Arts Briefs | May 16 edition

Student Art Showcase, Country queens, Poetry readings, tu-NER at Open Space, and more.

Student Art Showcase

A showcase of artworks by Vashon High School students will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 17, at Vashon High School.

The exhibition will feature a light dinner and dessert served to those who attend, as well as musical performances by students. In addition to viewing art, attendees can take tours of art classrooms to see how the art is made.

Stick around to attend the opening night performance of the high school’s production of “Museum,” at 7:30 p.m. that evening in Vashon High School Theater. (See article, page 7.)

Country queens

Islander Debra Heesch will present a trifecta of female country talent — Jenny Don’t & the Spurs, Kimmi Bitter & the Western Twang, and Miller Campbell — at a show at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Open Space for Arts & Community. Find out more and get tickets at

Dance with your daughter

A beloved local tradition, the Vashon Daughter’s Dance, will take place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at Vashon Center for the Arts (VCA). An optional dinner, catered by chef Chantel Jackson, will be served at 5:30 p.m.

Find out more about the event and purchase tickets at

Poetry readings

Local poet Sandra Noel will share work from her newly released, third full-length poetry collection “What the Pain Left,” with readings from fellow Vashon poet Katy E. Ellis, at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Vashon Bookshop.

Noel’s new book chronicles her and her late husband’s rich life together — their love for each other, the sea, and marine science. Both Noel and Ellis write from personal experiences with gratitude, a love of nature, and self-awareness that keep their poems honest and truly form the heart. Their books will be available for purchase and signing.

Noel works as an illustrator and graphic designer, developing award-winning environmental education posters, brochures, exhibits, and interpretive signs. She served as Vashon Island Poet Laureate for 2022-23. Her poems have appeared in several journals, five chapbooks, and two full-length poetry books, “Love, Island” and “Hawk Land.”

Ellis is the author of the novel-length prose poem, “Home Water, Home Land,” and three chapbooks: “Night Watch,” winner of the Floating Bridge chapbook competition, “Urban Animal Expeditions” and “Gravity,” a single poem also nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Find out more about her work at

tu-NER at Open Space

Formerly of King Crimson and Stick Men, tu-NER is a trio of musicians — Trey Gunn, Markus Reuter, and Pat Mastelotto —who will bring their trademark fusion of rock, jazz, progressive music, and other genres to a show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

The concert will include the trio’s original music and also honor the music they have created over the past two decades in King Crimson and other notable music endeavors.

Get advance tickets at for $25. Tickets are free for all youth 18 and younger. Tickets at the door for others, on the night of the show, will be “pay what you can” unless the show is sold out.

Venus and the Vixens

“Venus and the Vixens: Games of Love” — a Vashon-born production of interactive and immersive theater, will run from May 30 to June 16, at Emerald City Trapeze Arts, 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, playful surprises, and the heart-pumping music of an all-female disco-rock band.

The show is produced by Vashon-based EnJoy Productions, helmed by Kevin Joyce and Martha Enson. Enson, who conceived, wrote, and directed the show, is part of a creative team that includes composer Sari Breznau and choreographer Shadae Simone.

Find out more about the show and get tickets at

Joyce and Enson are also encouraging islanders to volunteer in several front-of-house positions for the show — sign up at the same website and get free tickets to the show.