What: “Picture the Musician: Portraits of Musicians by Northwest Artists,” First Friday reception
When: 5 p.m. Friday
Where: Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center, 127 S. Mission St.
Information: 888-6240 or wvmcc.org
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what is its value in notes?
The answer may be found within the walls of the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center, 127 S. Mission St., where an exhibit celebrating musicians goes up Friday. Forty pieces by Northwest artists — depicting musicians in paintings, drawings, photographs and sculpture — are on display for “Picture the Musician” through Dec. 24.
Inspiration for the show came to exhibits coordinator Bill Rietveldt upon seeing a photograph by Wenatchee World photographer Mike Bonnicksen of a young girl playing a violin. “It’s been percolating in my mind for a while to do some sort of show that would not only have music involved, but show the wonderful array of musical venues we have in our area,” Rietveldt explains. “All those things came together, then I saw that wonderful picture and thought, ‘Wow, we’ve gotta do this!’ So we’re doing it.”
Originally, when Rietveldt solicited submissions this summer, the idea was to feature artwork exclusively depicting Northwest musicians, but the judges chose to expand the scope once they began selecting finalists. “There were so many photos of people on tour that we decided maybe we’d better broaden it a bit,” says Rietveldt.
“One of the great things that museums and galleries can do now for exhibits is ask for things in digital form,” he remarks. “It opens up the area you can ask for; it opens it up to people who don’t live in Wenatchee.”
Musicians of the Northwest are still largely represented in the exhibit. Pieces appearing in the display include charcoal drawings of violinists by Chia-Hui Shen of Corvallis, Ore., a sculpture of a guitarist and spectator by Seattle-area artist Joan Rudd and photographs of Washington fiddlers by Doug Plummer of Seattle.
“I asked the artists to submit five pieces, and I believe (Plummer) was the only one that the judges accepted all five of his pieces,” Rietveldt mentions. The photographs are also featured in a book by Plummer, “Roses in Winter,” on sale at the museum store.
In addition to the artwork on display, the exhibit includes instruments loaned by Chuck Egner and Tom Caudill, and from the museum collection. Among those appearing are a rare 1885 Martin O 28 guitar and a Knutsen symphony harp guitar “most likely made in Tacoma between 1898 and 1902,” Rietveldt states.
Of course, no music-themed display would be complete without something for the ears.
“We’re going to have a musical track playing in the background during the show,” he adds. “I’m asking each artist to select a piece to play that will represent his or her work, so the soundtrack that will be playing in the background in the gallery is going to be a wonderful mix of hard rock, New Age, jazz and fiddling.”
Live music performances at the museum are still in the planning stages for November and December.
Many artists will be present for Friday’s opening reception in the Main Gallery to show their work. Several pieces in the exhibit are available for sale throughout the season.
“It’s going up until Christmas time, so people should come out,” suggests Rietveldt. “I’m hoping we’ll sell a lot of them.”
Abby Holmes: 661-6390