Arts Briefs | Feb. 1 edition

Venus The Vixens, Ron Artis II and Family, Jazz in the Atrium, Golden Oldies Players, and more.

Venus & The Vixens

Join Martha Enson and Kevin Joyce, of EnJoy Productions, as they kickstart and preview their latest creation, “Venus & The Vixens,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

The free evening will include games, food and drink for purchase from Ruby Brink, and performances.

“Venus & The Vixens” is an interactive rock musical, conceived and directed by Enson, that will run from May 30-June 16 at Emerald City Trapeze, in Seattle. It’s a fresh take on the mythological tale of Cupid and Psyche’s epic love story, filled with games of chance, aerial flourishes, physical challenges, and playful surprises.

RSVP for the free, Feb. 1 preview of the show at Open Space at, and find out more about the show here.

Ron Artis II and Family

A Vashon favorite, Ron Artis II and his band will perform in a concert presented by Debra Heesch at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at Vashon Theatre.

Artis, a Hawaiian musician inspired by deep Delta blues, gospel, northern soul and R&B, moved to Oahu with his family when he was four years old. He was one of 11 children, all of whom grew up immersed in a creative and religious household led by his musically gifted parents.

He has performed and collaborated with Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Jack Johnson, Jake Shimabukuro, Booker T Jones, Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce), and G Love, among others.

With four studio albums, 60+ songs, thousands of flights, and shows in 15 countries, Artis and his family band continue to find inspiration in sharing music with live audiences.

“To me, music is about giving,” said Artis. “When I’m performing, I let go of everything. I look out into an audience and feel: ‘What do they need right now?’ We as artists have been given a gift and gifts are meant to be shared.”

General admission tickets to the show are $20. Purchase tickets in advance at

Jazz in the Atrium

Vashon Center for the Arts’ popular jazz series, “Jam in the Atrium” hosted by Bruce Phares, kicks off its 2024 run from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at Vashon Center for the Arts.

The inaugural jam of 2024 will feature one of Vashon’s favorite jazz pianists, Jeremy Bacon.

Born into a jazz family, Bacon’s uncle was a founder of the fabled Riverside Records label, recording greats such as Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Sonny Rollins, Blue Mitchell, and Kenny Dorham.

He has performed with many jazz legends on stages including the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Minton’s of Harlem, 55 Bar, and the Blue Note.

This performance will be a special trio, with esteemed drummer Stefan Schatz and Phares on bass. This year, the Jam will be presented on the first Saturday of each month. Performances are free to the public, with donations welcomed.

Golden Oldies Players

Island author Jeanie Okimoto has penned a new play, “Walter’s Muse,” based on her 2012 novel of the same name, that will have a free staged reading at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Bethel Church.

Okimoto described the play, set on Vashon, as “an old people’s romantic comedy,” while adding that she guessed “seniors” might sound better.

The play — complete with ukulele-playing parts claimed by Joe Okimoto and Bill Kirschner — has a cast made up entirely of Vashon actors and musicians in the 70s and 80s, an ensemble Okimoto (who is 81) has dubbed “The Golden Oldies Players.”

The company also includes Patricia Kelly, who helped Okimoto develop the play, Rich Wiley, Gretchen Neffenger, Marjon McDermott, and Peter Kreitner.

Okimoto’s novel, “Walter’s Muse,” is now on sale at Vashon Bookshop, with proceeds benefitting Vashon Senior Center.

Hank and Audrey

“Still In Love With You,” a play about the tumultuous marriage of county music legend Hank Williams and Audrey Williams, will be presented by Vashon Repertory Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9 and 10, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Grange Hall, located at 10365 Cowan Road.

Filled with 16 songs from Hank’s incomparable songbook, the show stars John Whalen as Hank, Jennifer Potter as Audrey, and Tami Brockway Joyce as Audrey’s daughter, Lucrecia. The play, by Randy Noojin, is an adaptation of Lucrecia’s book by the same name, recounting her whirlwind life as a child with the couple.

A post-performance discussion, facilitated by the DOVE Project’s director, Heidi Jackson, will take place after the show on Sunday.

Purchase tickets here.

Get up and dance

Square dance to live music from the island band Frog Holler, at a monthly dance session at The Coop, at 15245 115th Ave SW. The next session will take place from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, with a square dancing lesson from 3:30-4 p.m. A $10 donation is requested, to benefit Vashon HouseHold. Kids 12 and younger are free. For more information, email

Islanders can keep on moving to the music at three different dance class series taught by Nomadic Dance founder Sarah Howard, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

“Island Rhythm” — exploring the moves of salsa, cha cha, samba, reggaeton and more — will take place from 6-6:55 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 13-27, at $75 per person. “Lead & Follow 101 — covering the basics of movement with a partner — will take place from 6-6:55 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 7-21, and costs $150 per couple. “Cabaret Choreography,” from 6-6:55 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 5-19, is a three-week series for beginners to learn choreographed moves. The full series costs $75.

For more information and to register, email or join the Facebook group, Vashon Dance Squad.

The art of presentation

Local printmaker Brian Fisher will teach “The Art of Presentation” from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Swiftwater Gallery, 17600 Vashon Hwy SW. There is a $25 fee for the class.

With an emphasis on archival methods, Fisher will present professional standards for preparing 2D art for display. When followed, these standards will enhance the artwork’s overall presentation and viewers’ experience of the work, and make the artwork easier to install.

Sign up online at, or in person at the gallery from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.