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Art Barn Beach to the Town Toyota Center and Back

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Well, an exciting and fulfilling weekend it was in the valley for art this weekend. For starters was the much anticipated Artist Reception for the Martha Flores “Inflorescence” exhibit at the Icicle Arts Gallery in Leavenworth at the Barn Beach Reserve on Friday night. The art and the food were totally unique, intriguing and delicious. It was great to visit with old friends and make new acquaintances and chat with some folks I have only known online.

It was great to watch the visitors as they stared with mesmerized expressions at the colorful and heartfelt depictions of women and children, some in Central American attire, and with amazement at the surreal and dreamlike paintings of dancing flowers and people in dreamlike states. So, many talked of how the art spoke to them personally as they moved about looking at the various works of art and then returned to look yet again at the pieces that most captured their hearts and imaginations.

More than one observer related how they had not seen anything quite like this work… and this from other artists and patrons of the arts. One fellow photographer commented that he had been in to see the work several times already… whenever he needed to get out of the black and white of winter and take in some bright colors. And, all of those comments were so true. The art of Martha Flores is not like anyone else’s and cannot be easily pigeon holed into any particular genre or category. One simply has to see the art for oneself and take from it what you will. The work is so unique yet so approachable and understandable to all. As great as it was to experience the show in Leavenworth on Friday night, the weekend wasn’t over for this writer… no, not one bit. Saturday morning I was out to the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center to get a gander at the “Family ArtVentures: American Folk Puppetry” project going on there. This is a project led by Mary Ellen Kirby, in which parents and their kids work together using common materials to construct a traditional American folk puppet. They then bring them to life with scripts out of traditional American folk culture – the same traditions they added that inspired the likes of Sherry Lewis and Lamb Chops, Howdy Doody and the Muppets. What a great way for parents to spend a few hours with their kids.

From there I headed over to the TTC where I understood Jan Cook Mack would be painting live at the Two Rivers Gallery/ Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center’s booth at the Home Show. Once I got there, I found that they would not have a booth till the March Home Show. Apparently I misread the memo… oops! But, while I was there I met an artist that did have a booth this month by the name of Steve Zimmerman. He does some really nice etched glass work. I really liked the Great Heron etched in leaded glass.

From the TTC, I headed over to Terry Signs to visit with Terry Johnson who I was told was covered in a spread in the local paper of Cashmere. I saw a large piece he had done for Cashmere that had brought him the attention in Cashmere. I got a sneak peak at some other fascinating paintings and sculptures he is working on. While there I spoke with Artie Bowman of the Cashmere Arts and Activities Center about the Second Saturday event coming up in the evening and offered to deliver some glass work she had Terry do for her on my way out of town.

While at Artie Bowman’s, I was able to get a quick look at her Saturday Art Class going on get a couple of pics while I was there. She shared with me about the art demonstration coming up at the Cashmere Arts and Activities Center on Saturday night by Vicki Hillberg the featured artist and the live vocal performance by Sharon Browder who would sing show tunes after Vicki’s demonstration.

And, so, Saturday night I was off to CAAC where I watched Vicki demonstrate her water color techniques and share of few of her secrets. There was a lot of interesting art in a variety of media. I liked the display in the front room and took note of the quality of work that Sandra Dean is doing painting on tiles which is also a class that she teaches there.

Everybody was having a good time and enjoyed the art and listened to Sharon Browder sing show tunes from Music Theater. And to that end a special appearance was even put in by Jan Theriault the president of Two Rivers Gallery who loves listening to Sharon and who offered some compliments to yours truly for blogging about the arts. Compliments accepted…

Well, enough for now. Hope everyone has a wonderful and artful Valentine’s Day.