Take an art walk to celebrate the First Friday of June.
VIVA members strut their stuff in two locations
June’s First Friday art walk will be notable for the opening of a Vashon Island Visual Artists (VIVA) members’ exhibition in two locations — The Hardware Store Restaurant Gallery and Gather Vashon. Both venues will boast an all-star cast of 100 island painters, photographers, potters, sculptors and others who are among VIVA’s 178 current members.
This exhibit is a coming-out party for VIVA, which was formed in February when the board of the Vashon Island Art Studio Tour voted to change the group’s name and expand its purpose. VIVA plans to offer a slew of new member services, including year-round exhibits, workshops and other educational offerings.
Kristin Reitz-Green, an island painter who is the curator of the members’ show, was active in the formation of VIVA. As a former classical musician who belonged to professional music guilds and unions, ReitzGreen said she felt it was important for artists on Vashon to have a collective voice.
“We are a huge part of this community,” she said, adding that the inclusion of so many members in the group’s first show “speaks to the depth of the arts on this island.”
Every artwork in the show, she said, will have a photo of the artist who created it beside the work, so that islanders can make a direct connection between the creators and the creation of art on Vashon.
“People see us all the time,” she said. “We’re everywhere.”
Landscapes by local artists, Pride show and student work at Vashon Center for the Arts
“Vista,” another notable group exhibition at VCA’s Koch Gallery, will bring together seven contemporary Vashon artists to explore the notion of landscape and perspective in different media. Artists are Ted Kutscher, Janice Wall, Terry Donnelly, Eddy Radar, Jon-Eric Schafer, Michael D. Maher and Rose Belknap. Another VCA lobby show marks LGBT Pride month with “In Your Face: Portraits of Bold Women” by Kate Thompson. In a statement about the exhibit, Thompson explained the impetus for the show. “Of the many communities I live in, smart, adventurous gay women are my floor. They keep me honest, grounded and relatively sane. I wanted to return that gift.” Also in the lobby, there will be an exhibit of work by 50 McMurray Middle School students who worked with island photographer Ray Pfortner in a Vashon Artists in Schools residency, learning photography and encaustic techniques.