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From Soap Lake to Yakima and Leavenworth Three Great Shows All in One Week

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Well, the last few nights have really been memorable and enjoyable for art in the valley and beyond.

First off was the Art Guild of Soap Lake’s 3rd Wednesday presentation. This month featured nature photographer Mark Peters who showed a wonderful slide show or should I say power point show of his work. He really takes some awesome photos and is truly dedicated to his art.

This fellow manages to get up close and personal photos (with the help of a 600mm lens) of birds, bears and all manner of four legged creatures and then some. Anyone who will trek out to the wilderness of Montana hole up in a blind overnight to be at just the right spot a daybreak to get that elusive morning shot of natures beauties is what I would call dedicated… that’s for sure. Mark who is a builder by profession lets his work speak for itself… and it says volumes.

The second presenter of the evening was a young photo ‘pictorialist’ named Gavin Seim. Gavin by contrast is a professional in every sense of the word and professor of his art form. He leads workshops through his studio and has taught college courses as well. (for more of Gavins art go to .

He likes to take photos that he describes as “refined natural and urban scenes from across America”. His work has been influenced by the “early American painters of the Hudson River School and renowned 20th century photographic masters”. Each of his photos has a story behind it and he finishes all with the intent that they become fine signature wall art. He makes the point in his presentation that photos like paintings should not be confined to 5x7 or even 8x10 prints, but should be mastered to go big like other two dimensional wall art. It was fun to hear him describe the taking of his young family off on tour of America in the family motor home to get the images of America that he loves to create his art from.

Having had a thoroughly enjoyable time out at Soap Lake on Wednesday, there was no rest for this weary art blog traveler as the following night was the 45th Annual Juried Art Show in Yakima put on by Allied Arts of Yakima at the Peggy Lewis Gallery.

It was really an enjoyable evening that was well attended and full of artists and art lovers alike. Local Wenatchee Artist Martha Flores was first up to receive an award for her ‘Inflorescence’, a 40x40 oil on canvas, which won the Heritage University Award. This is a wonderful piece that really excited a lot of the attendees at the show and has of course always caught my eye. There were really so many great works of art there Thursday night that one blog cannot do justice to them all. Some that really stood out for me were the glass work by Linda Andrews which won the “Undeniable Beauty” award and Mel Mathis’ ‘Warm Springs‘ a wood basket which won the Larson Gallery Award. I really enjoyed Kristen Michael’s giraffe with the spots made of black birds some of which were flying of the back of the animal… hence the title ‘You Never Did Have My Back’ and of course Monika Lemon’s ‘Riverscape’ which garnered the Best In Show, Allied Arts Board of Directors Award, was a phenomenal piece of art.

And, if two great art events on two nights in a row weren’t enough, there was the last nights event at the Icicle Arts Gallery in Leavenworth which was part of the weekend long series of events all part of it’s Fourth Annual Icicle Prize for Recycle Arts. This event too was well attended and featured a lot of great and innovative work from used, thrown away and found objects.

There were of course the giant tropical birds and giant eagle that readers of this blog have heard so much about as well as the fantastic paper Mache’ wall hanging three dimensional piece by Cindy Reitvelt that looks to be some kind of macabre bird mask of sorts. This piece was truly impressive not only in its overall look, texture and design, but in that every detail was accomplished by painstakingly placing bits of colored paper - no paint involved at all. I loved that piece.

There was also outdoor metal work and wearable art made of metal and plastic and another wonderful piece of wearable art made of old doilies and such that will surely be a hit at the ‘Trash to Fash Runway Show’ which will be tonight at Sleeping Lady Resort.

We all had a good time and then headed on over to the Brewery in Leavenworth to enjoy some refreshments and listen to the music of Beth Whitney and Aaron Fishburn.

All in all a great week for Arts in the Valley and Beyond. And, really the hits just keep on coming. As I write good friend and fellow photography traveler is taking a tour of the Alcoa plant…. if I weren’t here writing this blog I’d be there getting some ‘industrial shots’… hey maybe there’s time yet.

Till the next time, have a very artful day.