Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 2014 Gallery Picks Newsletter

Here in the Pacific Northwest, spring is always soft and lovely, with June being perhaps a bit on the "tentative" side.  Everyone's ready for outdoor adventures, and as June dips into summer, we always wonder if July will be Puget Sound perfect, with sparkling skies and water?  And specifically here on Bainbridge Island, will the Grand Old Fourth parade and festivities bake or drip?

One never knows... but we have learned to have boundless hope!

It is quite clear, however, that our artists are feeling summer's inspiration whatever the weather, as new items in furniture, wearable art, jewelry, ceramics, paintings and prints are popping up in the Gallery.  And this, as always, is a most hopeful portent for things to come!

Please enjoy a look at some of these amazing pieces of art, and be sure to click on the link of each individual piece to visit our online shop for further information.

Hanging Bell.  Daniel Herreshoff
We have, over the years, had the pleasure to see many, many
wonderful pieces of art, in different mediums and
disciplines.  Metal artist Daniel Herreshoff's hanging bells
and singing bowls, however, rank among the most
memorable and sought after in any category.  This is the very last
piece of his, and it is truly one of his best, with an enchanting
deep resonance and beautiful markings.

Daniel describes his process (written in 2006):

I turned wooden bowls for many years, until I became interested in
creating steel Hanging Bells out of old, used oxygen tanks. 
During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, when these particular oxygen tanks
were in use, they received many layers of different paint colors indicating
specific gases in the tanks and to cover up chipped paint.  These many
layers of colors were the taking-off point for me to create these unique, and
one-of-a-kind American garden bells and meditation bowls.

The reason I search out these old “spun-steel” oxygen tanks, which
were "high tech" at the time, is that they are thin-walled, thereby
 producing the purest tones. Unfortunately, manufacturers stopped making
these tanks in the mid-60s and someday will no longer be available due to
attrition.  It is my intention to recycle these heavily-used oxygen tanks and
save them from becoming scrap metal.  The bells now serve a new function
as beautiful garden bells with resonating meditative and healing sounds

The many different layers of paint colors on these bells provide an
interesting texture and visual contrast.  I preserve the original colors as
much as possible and overlay them with vibrant colors of my choice,
reminding one of intricately woven tapestries.   The garden bells are polished
to a gloss giving them depth and brilliance.

The clappers of the garden bells are created on a lathe either out of gorgeous
orange red Padauk wood from Africa, Ipe wood from Brazil, a Rose
wood from Bolivia or out of Cocobolo wood, which grows from Mexico to Panama. 
The attrition rate Daniel speaks of is already with us and he has been
unable to make more of these bells.  He has since moved on to new
artistic adventures, and is now living with his family in South America.

Walnut Table Top, "The Impala"

Carefully book-matched, extraordinary claro walnut slabs
from Chico, California, make into a wondrous table top.
This big, bold piece would make an amazing addition to
a dining or board room.

And if you turn your computer screen upside down, or
are athletic enough to do a headstand,you
will see an interesting creature staring back at you!
(Although it's much easier to simply come down to the
Gallery and visit it in person!)

Short Silk Shibori Vest.  Carter Smith
Oh, my!  Be still my heart!
If you follow our shop and blog, you probably know that
we are always raving about shibori artist Carter Smith (see more here,
but we're warning you:  View at your own heart's risk...)
Well, we are happy to report that July will be no different!
We're going to be a little Carter-centric this month, as he will be our
featured artist in an exhibit of fantastic banners and new clothing designs.
(See our next blog post for more details.)

Sterling Silver Link Bracelet.  Bara

The wondrous, earthy, yet refined jewelry sculpture of Bara deMarino
is featured this month to show off a new selection of work we have
just received from her.  View more of her wonderful pieces

Bara, formerly a leading fashion designer in New York City,
moved out West in 1986 and turned her talents to writing, sculpting and
creating unique pieces of jewelry, which she considers “Body Art”.
A sculptor by nature, her designs are strong statement pieces; her
forms are influenced by nature and movement.

Fascinated with indigenous cultures, she found herself traveling to
different parts of the world collecting artifacts. Truly inspired, and back
in her studio, these artifacts are created into unique sculptural body art.
 Along with her travels and life experiences her writing has become an
influential part of her creativity.  Her poems have been published
in The International Library of Poetry.  A member of the International Sculptors
Association she is still involved with sculpting although her latest
focus has been on body art.

Bara's work can be found in galleries in the Western United States,
Florida, and Texas.  She has recently moved to Mexico.

Small Pots.  Reid Schoonover
We recently featured Reid's Schoonover's work here on the blog, but one can
never have too much of a good thing, we always say!

This collection of eleven tiny pots is particularly charming, with their
diminutive size, exquisite glazing, and sweet little lids made of
a variety of exotic woods, all personally crafted by the artist.

Visit them individually in the Gallery or in our online shop here, where
all eleven will be available for viewing around July 5th.

Shirt/Jacket, "Why Not" Pattern.  Kay Chapman
New items are in from the studio of Kay Chapman,
whose designs perfectly blend her fabric dyeing
techniques and the utter wearableness of her
designs, created to complement our lady-like figures.
  Classic, elegant, and fun all in one package
is a combination we heartily endorse!
Visit this and her other artful clothing here.

Early Morning Mist.  Renee Jameson
 Our very next blog post will have a little more to say about Bainbridge Island
monotype print artist Renée Jameson, but here's a quick look at one of her
beautiful pieces currently available in the Gallery and online.
Keep an eye on her artist's page, and check out the Preview section of the
online shop; there will be more of her pieces available for viewing around July 5th,
immediately prior to the upcoming exhibition, Carter Smith: Shibori Master, 
which will also feature her work The exhibition opens at the Gallery on July 11th.
Please enjoy what will no doubt be a glorious early summer!  We'll be back with the July Newsletter soon.  If you'd like to subscribe to have notice of our monthly Gallery Picks Newsletter delivered directly to your inbox, simply send us an e-mail at and we'll put you on our mailing list.

Happy July 4th!

Monday, June 2, 2014

You're Invited: June 2014 Artwalk

This June, we are delighted to present new works by Seattle artist Virginia Paquette.  Come downtown to meet her on First Friday, and enjoy a taste of wine, an appetizer, and a lovely late-spring evening, strolling with your friends through downtown Winslow.

Raw materials n7.  Acrylic and collage on paper.  Virginia Paquette
(Photo Credit: Spike Mafford)

MATERIE PRIME/raw materials

Virginia Paquette

June 6 – 29, 2014

Reception with the Artist:
First Friday, June 6, 6-8pm

This is a series of works, both large and small,
that combine painting and elements of collage.
The texture, color and contrast are both sharp and organic,
inspired by body and landscape.

Music Performed by Bill Smith.

Location:  The Island Gallery, 400 Winslow Way E., #120, Bainbridge Island, Washington

About the Artists:

Virginia Paquette:  An MFA graduate in painting from the University of Washington, Virginia Paquette has worked and exhibited internationally.  Her art frequently depicts a sense of movement and change, and is inspired by natural form, color, and phenomena.   Winner of numerous public art commissions, Paquette completed an environmental installation celebrating the Millennium and Education for a Washington State “Art in Public Places” project on the campus of Bellevue Community College, a work in glass for the Redmond campus of Lake Washington Technical College, and “Velocity” for the entrance to Columbia Basin College technical arts building in Pasco, Washington.  She continues to explore more processes and media, develop performance-installations with her husband, clarinetist and composer William O. Smith, as well as teach and exhibit.

In my art I have sought to depict motion, memory and contradiction.  I am drawn to the sense of objects and space on the move, of color and shapes and lines in flux.  And sometimes the connection between the shape of nature and the shape of the human gesture is an inspiration: The similarity of the tendril, the curve of the hip, the cascade, the vocabulary of posture.  I often work with images of movement, from natural forms and phenomena: floods, “deluge,” the vortex and spill of moving water in defined spaces, whirlpools.  The “memory” is transplanting visual cues from one place/time to another, perhaps fragments of classical figures or architecture – or “time” from my own history.

“Materie Prime/raw materials” is about the raw materials of composition, color, shape, movement - not quite refined, but raw and lively.

Bill Smith - also known as a classical composer under his full name, William O. Smith - was born in Sacramento and grew up in Oakland, California, where he began playing clarinet when he was ten. He put together a jazz group at 13, and at the age of 15 he joined the Oakland Symphony. He idolized Benny Goodman, but after high school, a brief cross-country tour with a dance band ended his romance for the life of a traveling jazz musician. He gave two weeks' notice when the band reached Washington, D.C., and, encouraged by an older band member to "get the best education you can get," headed to New York.  He began his formal music studies at the Juilliard School of Music, playing in New York jazz clubs like Kelly's Stables at night.

Bill returned to California upon hearing and admiring the music of Darius Milhaud, who was then teaching at Mills College in Oakland. At Mills, he met pianist Dave Brubeck, with whom he has often played since, in both the famous Dave Brubeck Octet and The Dave Brubeck Quartet, as well as other groups, notably with Brubeck at the Lincoln Center.  In 1947, he composed Schizophrenic Scherzo for the Brubeck Octet, one of the earliest works that successfully integrated jazz and classical techniques, a style that later was given the name "third stream" by Gunther Schuller. He studied composition at the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with a bachelor's and a master's degree.

Winning the Prix de Paris presented Smith the opportunity for two years of study at the Paris Conservatory, and in 1957, he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome and spent six years in that city. He has since received numerous other awards, including two Guggenheim grants.
After a teaching stint at the University of Southern California, Smith began a thirty-year career at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he taught music composition and performance from 1966 to 1997.

Smith has investigated and cataloged a wide range of extended techniques on the clarinet, including the use of two clarinets simultaneously by a single performer, inspired by images of the ancient aulos encountered during a trip to Greece, numerous multiphonics, playing the instrument with a cork in the bell, and the "clar-flute," a technique that involves removing the instrument's mouthpiece and playing it as an end-blown flute. 

As William O. Smith, he has written several pioneering pieces that feature many of these techniques, including Duo for Flute and Clarinet (1961) and Variants for Solo Clarinet (1963), and he compiled the first comprehensive catalogue of fingerings for clarinet multiphonics. Smith was among the early composers interested in electronic music, and as a performer he continues to experiment with amplified clarinet and electronic delays. He remains active nationally, internationally, and on the local Seattle music scene as well, where in 2008, he composed, recorded, and premiered a "jazzopera" titled Space in the Heart.

For More Information Contact:  The Island Gallery, 206.780.9500 or