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Lucus, Ishii, Weagant, Confluence Borders, Festivals and Great Art

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Well, as promised the weekend turned out to be a full and worthwhile art filled adventure.

Saturday, after writing my last art blog, I headed over to the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. There I was happily confronted with a lively mix of parents and kids participating in yet another of the Museums ongoing weekend art activities on the ground floor. Upstairs where the ‘Secrets of the Shrub Steppe ’was happening there was more interactive art activities for kids. There I found Martha Flores and other volunteers helping kids to make their own artistic creations representing the flora and fauna of the steppe. All the kids seemed to be having a great time and were very proud of their creations.

After my visit to the museum, I had only so much time to devote to checking on my clay projects at the Terry Johnson Studio at Terry Signs as the plan was to head out later to the Confluence Gallery in the town of Twisp for the ‘Borders Confronting Our Aesthetic Perceptions’ opening and reception.

While at the studio Karen Dean a local potter herself, dropped by to share about a program near and dear to her heart. That being the Community Arts and Crafts Festival put on by Recovery Innovations, which endeavors to use art to promote wellness in our community.

The ‘Community Arts and Crafts Festival’ will feature over 20 local artist who are using art to promote wellness. They will be displaying and selling their art with the proceeds going to support RI’s wellness classes and events. RI asks for those interested to “Join us and support wellness in our community and see note-worthy artists in mediums such as oil paints, beads, stone, and more.”

The event will take place at Recovery Innovations, 701 N Miller, Wenatchee, WA (Just north of Safeway on Miller) on Saturday, March 3rd 10-2. For more information contact: Cody Stitt at (509) 662-7105

This was good to learn about while I checked on my pieces at Terry Johnsons and Karen was kind enough to share about some of her art projects and techniques and tell us about the upcoming Yury Volkov show at 4South.

Then it was time to get ready for the drive to Twisp for the Confluence Gallery ‘Borders…’ opening. Having met up with Martha Flores after her stint as volunteer art teacher at the museum, we were on our way up north. With plenty of time, it was great to be able to stop and take some pictures here and there as we traveled. I missed a really great opportunity for a unique shot. As we drove alongside the Methow River Martha spotted an eagle actually standing in the shallow water of the river. I pulled over at the earliest spot and grabbed my camera. But as I got out of the car the sound of the car door closing spooked the great bird and I was only able to get a weak shot of it as it flew away with some tree branches blocking a clear view. Not too much further down the road I was rewarded, however, with another opportunity to get a few good shots of a great looking eagle in a tree on the other side of the river. It may have been the same bird having circled around and perched itself in order to savor its meal from the river. The red around the beak was clearly visible.

We actually arrived in Twisp with plenty of time before the beginning of the reception which allowed us to have free reign to take in the art without the shoulder to shoulder crowd that would be there later. One thing that catches the eye as one enters the gallery is the large metal ball sculpture in the center of the room (anyone who has gone down to the Riverfront park area near the walking bridge will recognize the work of Bernard F. Hosey). But more of the gallery in a bit.

Still with plenty of time we decided to take a side trip to Winthrop a cute western town, for those unfamiliar, which we hadn’t been to for several years. On the way a few more raptor and scenery shots here and there, then a stop at yet another gallery and dinner at a Mexican restaurant.

I normally don’t write about restaurants, but, it was quite a hoot that the Carlos the owner of Carlos 1800 also has a restaurant in Wenatchee of the same name. So, of course we thought it funny that we had to travel all the way to Winthrop to learn about the southern Mexican styled restaurant in Wenatchee. Yes, I said southern Mexican as in Yucatan. The Yucatan area of Mexico being right across the border from Guatemala where Martha was born. But, what was of interest artistically was his choice of art for the décor and his interest in art.

After dinner while on the way back to Twisp we spied a herd of deer walking along the river and I had to stop of course to take a few more photos of the animals and some bridge shots as well.

Finally, we made it back to the Confluence Gallery. By then the joint was jumping with people and we were so pleased to meet some of the artist such as Jenn Allen Tate who shared with me how she does some of her work with acrylic paint, plaster and cardboard and John Lucus who’s three dimensional wall hanging pieces really caught our collective eyes. I got a chance to visit a bit with John as well and learn a bit about what he does with his molded figures and stone in his 3d paintings.

Although we didn’t meet James Cicatko, we couldn’t help but be very impressed with his skill and outlook as expressed through his large graphite on paper drawings. His take on the world is definitely his own and not like any others we have seen.

What was a real surprise was that we bumped into people we knew such as Allen and Rose Lundberg from Soap Lake. Readers may recall them from previous blogs about the Soap Lake Art Guild’s 3rd Wednesday art Talks in Soap Lake. Also, we met up with Rod and Jane Weagant. The last time I had seen Jane was before she and Rod moved up to Alaska a few years ago. Rod Weagant the well known and respected nature artist is known for his large canvases which allow the viewer to enter into a resplendent alpine landscape or sense the refreshing splash of a mountain stream portray scenes from the Cascades, Alaska and other regions of the mountain west. Rod’s landscapes are vivid and sun-splashed, marked by the high contrast of dazzling light and presented directly and without pretense. Although Rod was not exhibiting in this show he has been involved with Confluence Gallery since returning from Alaska and moving to the Methow Valley. It was good to talk over old times with Jane and to meet Rod for the first time. I really hope we see more of them and of Rod’s art in the near future. Having taken in the work of Ann Osin, Yuko Ishii, Kay O’Rourke and others we decided to back home as it is a bit of a drive. What a great trip full of surprises.

The next day Sunday, was the end of a great run for martha at the Two Rivers Gallery where she has been the featured artist for the past two months. The work came down and we got it home between squalls without any moisture damage to the art… yeah!

Well, enough for now… have a very artful day.