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From East Wenatchee to Cashmere and Leavenworth Grand Art and Great Art Events

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Well, it’s been quite a week for art in the valley and beyond. Here in town on Dec.4th Martha Flores finally caught up with the winner of the 12x18 print of her signature piece “Flowering Conscious” at the NuArt Gallery in East Wenatchee. The winner lives in Puyallip; so a friend that lives nearby picked it up for her.

Friday was of course the first Friday of the month which means art, art, and more art to be seen and enjoyed all about town. For me, my first stop was to the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. There I got a look at this year’s ‘Beauty of Bronze’ works by the local fifth graders from the local elementary schools. There are so many one photo can’t do them justice. They are just fabulous and it is amazing that these kids are able to produce such creative and fun pieces, thanks in no small measure to the fine help and instruction by internationally renowned Bronze Sculptor Kevin Patel.

While there at the museum, I visited briefly with Selena Danko who was busily preparing for the Christmas Family Fun Day which was on Saturday. The museum, I have to say is a hotbed of activity. If these two events weren’t enough for one weekend, tonight, Sunday Dec., 9th, the museum is hosting the Apollo Club singing group at 7pm. WOW! Busy, busy, busy.

After visiting with Selena, I went over to Lila Putnam’s gallery. The Christmas tree was up, but Lila wasn’t there, as I was early. I have to say I never tire of viewing her wonderful water colors.

Next I stopped in at Simply Unique, the newest place in town for artist to show their work and where, Heidi and her partner were deciding to begin participating in Wenatchee First Friday’s Art Walk perhaps as soon as January. That should be a good addition to the growing number of venues participating in WFF. Someone from WFF should get on over there and get them signed up.

After checking out the art and artifacts at SU, I discovered some new works by Shelby Jo Helton at Lemolo’s Café. I was glad to see something new and different there. I liked here mixed media works like “Blue Spain” and the portrait of a young girl also in mixed media.

I’ve wanted to visit the new MAC gallery on a First Friday for awhile and was there too early as it turned out last month. But, this time I got it just right… early enough to check out the works in the fac.ul.ty (show) as it is described and written, without the crowd, and close enough to the start time that the gallery was open and I was able to visit with faculty members Scott Bailey and Lance Dooley.

Scott was able to explain about his acrylic on fiberglass 3d wall hanging pieces (would that be better described as 2 and a half d), but I digress. I was fascinated with his process and means of construction that allows him to recreate or give the impression of the hills across from his home by the water facing Malaga and Wenatchee Heights.

Scott gave me a good tour of the art by the other faculty with explanation of how glad they are to be in their new digs at the MAC and to have such a varied collection of artist/ instructors with very different styles and methods of working which he explained gives such a broad base of exposure to the students. And, one glance around certainly makes that point for sure.

In one direction there is the oil on canvas paintings by Majka Sadel, who is featured artist at the Icicle Arts Gallery in Leavenworth this month and who will have an opening reception there this Friday Dec. 13th, and on another wall the digital prints of an architectural project by Kristofor Zehm. I was very interested in these as Scott explained that the photos were of a redesign and rehab of what had been an actual meth lab into a cool new place with real artistic feel and relevance. In the North West corner there was a classically styled sculpture by Lance Dooley juxtaposed to the found object salvaged wood sculpture in the center of the room by Bryan Miller. There was plenty more there to appreciate and I would recommend that anyone interested in art take the time to pay a visit there and see what the faculty has created.

Having completed my visit to the MAC I went to Two Rivers Gallery where, everyone was having a wonderful time enjoying the art. I was very pleased to see the new works by Erin Tuss and to congratulate her mom Ronnie Tuss on the sale of her Chipmonk painting. There, in the west wing was a great new undersea painting by Terry Johnson right next to where the young representative of Empty Bowls was set up informing the visitors on the program which is fighting hunger in the valley.

Seeing more of featured artist Marc Dilley’s work which had come in to replace the works that had already sold was great. I love his work. I feel humbled indeed to have a landscape photo in the same show. He was very complementary on my ‘Fall River Crossing’ on Bamboo as were a number other folks. Thanks, Marc and everyone else. And of course the live music by Tanya Lawson and Sherry Vrebs aka ‘All Strings Considered’ made the evening. We are now proud owners of one of their CD’s and we have it playing as I write this blog. Very nice!

A couple of young folks from the AmeriCorps program were there… Skye White who is volunteering with empty Bowls and Robert Culver who is volunteering with the Together For Drug Free Youth program and writing grants to fight gang activity in the valley. What great young people!

And, if all of that were not enough, I had one more stop to make this weekend, that being to the Second Saturday event over at the Cashmere Arts and Activities Center in Cashmere. There I visited with Artie Bowman and had some lemonade while enjoying the never before shown works by Walter Graham… including some water colors. I for one hadn’t ever seen any of his water colors, so that was a real treat for me.

There was also some fun new work by Rae Eddy that was also new to me and of course I couldn’t help but take a few minutes to enjoy the water colors of Yuri Konycheve and to get a pic or two of Sandra Dean and Ruth Mattson who had painted the Christmas mural in the front window. Before heading to another engagement I just had to buy a few tickets for the raffle of the silliest but very creative and well made rock and steal rod constructed ducking bird thing.

Well, enough for now, and I hope everyone has a very happy holidays and a very creative New Year. And, keep in mind the words of James Whistler, who wrote, “An artist is not paid for his labor, but for his vision”.