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Art Globalization, a Crocodile Head and a Sunspot in Wenatchee

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Well, it was a really great First Friday last night. I had heard of some of new exhibits around town and was really excited to see them for myself.

First up for me was the ‘Art and Migration’ exhibit at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center featuring the art of Shinzaburo Takeda and a few of his disciples from Oaxaca Mexico. Mr. Takeda is himself a fine example of ‘Art and Migration in the Age of Globalization’ which is the title of the exhibit and symposium featuring his work which the UW is hosting this summer.

Mr. Takeda is a master painter and printmaker who trained at the University of Fine Arts of Tokyo who has lived in Mexico for close to fifty years. He first raveled to Mexico City in 1963 originally to study mural painting and printmaking. He has lived in Oaxaca, Mexico since 1978 where he has been a professor of art at the University of Oaxaca. He has taught a number of noted artists including Fulgencio Lazo and Alejandro Santiago, so it was really quite a coupe for our museum here in Wenatchee to get these pieces in this exhibit for us to enjoy right here in Wenatchee. When I first entered the upper gallery at the WVMCC I was struck first and foremost by the quality of the display put together by the museums own Denny Diver. These works by Mr. Takeda, Francisco Lopez Monterrosa, Irving Herrera and Rolando Rojas were but a few of the wonderful pieces in this show. I cannot say enough to express how much anyone who loves art really ought to get over to the museum to see this show while it is there. You won’t be disappointed. Next on my itinerary for this First Friday art tour was to visit the Chelan Douglas Land Trust office to see the artwork of Gretchen Rohde. I really enjoyed visiting with the folks there at the Land Trust while I appreciated the way Gretchen captures the reflection of sky in water in her land / waterscapes. And, as if the viewing of these lovely pieces weren’t enough, I was enjoined to view some new additions to the canvas/fabric sculptures by Neal Hedges. I had seen his work there before and had been very impressed. He had an elephant head among others there, but this time I was at least much if not more impressed with his newer, bigger better elephant head. It was so big, the trunk hanging down so far that it was hard to get it all into a photo without also viewing the paperwork on the desk below. I really liked the way his work and Gretchen’s complemented each other in one of the displays. And, what can one say about a crocodile head on a partition.

After my visit to the Land Trust I stopped by Café Mela to see the paintings of Lindsay Breidenthal which were delightful. Then, I was off to Lemolo’s to check out the art of Ginger Redding. I really liked the variety of subject matter in her paintings which included a bike rider, horses by a barn with snow on the ground, old cars rusting in a field and salmon in a stream. Her use of color really captured my eye.

As I headed on over to Two Rivers Gallery where I finished my First Friday art tour, I couldn’t help but notice this new piece of Art on the Avenue, a bronze dog on the sidewalk in front of the Performing Arts Center. That was fun to see.

At Two Rivers, were the show continued its second month on display featuring the western art of Dean Rainey and the bronze sculptures of Suzanne Grassell. New to my eye were the inclusion of several works by the late Walter Graham. What can one say about his work. These pieces are just extraordinary. Thes pieces by Walter Graham were in the same room as some very enjoyable watercolors by Ken Duffin. Other very enjoyable works were displayed throughout the gallery from the softly comforting ‘Sunspot’ by Erin Tuss, the woodcarving by Michael Deetering and the ‘Moonlight Sonata’ by Liz Fortier to the map inspired watercolors by Erin Kinney Wyatt. One pleasant surprise was the postcard featuring a painting of Terry Johnson painting plen air by Jan Cook Mack.

The table put together by Carol Rainey was great and the company all around. we all had a fine time enjoying the art each other and the food and wine. Meeting and talking with out-of-towners from Washington D.C. was a nice way to end the evening. All in all a fine time was had by all. Anyone who didn’t make it out for First Friday missed a good time and a lot of fine art. The good news is the art is still there at each venue waiting to be enjoyed. Next up… Second Saturday at the Cashmere arts and Activities Center in Cashmere, which will be featuring the art of Walter Graham. I can’t miss that. See you there.