What a delight to the eyes was the first First Friday of 2012. I began my art journey with a visit to the new still in development gallery of Lila Putnum. For years she was displaying her art at the solon just outside her new digs. While I was there she and her daughter were busily putting up the show for the throngs of First Friday visitors that hopefully found her place on Columbia Street just across from both the train station and bus depot. I really felt remiss in not having seen her work before. What a joy it was to see her wonderful watercolors. I will defiantly be back for more artful eye candy at Lila’s.
After Lila’s I was off to the museum where I could not help but be impressed by the Bell Collection of Helen Brown seen on the way upstairs where I found Bill Rietvelt photographing the same Winter Sport Exhibit at the same time as I was. Denny Driver was there too. Denny, you may recall was featured in an earlier art blog and is now showing his fanciful art boxes at Gallery 4 South. And, speaking of 4 South, that is exactly where I headed next on my First Friday art journey. There I chatted a bit with Karen Dean as she helped arrange the art (as I photographed) of Mary McLean and others in the … When is a box not a box show… the answer of course being … when it’s art. I was pleased to see and take in the unique style and design of Karen’s own work which I had only minimal exposure to previously. Good job Karen.Then, off I was to Two Rivers Gallery where the much awaited Martha Flores show was already in full swing. When I arrived, there were folks from as far as Quincy to the east, Leavenworth and Seattle to the west. There were representatives of at least three other galleries, the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center and the Quincy Art Commission on hand. Over the course of the night, I met so many folks that I could hardly keep up with it all. By the end of the night my feet were feeling their years. But the art… ahh yes the art. That’s what made it all worthwhile. Russ Hepler did a phenomenal job in setting up the show that people just couldn’t stop commenting on. One of the most oft heard expressions was that in this dreary time of winter, these hugely colorful oils by Martha Flores were just what was needed to liven up the soul. And, I could not agree more. They livened up the soul, the room… even the street. As many of the revelers expressed, the brightness and color of these large works of art were an attraction and a draw as seen through the windows from across the street. I had that experience myself as I drove up to the gallery just after sunset.
Once in the gallery one could not help but be pleased to see the works of new members such as Moises Napoles, the new work from existing members and the expansion of fabric based art as well. I was really taken with the new stained glass piece in the front window by glass artist Harold Jones. And, ofcourse the music of Harpist Suzanne Grassell was the perfect accompaniment to the show. She and her playing were just lovely.
Well, enough for now. I just have to add that anyone needing an art fix or a winter pick-me-up just get out and see the art around town… We are so lucky here in Wenatchee to have a renewed and ever expanding art scene. Yeah !