Saturday, April 27, 2013

Eva Funderburgh Ceramics Workshop

In honor of National Teacher Day on May 7, 2013, the Bellevue Art Museum in Bellevue, Washington is designating the weekend of May 4 and 5 Teacher Appreciation Weekend. As part of this celebration, one of our wonderful ceramic artists, Eva Funderburgh of Seattle, will offer a workshop on the making of her beasts on Saturday, May 4, 12 - 2 pm, entitled Monsters & Movement with Eva Funderburgh. If you’re a teacher and want to learn how to teach little monsters to make little monsters, you should definitely look into this.

Eva will tailor the workshop to the classroom, going over the basics of creating the beasts that inhabit her studio. If you’re familiar with her work, you know that these creatures tend to be part whimsy, a dollop of mischief, and - gasp! - occasionally a wee bit threatening!  (Why don't we let them show you themselves what we mean...)

Clockwise, from top left:  Two Birds; Monster for Todd; Water Drop; Amazement

Because the techniques Eva uses are fairly simple, the workshop should be informative and accessible to folks at all levels of clay experience. She will also cover the idea of air dry clay, which can make sculpting accessible even to educators without access to a kiln.

Teachers are invited to experience BAM for free all weekend long. Please bring school identification for free admission.  You can also go straight to their website for more information and to RSVP (

Beau Metro Quartet Returns to The Island Gallery

We are delighted to announce that the chamber music group Beau Metro Quartet is returning to the Gallery with a Father's Day concert.

The Beau Metro Quartet - Stephen Bryant and Tom Dziekonski, violins; Sue Jane Bryant, viola; and Virginia Dziekonski, cello - with guest violist, Timothy Hale, will perform a concert of Viola Quintets by Brahms, Mozart, and Beethoven on Sunday June 16, 2013, at 3pm.  Seating is limited and tickets are $15.00 in advance at The Island Gallery or at the door.   Call us at 206.780.9500 or e-mail for reservations.

What a lovely way to spend Father's Day afternoon!

We'll post a reminder a little closer to the event with any further updates or information.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

May 2013 First Friday Artwalk: You're Invited!

We have an unusual schedule between now and late May:  Because the month's batik textile exhibit is "traveling" and must depart before the end of May, we have scheduled a week of early previews leading up to the First Friday Artwalk on May 3rd.  The Artists' Reception will be held on May 10th from 6-8 pm, when Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam will join us for the evening.  (See past postings for more information on the artists.)

For textile and batik afficionados everywhere, here's a tantalizing detail from one of the large batik art pieces in the show, Tumbuh, showing lots of lively flora and fauna in its Aboriginal symbols and earthy colors:

Collaboration, Agus Ismoyo & Nia Fliam with Ernabella Arts

For First Friday, we again welcome Peter Spencer & Friends!  This month will feature fiddler Sarah Comer and appearances by three of Peter's guitar students:  JD Stahl, Natasha Stearns, and Willa Jones-Irwin.  The concert is free and will be, we have no doubt, fabulous!

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ISNIA Exhibit: About the Artists

ISNIA stands for the collaborative team of Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam, renowned for their intricate, nuanced and time-intensive textiles. They are widely acknowledged as the first artists in Indonesia to go beyond the boundaries of modern batik painting and extensively explore the medium of Javanese batik as contemporary textile art. Ismoyo’s ancestors produced batik for the royal court of Surakarta in Central Java; Fliam was born in the United States and studied at the Pratt Institute, New York, traveling to Indonesia in 1983 to study batik, where she has lived since. In 1985 they established the batik studio Brahma Tirta Sari (“Creativity is the source of all knowledge”) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Embracing artistic traditions and philosophical ideas that span continents, Ismoyo and Fliam have conducted numerous workshops in Indonesia, Africa, the United States (including Bainbridge Island, Washington), and Australia, working in collaboration with Australian Aboriginals, Native Americans and Asian artists. Their collaborative work in Australia, Africa and Indonesia has had the sponsorship of the Ford Foundation and the American Embassy in Indonesia. One notable collaboration, with a group of Aboriginal artists from the Utopia Community in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, began in March 1999 and continued for more than two years, producing 20 large batik art pieces subsequently exhibited around the world, including a 2005 exhibit at The Island Gallery, Bainbridge Island. This series, along with the consistent quality and scope of their entire body of work, has garnered Ismoyo and Fliam critical acclaim for successfully exploring their own creativity while pursuing a broader understanding of the value, role and meaning of tradition in the development of world culture.

Ismoyo and Nia explain:

“Our world culture is, in fact, one, and has arisen from the strength of ‘budi’ or human intelligence, and the spirit of humankind motivates this intelligence. This spirit is the oneness or unity we speak of. In any creative work, an awareness of our position within its framework is of utmost importance. With this in mind, it is our commitment in our creative work to devote ourselves to the work of the spirit in exploring aspects of the heritage of our world culture and its role in the shaping of contemporary culture. At the heart of it our ancient cultural traditions are the roadmap of the future.”

The duo has exhibited extensively in Indonesia and at many prestigious locations around the world. Most recently they were recipients of a Fulbright Scholarship, which brought them to Michigan in 2007-2008. During this time they presented “Fiber Face”, a very well-received exhibition of their works, at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., where their work is part of the permanent collection. This exhibition has also shown at the Netzorg and Kerr Gallery, Richmond Center for the Visual Arts, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C., here at The Island Gallery, and at the cultural center of Taman Budaya, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia.  Their current exhibit, Out of Southeast Asia:  Art that Sustains, opened Friday, April 12, 2013, at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., and runs through October 13, 2013.

Their adjunct show here at the Gallery is Symbols of Nature & Man:  A Journey of 40,000 Years.  It will run May 3-24, 2013 with works available for Preview from April 26th.  The official opening is First Friday, May 3 (featuring Peter Spencer & Friends in concert; more on that shortly); the artists themselves will join us for a reception on May 10th, 6-8 pm.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

ISNIA Exhibit Coming to Bainbridge Island

The Gallery is delighted to announce an upcoming exhibition of major works by world-renowned batik artists Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam of Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia.

Fire Flower
Batik on Silk
7' x 3'

Symbols of Nature & Man:
A Journey of 40,000 Years

May 3 - 24, 2013
Previews Begin Friday, April 26th
Artists' Reception Friday, May 10th, 6-8 pm

Currently in exhibition at the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., these extraordinary artists will travel across the country to Bainbridge Island, with previews of their related show beginning in the Gallery on April 26th.  (The D.C. exhibit, Out of Southeast Asia: Art that Sustains, opened Friday, April 12th and runs through October 13th.)

Commentary on the exhibit from The Washington Post:

The exhibit, which opened Friday, is the final one before the Textile Museum relocates to the George Washington University campus as the cornerstone of its new museum in 2014.  It centers on Indonesia and Laos and examines how four contemporary artists draw inspiration from ancient artistic techniques in a way that also allows them to customize and reinterpret the art — and help keep it relevant.

The 42-item exhibition pairs handmade batiks and ethnic weaving, and includes 17 pieces from the museum’s collection to help demonstrate the linkages through time.

There are over 1,000 ethnic groups in Southeast Asian, and most of them have some sort of textile tradition, says exhibit curator Mattiebelle Gittinger. A woman on the north coast of Java in a dark blue sarong is in mourning. Certain motifs in blue and white are worn in another region for weddings. The textiles are “made to be specific. They have a great deal of validity,” says Gittinger. “When contemporary artists go in search of inspiration, they sense this validity and that’s what they respond to.”

The husband-and-wife team Agus Ismoyo and Nia Fliam focus primarily on Indonesian batik (a pattern created by covering parts of the cloth with removable wax to keep them from being dyed). Batik motifs are politically and spiritually powerful and the couple uses the Kawung (a cosmological symbol of overlapping circles), Parang (knife) and Tree of Life throughout the smooth commercially woven cloths that provide the foundation for their patterning. They experiment with techniques: Appliqué and layers of cloth are melded together to create the varicolored forms in the hanging piece “Extended Family”; “Trash Can of Tradition” uses Javanese puppet figures and the Kawang and Parang motifs to express fear over losing the underpinnings of Indonesian cultural history.
Excerpted from: "Textile Museum displays ethnic weaving from Southeast Asia before its move to GW campus"
Lonnae O'Neal Parker, The Washington Post, April 12, 2013

Dates for related events will be announced shortly.  Please visit this blog for all the latest information.

Friday, April 19, 2013

April 2013 Gallery Picks Newsletter

Another month, another Gallery Picks Newsletter!  Enjoy viewing these wonderful items, and don't forget to follow us or sign up as a member.  You can also receive an update directly in your inbox every time we publish the newsletter, or special notices of shows, sales and musical events, by sending an e-mail with your address to

For further information on any individual item,click on the link in its title to visit our web shop for a close-up look.


 Walnut Table
Dimensions: 106” l x 21” t x 19” w (at widest point)

Perfect as a coffee table in front of a long couch or as a low side table,
this local salvaged walnut is quite remarkable.
What a beautiful addition to a contemprorary home!

Stephanie Oliveira
Dimensions: 16" x 6"; 8-1/2" x 7"; 12" x 11"

Created by multi-media artist Stephanie Oliveira,
these gorgeous black-smoke and white raku fired vessels look great in a group,
as we decided to display them in the Gallery, but each makes an impact
displayed on its own.  The Tall Jar shown on the left has its own lid,
which you can see off to its side.  They are listed separately in the
web shop (click on their title for a close-up look and more information).

Sequoia Table Slab
Dimensions: approximately 94" x 42"

A remarkable live-edge slab of sequoia redwood, ready to be turned into a
dining or conference table, or even a stunning desk.


Dimensions, each piece: 14" x 10"
A set of four, these interesting "industrial" pieces are ready for wall mounting.
The artist has inscribed patterns inspired by sea creatures on tin roof shingles that are
wood-framed on the back, giving an opportunity for varied,
pleasing presentations and groupings on a wall:  they could be displayed
in a row; two above and two below in a square; or even
stepped up a stairway wall, for a fit in any space.

Dimensions: approximately 18" x 84"

A spectacular silk wrap from ImperioJP!  Luscious colors and fabrics are
trademarks of Imperio.  This one shows off shades of purples, pinks,
and white in an ikat design, and a solid, dense royal purple silk on one side.
Gorgeous to drape over your shoulders on a spring or summer night, or as
the essential wrap for a wedding.  Or how about something for Mom,
as that memorable Mother's Day gift?

Dimensions: approximately 14" x 9"

How cool is this?  A beautiful lamp created from sustainably harvested
driftwood from Pacific Northwest waters, finished with hand-rubbed
carnauba wax product, this piece features a fine hand-blown glass globe
with lifetime fiberglass wick.  Ready to turn even the most ordinary night into
an ultra-romantic evening... especially if you light up several of these
lamps at a time... or if there's a fire burning gently in the fireplace
and a bottle of wine on the hearth... or...
Oh, just use your imagination!
For use with smokeless and odorless pure paraffin oil. 

Dimensions: adjustable from 16" to 24"

A fascinating presentation by Sylvia Luppert! We've offered her
wonderful handmade round bead polymer clay necklaces for several years, but
these are quite an interesting style departure.  These beads appear as painted
Asian-themed "tiles", and make for a very lightweight yet striking necklace.

Dimensions: 48" x 48"
Oil on canvas

We've put up a post about Jen Till's wonderful, tranquil
art works in the past, but couldn't resist one more.  Her
April show wraps up in a couple of days after nearly selling out
of her Small Works, but we're hoping to keep some of her pieces
on display - and, we hope, have another selection of her
Small Works very soon!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Gitana Collection: A Sneak Peek

We are delighted to host a trunk show on April 19th and 20th showcasing the Gitana Collection of silver jewelry, including a large selection of new pieces by incomparable silversmith and designer Agnes Seebass.  For complete details on this event, please scroll back a post of two, and voila.

In the meantime, we'd love to tempt you with a quick preview. 

Necklace:  Three silver squares, recessed gold leaf

Necklace:  A length of solid and open silver links

Necklace:  Silver Circles
Bracelet:  Recessed silver cubes

Necklace:  Recessed silver cubes
Necklace:  Recessed silver round, gold leaf

Earrings:  Silver rounds, recessed gold leaf, posts

Necklace:  Silver cones, frosted aqua glass beads

Necklace:  Square silver pendant, gold leaf accenting
All of the above pieces come from the studio of Agnes Seebass.  Here's a little about the artist:

Agnes Seebass was born in 1966 in Berlin, West Germany. She says that from the time she was a young child she loved working with her hands, and had a natural inclination for the arts. In 1985, she studied architecture in the HHS-Architecture Bureau in Bremen, and in 1986 went to Toulouse, France, where she studied Architecture and French at the Université du Mirail. Between 1987 and1991 Agnes studied Jewelry Design and Techniques of Production at the Staatliche Zeichenakademie in Hanau, Germany.

Around this time, while in Frankfurt, Agnes was exposed to Mexican modern and folk art and desired to learn more about Mexican culture, especially the fabrication of metal in Taxco. In 1992 she had the good fortune to be awarded a scholarship from the institution Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft to study silversmithing at the Los Castillo workshop in Taxco.

Later, she began creating her own pieces and opened her own workshop, first in Taxco and then in Cuernavaca where she presently works.

Agnes points out that while her jewelry designs were significantly enriched by the hollowware techniques she learned at Los Castillo, and by the styles and techniques of earlier Mexican silversmiths whose interpretations of pre-Columbian motifs define much of their work, she is a modernist whose designs only subtly reflect this influence.  In Agnes' words:

I think that my designs are a mixture of German and Mexican culture. In part the forms of Mexican nature and contrasts inspire me and on the other hand I like simple geometric forms and of course I have a (German) passion for precise handcraftsmanship.

Normally I do not draw a design. I work directly with the metal, experimenting, hammering, et cetera.  All of my pieces are 100% handmade. I do not use any industrial process. For me, pieces made by hand and with patience (time is no argument in my workshop) have a very different feeling than any mass-produced piece.

There is something very special for me about working with silver; it is like an adventure and I keep discovering new ways to achieve the results I have in mind. Sometimes the process is very intuitive, like the pendants with texture and gold leaf painting. I manipulate the surface in a spontaneous way until they look like canvas and can provoke curiosity to get closer, to touch…

- Special thanks to Marbeth Schon, “Modern Maestro”,

To "touch", as one must do to truly appreciate this fine jewelry, come visit the Gallery during the trunk show, and have a sip of champagne as you enjoy.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

April's First Friday Surprise

We already suspected that with Peter Spencer at the helm we'd have a wonderful musical presentation on April 5th's First Friday Artwalk.  But when Peter called to report that he was bringing a surprise, our collective spines tingled.

At Showtime minus 30 minutes he strolled in with an imposing gentleman and introduced us to Orville Johnson.  And we're here to tell you, Orville is a Really Big Deal:  Known for his dobro and slide guitar stylings and soulful vocal acrobatics, he is a singer, instrumentalist, record producer, songwriter, session player, teacher, and the top dobro player on the West Coast of America (a dobro, incidentally, is a resonator guitar). 

Orville Johnson
(photo credit Tito Fuentes)
Born and raised in a small farming town in Illinois not far from the banks of the Mississippi river, Orville's early playing career was focused around the St Louis, Missouri music scene where he was exposed to and participated in a variety of blues, bluegrass, and American Roots music. He began singing in his Pentecostal church as a young boy, in rock bands during middle school, and then took up guitar and dobro at age 17 with early influences from Doc Watson, Mississippi John Hurt, Mike Auldridge, and Chuck Berry. His travels took him west to Colorado and California, south to New Orleans and Memphis, and in the mid 1970s Orville spent several seasons playing on the SS Julia Belle Swain, a period piece Mississippi river paddlewheel steamboat plying the inland waterways.

Orville moved to Seattle in 1978 where he was a founding member of the legendary Northwest folk/rock group The Dynamic Logs.  Over the years he has played with a diverse list of artists including Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, John Hartford, Maria Muldaur, Richie Havens, Laura Love, blues artists John Cephas, Howard Armstrong, Sam Andrew (Big Brother and the Holding Company) and Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones). He has guested on over 400 albums, appeared on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, Jay Leno's Tonight Show, and was featured in the 1997 film Georgia with Mare Winningham and Jennifer Jason-Leigh. He is also in demand as a teacher and author, writing for Acoustic Guitar and Fretboard Journal and teaching at prestigious workshops worldwide, including Euro Blues Week, International Guitar Seminar, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and Guitar Intensives.

Orville also has several solo CDs to his credit:  Blueprint for the Blues (1998), Slide & Joy (1999), an all-instrumental dobro tour de force, Freehand (2003), two discs with Mark Graham as The Kings of Mongrel Folk, four discs with the File Gumbo Zydeco Band, albums with Laura Love, John Cephas and Woody Mann, Grant Dermody and John Miller, and appearances on slide guitar collections Legends of the Incredible Lap Steel and Southern Filibuster: a tribute to Tut Taylor. His music has been featured in soundtracks for PBS' Frontier House, movies The Wooly Boys and Georgia Rule.  He also has several instructional DVDs available.


Oh, and did we mention he sounded great in our back room?

Our gallery-strollers were treated to several straight hours of full-bodied soul, blues, and you-name-it from these two awe-inspiring musicians.

Could be, though, that possibly the most amazing feature of the performance is something that few in the audience realized.  Peter spilled the beans to us:

"Orville agreed to fill in at the last minute and NONE of the tunes we played had been rehearsed. In fact, we had never played together at all before sitting down Friday night in your back room. I expected top-flight musicianship and the complete ability to follow and complement anything I chose to play, and that's exactly what I got."

 And that's exactly what we got, too, Peter. 

Peter and Orville Making Magic
(photo credit J. Nunn)
Thank you, thank you both.  Can't wait for next time.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Trunk Show: The Gitana Collection

Silver and Gold Leaf Post Earrings

Phew!  How fabulous are these earrings?

They and more like them will be available at the Gallery during our special April trunk show.  Details are below, and more photos from this extraordinary collection will pop up on the blog over the upcoming week or so.
The Gitana Collection
Spring Trunk Show
April 19 & 20, 2013
This Spring’s show is a collection of designs by various silver artists whose works have been chosen by Michelle Tange. Each piece reflects the quality and unique look that is represented by today’s artists working in Taxco, Mexico: jewelry inspired by the Mayans, the Celts, nature, and high fashion, including many one-of-a-kind items and award-winning designs. Featuring an extensive collection of pieces by Agnes Seebass who has gained worldwide recognition with her contemporary designs and unique perspective. Her work makes a statement and is wearable art at its finest.
Come view this extraordinary art and sip champagne:
Friday, April 19th, 12 noon - 6 pm ~ Saturday, April 20th, 11 am - 5 pm
The Island Gallery
400 Winslow Way E., #120
Bainbridge Island, Washington