Thursday, September 22, 2016

You're Invited: First Friday Artwalk, October 7, 2016

Lovely Autumn is in full swing and we can promise you beautiful artwork and lots of swing at the Gallery this coming Artwalk!

Here's what's happening (which you must NOT miss):

Bologna Blues n27. Watercolor and collage

Bologna Blues Series
Virginia Paquette

October 7-31, 2016

Watercolor & Collage

Reception with the Artist
First Friday, October 7th, 6-8 pm

Anne Pell Jazz Trio
with guest performance by
Bill Smith

For a residency at the Conservatorio di Musica in Bologna this year,
Virginia Paquette painted these mixed-media works as part of a collaboration
with Bill Smith.  They are her visual responses to his works of music,
influenced by their years together in Italy.  Paquette responds to Smith’s music
with color, line, rhythm, gesture, and collage of found images,
salvaged from the streets of Italy.

About the Artist:  An MFA graduate in painting from the University of Washington, Virginia Paquette has worked and exhibited internationally.  Her art responds to motion and memory, and is inspired by natural forms and phenomena.  Winner of numerous public art commissions, Paquette has collaborated with her husband, Bill Smith, on site performance installations here in the Pacific Northwest and Seattle area, as well as around the world, including “Deluge,” created for Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston, Australia, “Saffeides” at Teatro Greco in Rome, and with ARTKOAMIA performance consortium.

About the Musicians: 

Bill Smith is a U.S. clarinetist and composer, working extensively in modern classical music, Third Stream and jazz, and perhaps best known for having played with pianist Dave Brubeck intermittently from the 1940s until Mr. Brubeck’s death.  As Brubeck himself said, Smith is "one of the all-time greats."

Smith was born in Sacramento, California on September 22, 1926, and grew up in Oakland, California.  Through most of his youth Smith’s hero was Benny Goodman, and at the age of  thirteen Smith put together a jazz group; at fifteen he joined the Oakland Symphony. After high school he toured briefly with a dance band, then attended the Juilliard School of Music while playing at night in New York jazz clubs, but soon returned to California.  At Mills College in Oakland he met pianist Dave Brubeck.

Smith was an original member of the Brubeck Octet and later occasionally subbed for saxophonist Paul Desmond in the Dave Brubeck Quartet.  Smith performed on and contributed compositions to the group's first recordings in the late 1940s and early 1950s.  In the 1960s he again recorded with Brubeck – whose 1960 album with the Quartet, Brubeck à la Mode, featured ten of Smith's own compositions - recording an album a year until he moved to Seattle in 1966.

Smith studied composition at the University of California, (bachelor's and master's degrees), going on to teach there, at the San Francisco Conservatory, and at the University of Southern California.  In 1966, Smith began a career which spanned thirty years at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle.

Smith won the Prix de Paris, studying for two years at the Paris Conservatory.  In 1957 he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome.  He has since received many other awards, including two Guggenheim grants.  His compositions and recordings, as a solo artist and with others, are numerous.
Over the years Smith has investigated and cataloged a wide range of extended techniques on the clarinet.  He was among the early composers interested in electronic music, and as a performer continues to experiment.  He remains active nationally, internationally, and on the local Seattle music scene, where in 2008 he composed, recorded, and premiered a "jazzopera" titled Space in the Heart. 

Anne Pell Jazz Trio:  A Bainbridge Island resident since 1994, Ms. Pell received her BFA in jazz piano from Cornish College of the Arts in 2005, graduating summa cum laude.   She previously studied piano, voice and music theory at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 2010 Ms. Pell became the music director and conductor of Schola NovaSchola Nova is a group of about 20 women who sing Evensong at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.  In 2012 Ms. Pell became the director of the Compline Choir, an a capella choir of about 15 men who also sing at Saint Barnabas.  In the summer of 2013 she founded Amabile, a larger mixed choir group dedicated to expressing love through choral music.

Ms. Pell has worked as a full-time private piano instructor on Bainbridge Island for almost 20 years, specializing in jazz, blues, and classical music, composition/arranging classes, theory, and jazz ensembles.  She performs in myriad gig settings including jazz clubs, private parties, local fundraisers, concerts, and private recitals, playing solo piano or with a jazz trio or quartet.  Ms. Pell has worked as a professional accompanist for over 30 years.  She was the accompanist for The Bainbridge Chorale for 14 years.

Ms. Pell has been composing, arranging and interpreting music for many years: her original works include choral compositions, liturgical chants and hymns, piano duets, Christmas songs, a flute and piano suite, and various jazz tunes.  Her new arrangement of Bach’s Cello Suite in G, for jazz quartet with viola, debuted in 2009.

In November 2009 Ms. Pell instituted the annual “For Our Children” benefit concerts.   All proceeds go to Bainbridge Island's Helpline House for their Children’s Enrichment Fund, a fund created by Ms. Pell specifically for arts and music education for children and teens in our community.

Event Location: 

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

Underground parking is available at The Winslow off Ericksen Avenue.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hot Off the Presses: First Friday Artwalk, September 2, 2016

Hello, Fall!  In spite of a distinct chill in the air, quick switches between dark, dark clouds, flashes of sun, and several noisy thunderclaps in the afternoon, another wonderful First Friday Artwalk was had by all.  Our exhibition, Dynamic Dozen:  Fall Art Fete, attracted art fans old and new, young and slightly less young, and we have photos to prove it!

A sip of wine, a chat with friends... a hat was a very good idea tonight!
Taking a good look at Renee Jameson's spectacular monotypes.

Artist Gerardo Aguayo discusses his work with fans, including Karen Heath...

... and poses beside one of his fascinating Shamans.
You can view more of Gerardo's wonderful work, including
Celtic White Shaman, the piece shown here and featured in
the current exhibition, by clicking on the photo or
right here to visit his artist pages.

A visitor from Bulgaria seems to be enjoying the wearable art!

We're with her; that's a silver crinkle silk Carol Lee Shanks
dress, sleek and sleeveless and sultry.  See Carol's always fabulous
work right here.  For the evening we've paired it with
one of NEO's terrific neoprene necklaces from Italy.
(And for all you NEO fans, alert:  our new shipment
is quickly disappearing.  We'll have more before the holidays
get much closer - with their great casual/elegant looks and
great price points, they make perfect gifts.)
See our current NEO collection by clicking here.

Then it is revealed that our Bulgarian visitor is a famous singer in her country!
She is here on the island visiting friends, and we so hope
she comes back to see us, bringing along her delightful personality
and obvious good taste (everyone loves the coat she is modeling for us -
from the Australian designer Alquema, this one is shown in bold
autumn color; subtle, feminine ruffle details without in the
slightest lapsing into froufrou; lightweight, therefore a perfect travel piece.
So Islanders and Gallery patrons, early warning:  Keep an eye open;
you will be seeing more of these available in the Gallery soon!)

A gorgeous arrangement of local foliage draws plenty of attention.

And here's some of the young crowd we were talking about.
Looks like she's really enjoying the band.
A Tiny Dancer, wearing some pretty adorable boots
and the latest in trendy black and white stripes, shows us
how best to enjoy gypsy jazz.

Ranger and the Re-Arrangers always give it all they've
got, rain or shine, true professionals who keep everyone's toes tapping.
Last Friday night was no exception, but the big news is the release of their
third CD, Swing 16.  To purchase, contact us via phone or email -
or swing on in!  We'll keep a supply on hand for their many fans.
Hopefully they'll be up in the online shop soon.

That's it for now, but we have something very, VERY special coming up for the next Artwalk, Friday, October 7th.  Information will be coming soon, right here, but in the meantime, please:  If you're a jazz fan, MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Friday, September 2, 2016

New Arrivals: The Lou Zeldis Collection

A Renaissance man and artist extraordinaire, Lou Zeldis never let the grass grow beneath his feet.  Dividing his time and art between Indonesia and Santa Monica, California, he worked with batik and ikat textiles, furniture, and jewelry, to name just a few of his areas of expertise.  Here we will showcase his ever-fascinating jewelry.

This collection has just arrived in the Gallery; we know his many fans and collectors will be eager to see it!  Click on the links in the descriptions beneath the group photos and you can visit each individual piece in our online shop, for more information and/or to purchase.  Or simply contact the Gallery: We are always happy to help you via e-mail or over the phone.  Visit our web site for up-to-date contact information.

As we proceed, we'll include Lou's bio between the collection items.  As you will see, if you are new to Lou Zeldis creations, he was a most fascinating individual.


 Above, Left to Right:

Lou Zeldis, a traveling theater artist, was born in America but his
passion for making unique jewelry and accessories lived and thrived in Bali.
Not classically trained, he gained a reputation of being an “artists’ artist”,
unconstrained by the idea of “it can’t be done.”   To those who
knew him his reputation was not only as an artist of exceptional talent
but also as a human of unusual kindness - with a maniacal need to invent,
which he attributed to his theatrical background and meetings with
remarkable men and women.  In the 1960s he performed on Broadway in
such well-known plays as Hello, Dolly!, Ben Franklin in Paris, and
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.


Lou began making jewelry in 1965 when he started wearing personal charms.
Following much research of primitive and ancient jewelry and objects,
Lou began creating his own versions of abstractly meaningful charms.
He aimed for a quiet harmony and strength of form with a
vital quality from nature itself. Water buffalo horn, lapis from Afghanistan,
ancient quartz “coins” from Africa, beach pebbles, shells, sterling silver
and bronze are among the materials used in his pieces.


Above, Left to Right, top row:

Above, Left to Right, bottom row:

Living in Indonesia, Lou worked for many years with
artisans to conserve jewelry and textile traditions (both batik and ikat).
The attar vine used in some of his jewelry pieces is also used in the weaving
of baskets and other containers, and the tradition is especially well
represented on the island of Lombok. He produced unique
examples of modern handicraft in various mediums using ancient techniques
and materials, working with living treasure artisans for several decades in
wide-ranging cultural groups around the Indonesian archipelago.
He is particularly known for his modern bold motifs both in his jewelry designs
and his batiks, where motifs range from images of rice paddies and
ivory beads, maps and numbers, to the dome of the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. In his collaboration on ikats we see the Tibetan Tiger
Rug and Northwest Coast American motifs.


Above, Left to Right:

Easily recognizable to collectors as Lou originals as, frankly, all his
jewelry is, his pendants and bracelets in particular with their earthy,
rustic vibe are enjoyed by yoga and meditation enthusiasts worldwide.
Sadly, Lou passed away several years ago, but has left a fairly
substantial collection behind; thus, we hope to enjoy his artistry for the
near future.  As always, we send our best regards to his friends and family.

Lou Zeldis