Well, Friday night was another great night for art in the valley and beyond. The event of the evening was the Icicle Arts opening reception for Artist Majka Sadel.
Many readers may know Majka as one of the talented artist / art instructors at Wenatchee Valley College. Anyone who has seen her work previously will know that her work presents a merge of both classic European Fine Art, as per her training on the continent and American Abstract Expressionism. A recent visit to the new MAC center at WVCC, where I got to see some of Majka’s work on display, gave ample evidence of her talent.
For this show, Majka brought out her ‘Talking Orchid’ series 15 or so paintings simply titled Orchid one, two, three and so on. Each had very different qualities, feel and texture. She used a number of atypical substances in her own paint concoctions. Some of the materials in these came, I am told, out of her own kitchen. I really appreciated the subtle textural differences that I could see and almost feel when looked upon right up close. Some of her pieces were experimental. At least one was done painting'blind', others were monotone or near monotone and at least one was black and white.
It was great to see Majka in her element and having a wonderful time visiting and socializing with all the artists and art lovers as well as a good showing of her fellow bike riding friends. It was a lot of fun for me as well to visit with the ‘B’ as it is called - a friendly group of bike riders who ride the loop year round which includes Dr. Ed Ferrar and Majka. It was great to visit with them even though I was chastised for not riding since it got cold outside. Bad me…
This show, I would have to say was the most well attended opening at the Icicle Arts Gallery that I have seen in quite awhile. who ride the loop year round An accomplishment due in no small measure to the efforts of the new Director of the gallery Alicia McKee; who put together an event that could not help but draw a wide assortment of folks from far and wide.
Along with the art of Majka, there was the folk art and jewelry of Juliana Marquis who some may recall as the one time owner of the Sun Dog Bead store in Wenatchee. And, if that weren’t enough for the bead and jewelry crowd there was also a display by Siri of Siri Jewelry.
Rounding out the event was the live performance by a musical trio that included two former members of ‘Fat Happy’ and another fellow that may have been Brian McMahon (sorry about the lack of precision on this).
It was great while we there to meet and talk with Amy Massey from the ‘Wenatchee River Watershed.’ Martha Flores, the Dancing artist, had a grand time learning from Amy about Watershed Art and all the("Flowing Life" photo by Mark Tucker) art and nature events and activities they sponsor there at the Red House as it is called which sits on the eastern portion of the Barn Beach Reserve where Icicle Arts and Leavenworth Museum are located. She was even inspired to become a new member of WRW.
And, while Martha was signing up to be the newest member of WRW, I got a chance to visit with the well respected photographer Reed Carlson who has been an art/photography presence in Leavenworth since the ‘60’s. It was fascinating and educational to learn about the artistic heritage of the valley going back to the ‘60s and ‘70’s when the original ‘Upper Valley Arts’ group was a local powerhouse of artistic activity sponsoring art shows, inviting renowned artist from around the country to present lectures and forums and a whole list of great events.
I really enjoyed listening to Reed, along with Sherri Hosieni who is one of the administrators of the new ‘Upper Valley Art’ Facebook page. I really felt I would like to get in touch with one or more of the other remaining members from the heyday of UVA that are still around in order to interview and write an in depth historical blog about that great period for art in the upper valley. Look for that in a future blog… I am. Well, enough for now. Have a very artful Holidays, and, thinking of the art musings of Friedrich Nietzsche who said words to the effect that ‘the essence of all art is gratitude’.