Thursday, December 11, 2008

Introducing Alison Keogh

If you haven't had a chance to drop in and see our current exhibit, Landscape - a different view: Collection of works by Alison Keogh, we highly recommend you take a few moments for a visit. The Seattle artist’s remarkable newsprint reliefs, graphite botanicals, bronze geologic landscapes, driftwood & newsprint artifacts, and Sumi-scapes have all been very well received; we have never seen anything quite like Alison's work. Here are a few photos, including close-ups of the work:

Alison Keogh; sumiscape installation in background.

Artist Statement

This collection of work represents my personal landscapes – capturing a dialogue with the natural world

Each piece and series expresses itself through repetition and texture. The act of repetition brings about a state of intensified awareness during the creative process and is reinforced in the final work.

I work with elemental materials that require a direct tactile manipulation using minimal tools. Graphite, paper, newsprint and sumi ink are all derived from trees. The materials may change, but the process of repetition and the exploration to reveal the invisible remains constant.

Increasingly my breath has become an important part of the process and I now consciously match my movements with my breath.

The exhibition “Landscape – a different view” provides the viewer with an alternative perspective to experience the materials with a changed perception.

Exhibition Notes:

Newsprint Reliefs

Newsprint relief: The Financial Times, given a new look!

These reliefs depict patterns of my breath as I manipulate layers of the British Financial Times newspaper into topographical landscapes.

Selected sheets of the stock market pages are first treated with a deacidification product for longevity and then carefully torn into strips. Next, the edges are treated with ink. The work is built-up layer upon layer. Finally a protective coating of archival varnish is applied.
The wave like texture is achieved by forming a loop in the strip of paper and securing it with a bookbinding adhesive. I pay attention to my breathing as I do this; each loop is an inhalation or an exhalation. The work creates its own field of consciousness. The impermanence of the paper is analogous to the impermanence of our thoughts. The stock market pages are used for their visual consistency.

This series concerns the discovery of nature within the newspaper. It transcends the ordinary daily purpose as a conveyor of “news”… and now expresses itself through an altered state of being.

Graphite Botanicals

Chestnut Leaves, graphite on Japanese kozo paper
These are a series of intricate studies of plant matter using the mediums of graphite and Japanese kozo paper. I have captured the structure of plants with a precise but subtle sensuality.

This work was originally exhibited in Sweden under the title “Graphite Impressions”. It evolved from my interest in printing and more particularly “frottage”.

The leaves are pressed, dried and selected for individual vein structure. Then they are carefully attached to a small square card to preserve their fragility during the frottage process. The leaf square is placed under the Japanese paper and the graphite is rubbed over the top. Each impression is created individually.

The work is presented in a contemporary and abstract manner to create a new perspective. Some of the plant materials used include maize, red oak, cabbage and chestnut leaves.


My current work with sumi ink is a continuation of the Newsprint Reliefs: the preoccupation with line as texture and the conscious involvement of my breath as I work.

In most cases an inhalation is represented as a light fine line, an exhalation being heavier and thicker.

Two types of brushes are used which create distinctly different results. The heavy weight paper was selected for the smooth finish which affects the manner in which the ink is absorbed.

There is an underlying motive of self discovery through the act of cultivating calmness and concentration during the work.

While experiencing the karesansui (dry gardens) in Japan this year and in particular the garden at Ryoan-ji Temple, I discovered a connection with my Sumi-scape line drawings. The exact nature of this connection continues to unfold as I develop this exciting new medium.

-Alison Keogh

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Celebrating Our 6th Anniversary

Last Friday, December 5th, 2008, The Island Gallery began the celebration of its 6th Anniversary by opening two distinct exhibitions. The Artists’ Reception ran from 6-8 pm; both shows will continue in place until January 23th, 2009.

Our 4th Annual Wearable Art Show features the following artists:

Textile Artists:

Barbara de Jounge, Laguna Beach, California; Isnia, Yogyakarta, Java Island, Indonesia; Akihiko Izukura, Kyoto, Japan; Elizabeth Merrill, Port Townsend, Washington; Lynn Mizono, Whidbey Island, Washington; David Mendoza, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; Nubia, Bainbridge Island, Washington; Britt Rynearson, Seattle, Washington; Carter Smith, Nahant, Massachusetts; Arlene Wohl, Sausalito, California.

Above: Barbara de Jounge; Britt Rynearson; Britt Rynearson; Carter Smith; Akihiko Izukura

Jewelry Artists: Sophie Bryant, Bainbridge Island, Washington; Shelley Herman, Studio City, California; Lucia, Bainbridge Island, Washington; David Mendoza, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; Su Olsen, Bainbridge Island, Washington;Virginia Paquette, Seattle, Washington;Cleva Rose, Poulsbo, Washington; Roger Wilbur, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Lou Zeldis, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Above: Virginia Paquette; Cleva Rose; Rober Wilbur;
Su Olsen; Lucia

Also featuring Kimono Series Paintings by Bainbridge Island Artist Tracy Dunn:

Above: Ruth Akie Dancing; Michie; The Way Forward; Sisters (diptych)

In the North Gallery, introducing
Landscape - a different view
Collection of works by Alison Keogh

Above: "Chestnut Leaves" Graphite Botanical; Newsprint Relief #7

The Seattle artist’s personal landscapes, capturing a dialogue with the natural world in newsprint reliefs, graphite botanicals, bronze geologic landscapes, driftwood & newsprint artifacts, and

Crowds admiring Alison's Sumi-scape installation.

I'll write more about Alison in an upcoming posting, including more images and her Exhibition Notes.

Glass Ornaments are Here

Ted Jolda recently sent us a great big batch of his delightful glass ornaments. Starting at $20, these are perfect for gifts, on the Christmas tree, or to brighten a kitchen window. Also available are pretty hand-forged copper hooks that fit the ornaments perfectly (regular wire ornament hooks aren't quite sturdy enough - nor as attractive). They're $1.50 each.

Pinecone, Golden Pears, Orange, Apples

Eggplant, Coffe Beans, Figs

We also carry Ted's pomegranates, strawberries, red and green mini-pears, red, green and gold apples, blueberries, blackberries, peppers, garlic, ladybugs, golf balls, and snowmen!
(Check out one of our past posts for Ted's Oprah connection - a wonderful story.)

More Beasts!

Here are a few of Eva Funderburgh's new critters:

Goat Tailed Beast

Two Birds



Fall Shows: South Sound Fire, 3 X 3

In September and October, the gallery welcomed another group of talented artists: the crew of woodfire potters who regularly fire at the Benn/Gallagher Harstine Island kilns, and three local woodworkers whose furniture and sculptures from local and exotic woods are still creating buzz.
Artists, pottery on South Sound Fire's opening night

Bob and Birgit Spangler show off a lighted buffet

South Sound Fire Artists: John Benn and Colleen Gallagher (kiln owners), Harstine Island; John Harris, Auburn; Chris Knapp, Seattle; Andy Lewis-Lechner, Tacoma; Susan Lochner, Auburn; Reid Ozaki, Tacoma.

3 X 3 Artists: Cecil Ross, Bainbridge Island; Robert Spangler, Bainbridge Island; Howard Todd, Kingston.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Beasts

Eva Funderburgh, one of the three artists involved in our "Beasts of the Kiln" exhibit last May, brought us a few new ceramic pals last week. Meet "A Monster for Todd #2" (2 views):

This little guy is wood-fired porcelain, has several rows of tiny pearly white teeth, and is frankly delighted with his pull toy.

Irresistible? We think so!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Early Warning!

Here's a quick list of some of our upcoming events this fall:

Now through August 29th: "Fiber Face" Batik Exhibition.

August 30th: Gypsy Jazz! Sizzling hot Bainbridge Island quintet Ranger and the Re-Arrangers returns for their final performance in our popular Summer Jazz Series. 7:30 p.m. at the gallery. E-mail us for more ticket info. (On the right you'll see Ranger on fiddle, Dave Stewart on mandolin.)

September 5th - 28th: South Sound Fire: Wood Fired Ceramics from the Benn/Gallagher Harstine Island Kilns. Artists: John Benn, Colleen Gallagher, John Harris, Chris Knapp, Andrew Lewis-Lechner, Susan Lochner, Reid Ozaki. (That's John Benn on the left, with lots of pots.)

September 13th: Returning by popular demand, The Geordie Kelly Jazz Quartet. 7:30 p.m. at the gallery. E-mail us for more ticket info.

October 3rd - 31st: "3 x 3: Wood Furniture & Sculpture - Three New Works by Three Area Artists". Cecil Ross, Robert Spangler, Howard Todd.

November: TBA

December 3rd - 31st: Annual Wearable Art Show.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Back by Popular Demand!

We're very happy to announce that the fabulous Geordie Kelly Jazz Quartet is adding a concert date to our 2008 Summer Jazz Series! The group will be back in the gallery on Saturday night, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. If you haven't heard them yet, don't miss out - this will be their last performance before Geordie goes back to Washington, D.C., to his new post with the Navy Band there.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Something Completely Different. . .

There are many wonderful artists in our region - the Pacific Northwest - who produce beautiful art in all sorts of different disciplines. Since its inception in December of 2002, The Island Gallery has focused primarily on wearable art (textiles, jewelry), wood fired ceramics, wood sculpture and furniture, and basketry. The Northwest is particularly known for its glasswork, so we've often been tempted to carry it. But we've resisted, in hopes of discovering Something Different.

Here's what we found.

Introducing to the gallery: Ted Jolda.

Ted is one of Canada's best known glass artists and has been called the nation's preeminent ornament maker. Working primarily in glass since 1985, Ted has received international recognition for his work. As well as being in the collections of the royal houses of the Netherlands and England, his work is in the collections of the Canadian Craft Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass, and has been exhibited internationally in numerous group shows representing the finest of contemporary Canadian Art. Ted was chosen to create the goblets for the formal table of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and later was asked to expand the set to accommodate the eighteen heads of state attending the 1999 APEC conference in Vancouver. His work has been presented to presidents, prime ministers and heads of state around the world.

Ted comments on a recent brush with retail nirvana:

This is one of the things I get asked most about . . . No I didn't meet Oprah. Nor did I send her any of my work. I had an agent, who for a couple of years took my stuff to the big Gift Trade Shows out east. In New York some of Oprah's personal shoppers saw my ornaments at the booth and liked them. Bought some and took them to show Oprah. She liked them and put them in her magazine. I knew nothing of this until about a week before the magazine came out. It was great. It was amazing. It was an incredible year. I made little else for the next year. My income (for that one year only) more than doubled. We were able to buy a new washer, a new - to us - car, and a new refrigerator. Paid a bit off the mortgage. That's it, that's all. The next year I was no longer the 'new thing' and sales went back to their old - well actually slightly worse than their old levels. I had lost some clients that I couldn't supply with other work while I was making pears. I'm not complaining. Variety is good. But it was amazing while it lasted.

In the year following the appearance of his Golden Pear ornaments on The O List, Ted personally hand-blew 10,000+ ornaments for which he had received back orders. Happily, he has lived to tell about it, and we welcome Ted as the first glass artist to be represented by The Island Gallery.

I'll post more of his designs - but if you are already thirsting to see them, here's
a cutie, available just in time for Christmas:

Lumps of Coal. . .
Stay tuned!

- Susan R., sales manager

We're Blogging!

Welcome to The Island Gallery's Art Blog!

We're excited to take our first step into this enhanced (and fun!) form of communication, where we will be able to post images and impressions of the wonderful art work that comes through our doors, and where you can send us your thoughts and responses. We'll keep you posted on our upcoming shows, our concert series, and introduce you to great new artists. You can also go to our extensive web site,, to view past and present exhibits, press releases, artists' statements, essays, and our artists' pages.

So check back often. The Island Gallery is always a work in progress, as is this site, and I know we're going to have a great time together.

- Susan R., sales manager