Arts and Entertainment

Art Hansen shows his iconic work at the Blue Heron

'Hansen Farm,' by Art Hansen
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Art Hansen, a celebrated Northwest artist who will have a show in March at Blue Heron Gallery, has deep Island roots.

One hundred years ago, Hansen's grandfather, Terkel Hansen, founded Vashon State Bank, which sat on the corner of Bank Road and Vashon Highway, the present-day site of U.S. Bank. (See related story on page 1.)

Terkel died the year that year that Art was born, but Art has has fond memories of visiting his grandmother's house on Vashon. The house still stands on Cove Road.

In 1963, the artist built his own house in the Lisabuela neighborhood of Vashon, and he's been here ever since.

The artist's longtime love affair with nature, combined with his innate ability to create what art critics have called "visual poetry," has resided at the core of his work for more than fifty years.

In all that time, Hansen said he doesn't recall a time when he didn't have a sketch pad in hand, and he feels thankful to have spent so many years doing the thing he loves most — drawing and painting.

Throughout March, Hansen's watercolors, etchings and lithographs, including six new pieces and several pieces never publically shown, will grace Blue Heron Gallery's walls. The opening reception for the show will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 6, with live music by Island pianist, Maggie Laird, and complimentary refreshments.

The exhibit will be augmented by a special one-day-only sale of Hansen's prints on March 7.

The work on display in the gallery exhibit and print sale includes imagery of a single exquisite red poppy, asparagus spears emerging from rich, dark soil, a beloved red barn and a sunset view, with fir trees profiled in the foreground and Olympic peaks jutting from the horizon.

Known for his etchings as much as for his articulate, fine-lined lithographs and bold watercolors, Hansen's work is included in the Smithsonian Associates Art Collectors Program, and has been seen in many regional galleries including the Davidson Galleries.

"Art Hansen embodies all that I admire in an artist," said Blue Heron curator and Hansen's long-time friend, Janice Mallman. "His humility is coupled with his very passionate lifelong commitment to his art."

Mallman is especially appreciative that Hansen has generously offered all proceeds from the exhibit to benefit Vashon Allied Arts.

"Art is truly one the most generous people I have ever met," said Mallman. "We so appreciate his generosity, especially in this challenging financial climate when VAA has lost so much of our arts funding."

She added that VAA will be able to continue offering quality arts programming with the funds generated from Hansen's gallery exhibit and print sale.

Hansen, who will soon celebrate his 80th birthday, says he will continue to draw and paint as long as his hands allow. He refers to a tall stack of sketch books, brimming with detailed drawings that provide inspiration for past and new work.

"I have to look a long time to find something that interests me, or a view," he said. "I'm always looking for a view."

Art Hansen Exhibit and Print Sale

The exhibition of Art Hansen watercolors, etchings and lithographs will have an opening reception at Blue Heron Gallery at 6 p.m Friday, March 6.

A one-day sale of his prints will take place from 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 7 at the Blue Heron Gallery.

The sale will offer about 140 unframed, unmatted etchings.

Frame of Mind owner Donna Kellum has offered a 15% discount on framing for all prints purchased at the print sale.

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