First Friday gallery cruise beckons art lovers to step out

New artwork on display at VALISE, VCA and more.

Inch by inch, a big show comes back to VALISE

In November and December, VALISE Gallery will present its annual “5 x 5 Show,” with a reception from 6 to 9 pm. Friday, Nov. 5. The show, stuffed with more than 250 works, can also be previewed Friday afternoon.

This will be the eighth year that VALISE members will show their tiny masterworks, experiments, and musings. All the members of VALISE Artist Collective have been busy in their studios putting the final touches on paintings, collages, and assemblages that measure just 25 square inches.

The artists include Gregory Burnham, Dot Cherch, Bill Jarcho, Jesse Johnson, Pascale Judet, Corinne Lightweaver, Rachel Lordkenaga, Robert Passig, Jiji Saunders, Sharon Shaver, Hita von Mende, George Wright and Lenard Yen.

What can be done in such an exquisitely small area? Robert Passig is painting erratic boulders and Jiji Saunders is painting the wind.

“The whole of Vashon is a pile of glacial detritus, but it is the erratic boulders that attract my attention,” Passig said. “I can’t help but wonder, where did that come from? How long did it take to get here? And, when only a sliver of the boulder is showing, I love to imagine what’s below.”

Jiji Saunders was inspired by the recent windstorms.

“I was in my studio painting small landscapes. As the wind outside picked up speed, I started to see the gale emerge in my work,” she said.

All works in the show are priced at $75.

“This is a great opportunity to get a jump on your holiday shopping and support local artists,” said Saunders. “VALISE artists won’t be having any supply chain disruptions.”

During November and December, VALISE Gallery will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Paintings, Bronzes and a Prayer fill VCA

In November, Vashon Center for the Arts’ galleries will be filled with three shows: a new collection of paintings by Brian Dempsey, bronze work by Bill Dilley, and extra-large paintings inspired by a Jewish prayer, by Donald Cole.

These shows will open with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, and run through Nov. 28. Regular gallery hours are 12 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Dempsey’s new collection, “Moment and Mystery,” are narrative artworks that still contain ambiguity, drawing viewers back and forth between subject matter and a field of colors and shapes.

Bill Dilley, an established Northwest artist, creates work that spans from oils and canvas to bronze and cherry wood, from huge totems to easily accessible paintings. His inspiration is found in nature, family and dreams.

In his collection at VCA, “Rockmen and More,” Dilley will show bronze figures combined with natural stone. Added to these are other bronze pieces that can withstand Pacific Northwest weather as year-round garden art.

Thirty years ago, while attending a bar mitzvah, Donald Cole picked up a prayer book and randomly opened up to a page with the following words: Send help to the falling and healing to the sick. Bring freedom to the captive. Keep faith with those who sleep in the dust.”

These words from the Amidah, the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy, inspired Cole to paint four very large abstract paintings, over the next five years — each inspired by one of the prayer lines, over the next five years.

“As I painted them, I realized they were becoming my standing prayer,” Cole said.

These four art pieces have never been shown together as a series. VCA will exhibit them each with the prayer line that inspired the painting, and also celebrate Donald turning 91 this year — 31 of those years as a resident of Vashon. His prolific art career spans 60 years.

Also running through November in VCA’s gift shop, located in the art center’s atrium, is a show of work by members of Vashon Island Visual Artists (ViVA). Those with work on display include John Woodard, Bill Jarcho, Sally Shivers, Nancy Scott-Wienker, Roxy Hathaway, Carolyn Candy, Gale Lurie, Susan Gross, Krissy Soltman, Lynanne Raven, Lin Holley, Margaret Smith, Gail Hapeman, Jeanne Marie Thomas, Mike Darr, Shawn Gateman and Laura Clampitt.

Vin Olio Gallery

Vin Olio Gallery will be showing eight new works by Richard Lipke for the month of November, with additional works by Regina Terhune and Allison Crain Trundle. A reception will take place on the evening of Friday, Nov. 5.

The Country Store hosts an exhibit

“Opposites Attract,” an exhibition of artwork by Tamara Hahn and Jon-Eric Schafer, will open at the Country Store & Farm, 20211 Vashon Highway SW., from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5. For more information, visit

Microscopic heroes still on display at credit union

Vashon Island GreenTech and The Whole Vashon Project’s photo exhibition of various plankton has been extended until Nov. 15, in the lobby of Puget Sound Community Credit Union. The exhibit can be seen until 5 p.m. on First Friday, and at other times during the regular business hours of the credit union. The show is aimed at illustrating the dramatic importance of plankton in maintaining the earth’s climate, and how plankton are responsible for more than 50% of the earth’s oxygen.