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'Flower Power': A new exhibit blooms at Silverwood
On a recent chilly afternoon, a steady stream of some of Vashon’s most well-known artists climbed the steps of Silverwood Gallery’s wide front porch, each bearing a colorful painting filled with images of flowers.
The bright yellow and white walls inside the gallery were bare. Soon, though, the space will be given over to images of flowers in every medium imaginable — a bouquet of visual arts that will include whimsical sculptures, colorful tiled and stone bird baths, delicately crafted jewelry, softly hued drawings and vibrant paintings.
It’s all part of something that happens on Vashon every other year — an invitational exhibit at Silverwood Gallery meant to show off the rich bounty of the Island’s creative output.
“It’s a huge undertaking,” said gallery owner Eric Heffelfinger, who was on hand to greet artists with a warm smile and collect their artworks. “The only other Island art exhibit that comes close to this is Vashon Allied Arts auction, but this has more artists.”
Participating artists were selected this summer by Heffelfinger and Margaret Tylczak, who are currently celebrating their 15th anniversary as Silverwood’s owners.
“We have a long list of all the artists on the Island, and we have a list of people who have requested to be involved,” Heffelfinger explained, adding that he and Tylczak sent invitations to more than 130 artists to participate in the show. Of those, 92 artists accepted.
All but a handful of the work in the show was created by Vashon artists, he said.
Silverwood’s invitational exhibits are distinctive because all of the work that is created for the shows is based on a common theme. Past invitationals have been explored the themes of salmon, bees, horses and crows. This year’s subject is “Flower Power.”
Sharon Munger, an Island artist who came to the gallery to drop off a pastel painting of blooming water lilies, said she had participated in several of Silverwood’s invitations and always enjoyed the experience of creating work for the show.
“It’s exciting and fun to see what fellow artists do,” she said.
Heffelfinger concurred. “It is so varied — 93 different artists’ perceptions of the same subject,” he said.
The show is one of Silverwood’s most well-attended events, often drawing visitors from the mainland. This year, Heffelfinger expects botanical groups to attend the show in droves.
“The other great thing about the show, from a patron’s perspective, is this is a buyer’s show,” he said, adding that all the works in the show will have affordable price tags, ranging from $150 to $1,500.
The show, which will run for two months, will have an opening reception this Friday that will feature a chance for patrons and artists alike to vote for their favorite piece in the show. The winner will receive $150.
“It’s the biggest party of the Island,” Heffelfinger promised, adding “every single invitational is the best ever — it just gets better and better.”
Silverwood Gallery is located in the historic Masonic building in Burton. An opening reception for the Flower Power Invitational exhibit will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.