , colorful and creative. All were bought in Mexico and brought here by the owner. Armando is the grandson of Manuel Jimenez the founder of the Oaxacan woodcarving tradition known as Alebrijes. I really enjoyed these pieces as did the youngster and her parents in the booth across the way.

Thursday was a nonstop day of art planning, doing and enjoying. First thing was the Wenatchee First Fridays meeting at Café Mela at 8:30 in the morning. It was great to meet with the other members and work on planning for First Friday events for the next several months to come. More to be revealed on these events as they arrive. Just look for more and more great attractions to bring art lovers out on the first Friday of every month and to make it well worth their while.

It was good to see Jan Cook Mack’s and Nick Penny’s art again while there and to let Kasey Koseyknow how much I enjoyed her work over at Lemolo’s café where she is the featured artist.

After, a brief visit with Terry Johnson at his studio, where I picked up some more necessary materials for my Steel Eagle project and played with light and reflection a bit as he had a wonderfully large piece of mirrored glass on a pair of saw horses there… hmmm what is he up to with that.

But the real treat of the day was getting out to Leavenworth for the ‘Glass Two Ways’ show and reception for the mother and daughter artist duo Amber and Teri Zimmerman.

Amber, the daughter, says that for her this show, Recycled Memories in Bottle Glass is a culmination of where she started with her fused bottle glass art and where it has led her. She related that, "the six latest pieces I created for this show has literally led me down memory lane. I have saved favorite pieces of wood, shells, rocks, found metal, and random scraps of treasures since I was about seven years old. These items were so precious that I just had to save them for something someday.”

That day came when she was mulling about the studio and wondering what to create. She then found herself digging into these treasure chests and finding inspiration. Several of these pieces have bits of treasures from her past which then served as a great metaphor for this show. Recycled materials, memories recycled into art, and a visual journey of a life. It’s clear that a great amount of love and intention went into these pieces. One can’t help but to think of all those things one has hanging around and wonder… what could I do with that box of treasures/stuff up in the attic or down in the basement.

For Teri, the mom, she says that she found herself fascinated with the connection of fractal patterns in nature and the patterns in the human body. The flow of the brain and vital organs greatly match the natural patterns we see in nature every day. This appears up close, at a distance, and even patterns we cannot see. Some repeat in particular numbers and some just in the flow. It became a very important concept to her as she was commissioned to design and install carved glass for the Northwest Kidney Foundation. She was given four very prominent spaces for her art at that venue. And she knew almost immediately the holistic approach she wanted to convey was to honor that opportunity. Her research took her to amazing places and connections. As she was deep into that project the opportunity to show at Icicle Arts Gallery came along.

This, she says “is a chance to share some of the patterns I was already enjoying, so I have been immersed in both projects for the past few months.” Teri has been designing commissioned installations for the past 35 years, but, it was clearly a great pleasure for her to complete a body of work that was of her own choosing.

Well, enough for now. I hope your days are full or art and creativity.