Wednesday, July 26, 2017

You're Invited: First Friday Artwalk, August 4, 2017

The Island Gallery is delighted to present a collection of new work from
Bainbridge Island artist Jen Till.  

Expanding Vistas

Jen Till

August 4 – 31, 2017

Opening Reception:

First Friday, August 4, 6-8 pm

In Concert on the Plaza:

The Tracie Marsh Band

About the Show:

In this collection Jen wields a loose brush, incorporating greater liquid and flow
into her paints, to pleasing effect.  Showing an easy familiarity with her medium -
oils on board and canvas - she continues to translate the beauty of her natural
surroundings into studies of landscapes and objects, creating gauzy, accessible,
yet highly personal works of emotion and memory.

About the Artist:

Jen Till spent her childhood years in a seaside village, Manchester-by-the-Sea,
Massachusetts, along the New England coast. Surrounded by the seasons during
her formative years led Jen to look to nature as the basis of all her work as a
painter today.  Inspired by her many creative family members, she was
fortunate to be entirely embraced in her budding love of art throughout childhood.
Jen went on to the Rhode Island School of Design where she studied Painting
and Textiles. After graduating, Jen moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where
she began to explore painting the vast landscape and light of the Southwest.
Eventually making her way to the West Coast, Jen now lives, paints, teaches
and works as a freelance textile designer on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

In some of my new work I have tried to paint more loosely and with more
liquid and flow in my paint.... all from emotion and memory.  I try to create
more beauty and light for our world and to connect inner feeling with the
things which inspire me visually. It is an effort to work intuitively and connect
to spirit. I enjoy this process of letting things just be as they are, on the canvas.
I am also just beginning to explore new ways to paint nature in smaller works by
bringing in objects such as trees, birds, flowers or a moon in an effort to tell a
painted story of the spirit of the forest.  I am fascinated and inspired by the
richness of my natural surroundings and the mysteries of life.

About the Musicians:

The Tracie Marsh Band

Tracie Marsh, a Seattle area native, has been a musician since she was five
years old. She holds a bass performance degree from Washington State
University and has traveled the world performing music of all styles. While
living in Boston, Tracie played in several bands and held the principal bass
position in The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. She also worked four
years aboard cruise ships playing for large productions and entertainers such as
The Platters, The Drifters and many other Las Vegas acts. Since moving to Poulsbo
in 2005, Tracie has been a busy bassist/singer performing in several music
projects, and studio session work.   Her current project, The Tracie Marsh Band,
plays jazz and adult contemporary music and has been described as a “wicked
combination of feel good music and a band that is devastatingly hip and talented”. 
 Recently, she has released a long-awaited CD called Reflections, featuring
some of the finest musicians in the Puget Sound region.

Also in August:
Four Birds.  Jacki Moseley

Established in 2002, The Island Gallery features internationally recognized artists 
whose work takes traditional art  forms in exciting new directions:  studio
furniture and sculpture;  museum quality textile art  and wearables;
 wood fired ceramics from the finest potters in America; paintings and
prints; and unique jewelry creations. Monthly exhibitions include live
musical concerts, featuring such genres as jazz, rock, folk, chamber music
and performance art.  This, along with its reputation for excellence, makes
The Island Gallery a destination spot on beautiful Bainbridge Island,
a short ferry ride from Seattle, and steps from the new
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

Contact Us/Visit:

Event Location: 

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

Underground parking is available at The Winslow off Ericksen Avenue.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 2017 Gallery Picks Newsletter

It is already July and we have wonderful summer treats for you!

In fact, as we gathered together this group of items and their artists, we felt rather humbled (though not surprised) by looking retrospectively at the remarkable and consistently long-term quality, and in many cases - such as Rana Helmi and Lou Zeldis - the sheer volume of work from the artists featured here.  We hope you enjoy seeing them, and will take the time to click on the accompanying links to view their other offerings, as well as their stories and personal journeys, on their Artist Pages. 

We have a marvelous show currently underway at the Gallery, running
through July 31st.  The work of three exceptional Bainbridge Island print
artists is on full, glorious display and has been very well received.  To see the
full prints, please click on the links below:

Above, from left:
Equivalent.  Pam Galvani.  Monotype
Lacey.  Jan Branham. Chine colle collagraph
Portal 7.  Shelley Minor.  Monoprint collagraph

Simiarly, to visit their individual artist pages for their
bios or to view more of their pieces:
Jan Branham, Pam Galvani, Shelley Minor

All three of these artists are connected to the new art community,
Bainbridge Artist Resource Network, or BARN.  (A fitting acronym
as our lovely little island is quite rural.)  And anyone who has spent time
on or near Bainbridge Island knows that it can fairly be described as Artist Central.

In fact, it is often said that you come here for the natural beauty of the place,
but stay when you suddenly discover that you're an artist.  Now, this is a bit
of a chicken and egg scenario - were we artists first, or did something in
the air or water or soil of this wonderful place soak through our pores and
suddenly we found ourselves dashing toward an easel, brush in hand?
Even after many years, the answer eludes us.

We don't know if the folks at BARN have figured it out either.
But if you have come to the realization that you, too, are an
artist, they might be able to help.  BARN is a non-profit organization whose mission
is to create and support a community of local artisans and makers via learning,
teaching, and inspiring each other with their skills.  Craft, their common
language, is therefore a magnet to bring people together to collaborate and
connect.  Besides printmaking (our fabulous print artist Renee Jameson, whose
work can be viewed in our online shop, was very active in setting up this department)
BARN's areas of focus include wood- and metal-working, fiber and kitchen arts,
technical, glass and jewelry arts, and even a writer's studio.

For further information, click here to visit their web site.

Silk Batik Tunic.  Rana Helmi/Lou Zeldis

Rana Helmi is one of The Island Gallery's first and most
admired textile artists.  Her eye for design and technical detail
is mind-boggling in its perfection and precision, and
a long collaboration with Lou Zeldis and his batik silks and cotton
fabrics has long produced eminently beautiful and wearable
clothing and accessory items.

Cotton Batik Vest.  Rana Helmi/Lou Zeldis

Rana was born in 1951 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her father was an
Indonesian diplomat and her mother was Turkish. She began moving
around the world from the age of nine months, attending schools in
various countries and various languages.  It was a life of continuous
discovery, a stream of new cultures and new views.

 A well-dressed mother was her first introduction to the fascinating
transformations that could be brought about by colors, shapes and fabrics.
Many childhood evenings were spent watching as she experimented
with different “looks,” mixing global fabrics, accessories and styles.
Years spent in London in the late ‘60s introduced me to a more daring
spectrum: there was an explosion of freedom and clothes were costumes
that mixed designs, textiles and art forms from all countries in the
world at any date in history. It was exhilarating, and dressing became a
means of escaping narrow confines, of participating in an open world.
In particular a Magritte exhibition at the Tate made a very strong
impact on the rebel in me: here was a way of putting things that
made one laugh instead of feeling frustrated and wound up.
My university years were spent in Provence, in the South of France –
limestone country with a strong play of light. During winter days,
the Mistral harrowed the atmosphere and the huge limestone mound
transformed into every shape, size, and color imaginable in the
space of a few minutes; during the long summer evenings, the
sun fell slowly like honey bringing the country to light. The
interplay of light and colors absorbed much of my time.
Years later, having moved to Bali, I had yet another important
formative experience: building my own house from scratch.
The months of agonizing over blending practicalities and aesthetics
introduced me to the creative aspect of construction, an intimacy
with a process that I had never experienced before.  It gave me new
perspectives. A sewing machine, a gift from my mother that I had
initially viewed with suspicion, suddenly offered new creative possibilities
to express all that I had learned and absorbed.

Silk and Cotton Batik Jacket.  Red Lotus
Another gorgeous piece, this silk and cotton jacket is fully reversible and pieced
with silk batik from Isnia of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. One of a kind, it was
created by Rana in collaboration with the artist community of Red Lotus,
a craft-art endeavor whose artists create beautiful textiles, wearable art, and
jewelry.  They are located in Yogyakarta, Java, and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Three-Seat Walnut Bench.  Carl Yurdin

Walnut.  Textile.  Stunning.

This bench, crafted by industrial artist Carl Yurdin, is truly a
gorgeous piece of craftsmanship.  We have come to expect functional, accessible
beauty in Carl's work, but with the addition of seat inserts created from Tom
Johnson's Ridge and Furrow textiles (see more about Tom Johnson here), we are
surprised once again!

What more is there to say?
Take another look:

We're speechless.
So we'll let Carl say a few words about his work:

Carl Yurdin, an artist from the industrial design world of the East Coast,
moved to Washington State, settling first on Orcas Island and now
here on Bainbridge Island, Washington.  In his process he strives to use
the keen balance of the industrial designer to highlight aspects of the natural
wood or incorporate it into a function of use, in order to convey the possibility
of nature, but also to bring a practical usability to each piece.

As an industrial designer for over fifty years, I have spent my whole career
designing products that expand the visual possibilities.  I have remained
committed to high design standards, balancing functionality, user requirements,
regulatory needs and overall aesthetics – for both highly consumer focused
products, as well as more industrial products.  My process is about
investing in the beauty of the wood and revealing what possibilities exist.
I don’t always know what will come out of a project when I start, but I
respect the materials I am working with ... Together, we figure it out.

Woven Fans.  Lou Zeldis
Is there anything - anything at all - created by the
incomparable Lou Zeldis that we DON'T like?
If there is, we haven't found it yet.

Lou's fans, including these woven ones made of attar vine, have
appeared in the Gallery from time to time over the years, to cool the
visages of many a fine island lady, and the frequent shocked tourist who arrives
in the Northwest in July in their mukluks and anoraks, to be faced with gorgeous
low-80s days, clear blue skies, and full sun.
Okay, we admit:  the place has a reputation for gloom and sog.
But even in our frequently drenched rainforest home, these fans fit right in -
for example, set atop their specially made (here on Bainbridge Island by metal
artist Patrick Clanton) black steel display bases, where they pop rather
beautifully and wait, optimistically, for the next break in the fog.
So really, what could be better than something fully functional yet
pure art, and close to hand even in full display mode?

Nothing.  We love them.

But of course we do - Lou made them, after all.

Visit Lou's many styles of art - Textiles, Jewelry, and Fiber Sculpture -
by clicking on these links.

Flower Vase.  Robin Hominiuk
How lovely!  Summery, useful, the product of heat and heart and
excellent design skills.  Did we mention useful?  How overflowing
is your garden with flowers these days?  No problem, we have plenty
of beautiful vases and containers for you, beginning with these
from our amazing ceramic artist Robin Hominiuk.

Seattle, Washington artist Robin was born in Canada and moved
to the United States in 1998.  In addition to the beautiful functional pots
she produces from her studio kiln, she also creates pottery and
sculpture for wood firing.

A lump of clay is a seductive thing - it is the beginning of a journey, an exploration
of possibilities.  My clay work is inspired by many things, from the practical
considerations of the everyday utilitarian - the plate-cup-bowl… that you envision
and know will give joy in its function and beauty, to the natural world that
surrounds us, like the softly rounded water-etched rocks that are formed by the river...

The majority of my work is wood fired in kilns based on ancient Japanese and
Korean designs. These are large tunnel shaped kilns ... fired upwards
of 70 hours, fueled only with wood and the hard work of fellow potters...
 the outcome is always unpredictable.  In these types of firings, there are
no guarantees - you surrender your expectations and control to the kiln.  

 Pottery fired in the intense wood-fire method is transformed by
flame and ash; the colors and marks cannot be replicated or produced
in any other way.

All these lovely pieces have recently arrived in the Gallery.  We're delighted to
add that Robin is about to send us even more, so for all you wood-fired ceramic
aficionados - especially those of you with overflowing flower beds -
we recommend that you keep an eye on the Ceramics: Wood Fire
section of the shop.

These and other pieces appear on her Artist's Pages; simply click on the link for
easy viewing of Robin's latest, and her full bio.

Double Hanging Pendant, Aqua & White.  Alice Taylor
Brand new to the Gallery, adornments that simply say Summer:
Beautiful beach glass jewelry.

These pieces, crafted by Northwest jeweler Alice Taylor, are quite
beautiful and perfect with a warm-weather ensemble.  Making her home
by Puget Sound, she personally collects each piece of her sea-gems herself
from Washington State's beaches before surrounding them in precious metals,
most specifically sterling silver.  There is no mechanical tumbling or shaping
involved: the glass is naturally tumbled by the surf, making it genuine sea glass.

Double Bezel Ring, Cola & White.  Alice Taylor

Surf-tumbled sea glass becomes more rare each day. Since the 1960s, cities
no longer dump their garbage into the sea and individuals litter far less. Due
to our enlightened environmental practices, sea glass dwindles with each piece found.
The pieces Alice finds are tumbled naturally for 60 to 120 years against large rocks
and pebbles. Each piece of glass likely has a long history as a functional object
in someone’s home and then an even longer history in the water.

 Left:  Double Hanging Pendant, Yellow & White
Right:  Double Hanging Pendant, Cola & White
Alice was an Arts Administrator for 25 years, most recently managing the
Public Art Program for Washington State Arts Commission.

See more of Alice's lovely jewelry items, and her full bio, here.

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Thanks so much for visiting.  We'll be back with the next Newsletter soon!