Arts and Entertainment

VAA offers a peak at this year’s commissioned artist

An oil painting by Vashon artist Olivia Pendergast will be among the artwork included in VAA’s auction. - Courtesy Photo
An oil painting by Vashon artist Olivia Pendergast will be among the artwork included in VAA’s auction.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Vashon Allied Arts is gearing up for its annual art auction — a festive, two-night gala scheduled for Sept. 21 and 22.

Islanders can get a sneak peak at what will be offered at the auction on Friday evening, when VAA will hold an auction preview party, replete with a generous spread of hors d’ oeuvres and libations. The preview will also be on display during the First Friday art walk on Sept. 7.

Organizers hope the auction will raise more than $100,000 to support the local arts institution.

VAA is also in the midst of a capital campaign to raise millions of dollars for a new facility, but none of the auction proceeds will go toward that effort. Instead, funds will be earmarked toward providing scholarships to students who take classes at VAA, artist commissions, instructor fees and operational support for VAA programs.

Last year, the auction netted $115,000, which included $45,000 for the scholarship fund and  approximately $15,000 in artists’ commissions.

This year, local artists have been tapped to provide approximately 150 pieces of art for the auction, which will have a secret agent theme — “Bond with the Arts.”

Expect a suave, 1960s vibe in the big tent where the auction will be held and debonairly dressed arts patrons to be in attendance.

Following tradition, the auction will also shine a special spotlight on several local artists who have been commissioned to create original works for it.

This year’s commissioned artists — two painters, a furniture maker, a jewelry maker, a Native carver and a fine art bookmaker — run the gamut from long-time Islanders to more recent arrivals. What they all have in common is a deep dedication to their craft and many years of experience in their respective fields.

Painter Olivia Pendergast is a recent arrival to Vashon, but many Islanders are already familiar with her work — expressive, large-format oil paintings, many of which depict women and children she has met on her travels throughout the world. Pendergast also uses her artwork to raise consciousness about life in developing countries. She solicited donations for a children’s library in Malawi at one of her recent exhibits, and another show promoted “Forgetting Haiti,” a project aimed at keeping the plight of earthquake-ravaged Haitians in the minds of Seattle residents.

Israel Shotridge, an acclaimed Tlingit carver and artist, was born and raised in Alaska but has lived on Vashon for the past 15 years. Shotridge has completed a long list of commissions by the U.S. Forest Service, museums, parks, airports and corporate and private collectors to create totem poles, house screens, relief panels, masks, canoes, bentwood boxes and ceremonial objects. For the auction, he’ll create a work in silver.

Jayne Quig is well-known on the Island. She has been a long-time member of Barnworks, an artist cooperative space that is now celebrating its final season on the Island. Her favorite medium is pastels, though she is also known for her works in watercolor, colored pencils and pen and ink.

Brad Davis, a fine art woodworker, has been perfecting his craft for the past 35 years. He designs and builds one-of-a-kind furniture pieces as well as unique cabinetry for homes.

Don Glaister’s commissioned piece will draw from his storied career as a book artist. Glaister creates stunningly crafted, one-of-a-kind books structured around classical European binding traditions.



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