Arts Briefs | April 18 edition

Haiku Fest, Korean Folk Meets Western Jazz, Calls for Art, and more.

Haiku Fest

The annual glory of Mukai Farm & Garden’s Haiku Festival — with haikus placed among the exquisite blooms and spring foliage of the Mukai property — will be officially unveiled at an awards ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Mukai, 18017 107th Ave SW.

At the event, Haiku Festival competition winners in numerous categories will be announced by poet, previous winner, and contest judge Ann Spiers, and there will be readings by famed poets Shin Yu Pai and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma.

Shin Yu Pai, the current Civic Poet of Seattle, is a writer, host, and producer of “Ten Thousand Things” — a chart-topping podcast on Asian American stories for KUOW Public Radio, Seattle’s NPR affiliate station. The show has won two Golden Crane Awards from the Asian American Podcasters Association and a silver prize from the Signal Awards. The author of 13 books, she has recently published a haiku comic book, “Less Desolate.” Her work has appeared in publications throughout the U.S., Japan, China, Taiwan, the UK, and Canada.

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, a beloved resident of Vashon and teacher, magician, poet, and author, recently published a translation of a classical Tamil masterpiece on ethics, power and love.

More Haiku Festival details can be found at

Korean Folk Meets Western Jazz

Jazz lovers and world music enthusiasts can step into the world of SE:UM, a powerhouse quintet of Western jazz and Korean folk music virtuosos, at a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, at Vashon Center for the Arts.

The band uses traditional Korean percussion and stringed instruments (such as the gayageum and janggu) alongside traditional jazz instruments such as sax, trumpet, and bass to create boundary-breaking music.

SE:UM has enjoyed a meteoric rise in Korea after their debut album in 2015. Now touring across continents, the group has broken musical barriers, diving into diverse collaborations that redefine innovation in music.

SE:UM is led by award-winning Joon Lee (gayageum, Korean percussion, music director), Jaeha Lee (contrabass and electric bass), Jongsang Park (trumpet, flugelhorn), Minhyung Lee (Korean percussion, voice), and Hachul Song (alto and soprano saxophones).

Get tickets and find out more at

Swiftwater Gallery workshops

Swiftwater Gallery has two workshops coming up: island artist Yulia Ivaschenko will teach “Texture and Decoration in Wet Felting” on April 27, and Robyn Smith will teach “Drawing in the Spring Garden” on May 19. All details, including explanatory photos, can be found at

Calls for Art

The Outstanding In Its Field Gallery has announces the themes for upcoming 2024 shows, when it will host live music in the “party pasture” on First Fridays, and each show will benefit an island nonprofit.

The theme for June is “Buds and Bugs II,” looking at the beauties of the garden and benefiting the Vashon Garden Club. In July, “In the Swim” will explore aquatic life, and benefit the Vashon Nature Center. In August, “On the Wing” will celebrate flights of fancy, and benefit the Vashon Audubon Society. In September, “Into the Woods” will feature art with themes of forest flora and fauna, benefiting Vashon Land Trust. And in October, “Autumn Magic” will feature work ranging from the natural to the mythical, benefiting the Vashon Library.

Contact for more information.

Vashon Center for the Arts (VCA) also has issued two calls for art.

The first is for art donations for VCA’s June fundraising event “The Secret Garden,” with a deadline of Tuesday, May 14, at midnight.

For this art sale, VCA welcomes art inspired by gardens and nature.This includes art incorporating flora, fauna, forest, sea, animal, and even mythical elements like fairies or dragons. This theme-based installation ties in with VCA’s Garden Tour. For more information and a procurement form, visit online.

VCA also seeks art for its 7th annual Summer Arts Fest, with a deadline of May 31.

VCA welcomes both novice and experienced local artists to show their work. This year’s Fest opens July 5 and runs through September 1. For more information and to apply, visit online.

Joan Wortis show

Revered island artist Joan Wortis retrospective show,” “Found Forms: Celebrating a Lifetime of Art,” will run at ArtXContemporary Gallery, 512 1st Ave. S, in Seattle until April 20.

Featuring works spanning over three decades, the exhibit showcases Wortis’ evolution as an artist, from bold monotype collages to elegantly folded textile wall-sculptures. Inspired by her careers in modern dance, hand-weaving, and commercial textile design, Wortis infuses her artwork with a captivating blend of movement, texture, and emotion.