Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 2014 Gallery Picks Newsletter

Almost August!  We're enjoying beautiful, warm weather and stunning Northwest vistas of sea and sky, mountains and water, both in our great outdoors and in the artwork right here at the Gallery.  Not only that, but we also feature wonderful wearables, beautiful ceramics, contemporary and Mid-Century Modern furniture, and our extensive collection of batik and ikat textiles.

Speaking of textiles, we are getting ready to add many of these modern and vintage/antique pieces to their own section of our online shop.  It will be accessible here, and we'll put up more information and photos as we grow this category of the shop.

Don't forget to click on the provided links to be magically transported to each individual item in the online shop for more details and shipping information.

But right now, let's imagine COOL:

Puget Sound Dawn.  Renee Jameson
Before the phone starts ringing, or the e-mailbox fills to overflowing,
yes, we know:  We featured one of Renee's pieces here last month, in advance
of her inclusion in the July Carter Smith exhibit.  Because we admire her
work so much, however, we decided to feature two more (above and below).
Not only that, we humbly offer a mini-tutorial on her artform,
the Monotype Print:
Invented in the 1600s by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, an Italian painter
and etcher, monotyping is a type of printmaking made by drawing or
painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. The surface was historically
a copper etching plate, but in contemporary work it can vary from zinc or
glass to acrylic glass.  The image is then transferred onto a sheet of paper
by pressing the two together, usually using a printing press.
Monotypes can also be created by inking an entire surface and
then, using brushes or rags, removing ink to create a subtractive image.
Most of the ink is removed during the initial pressing, producing a
unique, one-of-a-kind print; hence "mono-", or single, type. 
Renee Jameson was born in Western Washington and received her BFA
from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.  She is a monotype artist
living and working on Bainbridge Island.  Currently she is the printmaker
liaison for the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN)
setting up the print studio for the BARN.
Her work is represented in private collections in Santa Barbara,
La Jolla and Bainbridge Island.
“I walk daily along the shoreline on Bainbridge Island and am inspired
by the constantly changing sky.  One of the most exciting things I observe
is how rapidly the cloud formations change into new and dramatic shapes
within seconds.  I have my camera with me at all times on my walks.
Some days I see very little that interests me and other days
the sky is extraordinary.
“I try to create a world viewers can interpret and respond to in their own way.
In this way I consider myself an abstract artist.  My objective is to create
a mood and atmosphere that will evoke an emotion in the viewer and
possibly a memory from the past.”

Lake Chelan Dawn.  Renee Jameson
Ah, yes; feels like summer...

We are happy to be able to hold over several of Renee's pieces, so
they are available for viewing throughout August.  Do treat yourself and
come in to see them, or find them, with further details, in her
section of the online shop, here.

Conoid Chair

Created in the style of Nakashima, this chair has been in
the Gallery only a few weeks and already has a big fan
following.  It comes from an estate sale, one of seven similar chairs;
six sold quickly, and we took the last one.
We believe the seat is maple, the spindles cherry and the
legs, top and sides walnut, but we're not positive.  What is
obvious is the beautiful aged patina over all its surfaces, and the
silky feel of an old finish on a much-loved and used piece of furniture.
In spite of some narrow cracks in the seat, the ageless charm of
the chair quickly came through when we noticed that everyone
who approached it immediately wanted to sit on, touch,
and/or bounce in it!

Shoe.  Nathan Christopher

... Or perhaps a Clog?
Whatever you conceive this to be, it is a rather heavy piece
of salvaged old-growth redwood that seems to resemble, as
the artist suggests, some form of whimsical forest footwear.
Seated on a black steel base, with its distinctive markings,
it makes a dramatic and eye-catching piece of art.

Silk Shibori Coat.  Amy Nguyen

Yet another magnificent piece of wearable art from Amy Nguyen.
This piece is a limited edition hand-dyed shibori coat in heavy
silk, stitched and quilted. 
About the artist:
For over twenty years Amy Nguyen has been stitching, painting,
patterning, dyeing and sculpting, cultivating her love of art and fabric.
During the last decade, her artistic journey has led her in the direction of
wearable art - a place both creative and functional - where she has been
greatly influenced by Japanese textile design. She is inspired by nature, texture
and compelling artists and fashion designers such as Issey Miyake,
Yoshiki Hishinuma, Naum Gabo and Constantin Brancusi.
Nguyen’s degree in studio art and art history, her background in
costume and theatre design, and her studies with master textile artists
have all aligned to enrich her textile work. Her exquisite wearable art
may be found in galleries, specialty boutiques and museum stores, as well as
juried craft and museum shows. She currently lives in Boston with her husband Ky.
Architectural and organic in structure, my contemporary artwear emphasizes
both surface design and texture. Japanese aesthetic, twentieth-century
modern sculpture and proportion within nature inspire my work. Shibori,
rozome and katazome, all ancient dyeing techniques, allow for my expression
of pattern and color on a single piece of expansive white cloth. I then
deconstruct this art cloth to further explore with layering, stitching, piecing,
quilting and patterning. Each step informs the next. Kinetic in nature,
each piece I make is both sculptural and functional on the body.”
Shown above with Carol Lee Shanks' crushed silk swing dress,
and a coral neckpiece by Australia's 2byLyn&Tony

Lotus Table Lamp.  L. Wendy Dunder

Imagine this beautiful thing, opening up on your side table or
nightstand like a lotus blossom on the River Nile!
(Actually, we're not exaggerating too much - the petals
do move somewhat, and can be positioned to shed light
on whatever situation you desire.)
We have a pair of these, nearly identical yet definitely
each one-of-a-kind works of art, which would make for lovely
bedside lamps, singly as a spot of light in a dark corner or
end table, or on either ends of a mantelpiece.
Or absolutely anywhere your imagination might take them! 

Neckpiece:  Baltic Steppes.  Christine L. Sundt

Magnificent smooth nuggets of sunny Baltic amber are just the thing
to raise the spirits and brighten any day!  Jewelry designer
extraordinaire Christine L. Sundt keeps providing us with
changing, ever-fascinating designs, and whether using
materials that are tried and true favorites or adding
new textiles, aluminum and woods to her repertoire, she
always manages to create pieces that are distinctly fresh, with
uncluttered lines that engage the eye and enhance any outfit.
About Chris:
Christine L. Sundt, whose designs can be considered wearable sculpture
as much as they are jewelry.  Beyond her interest in jewelry creation,
Christine is a visual resources curator and art historian. With degrees from
the University of Illinois, Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison,
she began her career in visual resources at Madison. Prior to moving to Oregon
in 1983, she was the founding president of the Visual Resources Association
and was named Technology Editor of Visual Resources. As a faculty member
and visual resources curator in the library at the University of Oregon since
1985, she was promoted to full professor in 1999. She has served as a
consultant regarding imaging management and technology for academic
institutions as well as corporations.
Pieces of metal, faceted or natural stones, colors, textures around me
are the forces that help me shape and make my jewelry designs. I draw
inspiration from art and nature, but seldom start with a firm idea of what my
final design will be. My drawings are merely records of thoughts rather
than plans or patterns. Works come together on my workbench as elements
find each other through proximity, association, and chance.
I enjoy working in precious metals, but cannot resist the possibilities
of other metals and even found objects such as coins, parts from old,
discarded jewelry, and broken or shattered stone (the slate in some of my
pieces, for example). I am inclined to produce geometric, highly stylized
and polished pieces, despite the unstructured nature of some of these elements.
An increasingly common feature in my work is the ability to transform
the look of the piece in wearing it. My rings are often asymmetrical and
can be worn on either hand or another finger to produce a different look
or perspective, and some of my pendants double as brooches. Other pendants
can be transformed by changing the means of suspension – from
pearls to gold or silver.

Blue Wind and Mist.  Jen Till
What more can we say?
Yet another beautiful oil painting from local artist Jen Till.
We are delighted to offer a number of pieces from Jen in the
online shop, which are not on display in the Gallery at this time.
If you admire her gauzy yet undoubtedly spirited works
as much as we do, a pleasant afternoon spent browsing
through her section, accessible here, is highly recommended.
And very good for the soul.
The large piece shown above is currently on display in the Gallery
with several other of Jen's truly wonderful works of art.

That's it for July.  Do keep an eye on the blog for upcoming events - our next exhibits features the remarkable intaglio prints and paintings of Curt Labitzke - and don't forget, if you'd like advance warning of sales, concerts, exhibits and everything else we get up to delivered directly to your inbox, simply send a note saying so to and we'll sign you up.

See you in August!

You're Invited: August 2014 First Friday Artwalk

It's going to be sizzling hot in downtown Winslow this Friday, August 1st, and no place will be hotter than The Island Gallery!  Come and join us for fabulous music, a sip of wine, an appetizer, perhaps a dance or two, and enjoy extraordinary art.

Intaglio Prints and Paintings

August 1 - 31, 2014

 Recent Works from Curt Labitzke
Chair, Printmaking Program
University of Washington School of Art

Reception with the Artist:

First Friday, August 1, 6-8 pm

In Concert on the Plaza

Ranger and the Re-Arrangers

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

About the Artists:
Curt Labitzke was born in New York in 1958, his father an illustrator and his mother a quilt-maker.  He received his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame in 1984 with a concentration in Painting, Printmaking and Drawing.  Upon completion of his degree he joined the Studio Art faculty at the University of Washington, Seattle. Curt is currently the Chair of the Printmaking and Interdisciplinary Visual Arts Programs and regularly teaches in the School of Art’s study abroad program in Rome and Florence, Italy.
His work is influenced by his extensive travels and reflects a passion for the sensuous quality of Etruscan art, the beauty of the Renaissance, the poetic storytelling of the Greeks and the brut directness of the German Expressionists.
The intaglio prints, often built of iconic figures inspired by ancient Greek and Roman portrait busts, peer from their ambiguous space seeking empathy as they passionately engage the viewer.
Curt’s artistic process involves several stages: sketching, etching the sketched figure onto a copper or plexiglas plate, inking the plate, running the inked plate through a vintage press onto archival paper, distressing the printed paper with a variety of tools and adding pigment, again inking the plate and running the initial printed paper through the press again, repeating the distressing, pigment and print steps up to five times.  The resulting print resembles a treasure unearthed from an archeological dig.
Curt’s work has been exhibited internationally in Italy, France, Mexico and Chile, across the United States, and locally at venues such as the Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and the Jacob Lawrence Gallery.
Ranger and the Re-Arrangers: Bainbridge Island’s own Gypsy Jazz band!  Playing in the upbeat style created in the 1930s by Django Reinhardt and other European string players who embraced American jazz, fiddling phenomenon Ranger Sciacca fronts this sizzling hot fivesome of violin, mandolin, bass, percussion and rhythm guitar as they play their award-winning originals, swing standards, and traditional Gypsy tunes. Ranger’s creative, syncopated leads complement the band’s steady, swinging rhythms.
About the gentlemen:
Ranger Sciacca’s performances and compositions reflect his extensive studies in classical, jazz, and folk music. His Suzuki teacher, Alice Kanack, publishes books and CDs on improvising classical music. Ranger also studied folk and dance music for seven years with renowned Seattle fiddler Stuart Williams. Ranger’s main influences include guitarist Django Reinhardt and jazz violin greats Stuff Smith, Claude Williams and Stephane Grappelli. A Bainbridge Island native, Ranger studied jazz theory and history at Whitman College.
Michael Sciacca, Ranger’s dad, has been his rhythm guitarist for years; they have performed as a swing jazz duo since 2001.
Bassist Todd Houghton has had an extensive career in performing, teaching, and producing music. Todd is an advisor to Jack Straw Production’s Blind Youth Audio Project and has hosted an “open mic” on Bainbridge Island, Washington since 1993.
Percussionist Jeffrey Moose has a 30-year career in both music and fine art. His collaborations and band projects include work with Joined at the Head, Heliotroupe, Dog Superior, Stiff Kitty, Atoke, Zayah Emmanuel, and Sam Andrews, founder of Big Brother and the Holding Company. He is currently director of Jeffrey Moose Gallery in Seattle.
Mandolin player Dave Stewart is also a classically-trained pianist.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

You're Invited: July 2014 First Friday Artwalk

It's going to be a hot one in downtown Winslow on this coming First Friday!  Our new exhibit features the banners of extraordinary shibori artist Carter Smith, and we are delighted to introduce Renee Jameson and her wonderful monotype prints.  The Julie Duke Band will rock, roll, and rip up the night with special guest jammer Peter Spencer, in concert on the Plaza.  Do NOT miss this one - we're going to party!

Left: Banner, Carter Smith.Right: Puget Sound Dawn, Renee Jameson.

Carter Smith:  Shibori Master
July 11 – 27, 2014

Introducing Bainbridge Island Artist
Renée Jameson
Monotype Prints

Reception, First Friday, July 11, 6-8 pm

Music by
The Julie Duke Band
on the Plaza

Shibori banners and new fashions
from one of America's finest shibori artists.

Introducing Bainbridge Island artist Renee Jameson, whose
monotypes  reflect summer's color spectrum.

About the Artists:

Carter Smith:  Carter Smith has been dyeing one-of-a-kind fabrics since 1965 when he learned tie-dye techniques from his mother. Originally working in silk, he created and sold 30,000 individual stretched pieces and banners, eventually adding to his process over forty new steps that multiplied into over a thousand techniques.

After successfully helping launch the careers of several designers, Carter decided to start making his own clothing, and now sells his hand-dyed original fashions both nationally and internationally. Notables who have worn his creations include Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, Aretha Franklin, Allie McGraw, Alice Walker, Dionne Warwick, Maya Angelou, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Taylor, Goldie Hawn, Jesse Norman, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Anne Austin, Kim Novak, Cassandra Wilson, Mary Travers, Jan Robinson, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, and others.

Today, Carter has over 250 original bias design concepts and creations, and after 40 years and over 200,000 yards of fabric personally dyed by Carter, his passion remains stronger than ever. He has been featured in many publications over the years, most recently in Ornament Magazine (June 2009).

Renée Jameson:  Renée was born in Western Washington State and grew up in Seattle.  She received her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and is a monotype artist living and working on Bainbridge Island.  Her work has been shown locally and can be found in private collections in Washington and California.  Currently she is the printmaker liaison for the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN) setting up the print studio for the BARN.

Renée comments: 

 “I walk daily along the shoreline on Bainbridge Island and am inspired by the constantly changing sky.  One of the most exciting things I observe is how rapidly the cloud formations change into new and dramatic shapes within seconds.  I have my camera with me at all times on my walks.  Some days I see very little that interests me and other days the sky is extraordinary.  I try to create a world viewers can interpret and respond to in their own way.  In this way I consider myself an abstract artist.  My objective is to create a mood and atmosphere that will evoke an emotion in the viewer and possibly a memory from the past.” 

The Julie Duke Band:  The Julie Duke Band delivers an edgy, unrestrained blend of Blues hailing from the Delta to Chicago, 1920s through the current day.  Their cover versions are choice and eclectic, including songs by Elmore James, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Koko Taylor, Freddie King and Big Mama Thornton.  They take a song, honor its origins, and then make it their own with drop-dead vocals and foot stomping, hip swaying rhythms.

The Julie Duke Band will get the staunchest of blues disbelievers tapping their toes and moving to the beat. With their entertaining stage show, expert musicianship and unique sound, The Julie Duke Band has built a wide and devoted following, drawing crowds to shows at venues as diverse as the Coyle Community Center, the Bite of Seattle, Bainbridge’s Bloedel Reserve and the Seven Cedars Casino.