Islanders can take to the streets to celebrate the opening of new art exhibits — as well as Swiftwater, an exciting new, artist-run gallery — on Friday, Feb. 3. Here’s what’s happening.
Love and inspiration at PSCCU
Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union (PSCCU) will host its second annual Member Heart Art show beginning this Friday. The theme is “Art that shows what you love and treasure about life itself.”
The credit union will not host an opening reception this month but hopes to participate in the First Friday gallery cruise later this spring.
Swiftwater Gallery bows
Swiftwater Gallery, a new, 51-artist nonprofit collective in the former home of Gather Vashon, will open at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, with a grand opening ceremony slated for 6 p.m. The island’s unofficial mayor, Buddy the bulldog, will grace the event.
The vision of Swiftwater Gallery is to provide a marketplace for island artists working in diverse mediums to create fine arts and fine crafts marked by excellence and originality. Classes and workshops, taught by members and others in the expansive gallery space, will cover multiple art-related topics set to appeal to a broad community.
After Feb. 3, the gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
VALISE creates mystery
JiJi Saunders, of VALISE, said that the gallery would be doing something different this month. She then sent a photo of a sign now in VALISE’s window, advertising a new business called Zamfir’s, and this statement: “In February, VALISE has been transformed into a pawn shop/smoke shop.”
Islanders with long memories may recall Zamfir’s from when the gallery opened in March of 2009.
As the tall tale went, Ramos Zamfir, who had planned to open up Zamfir’s — a pawn shop and pay-day loan center in the heart of Vashon — was detained in Germany, presumably for attempting to smuggle luxury tobacco products out of the country. But in a remarkable turnaround, a group of artists — calling themselves VALISE, or Vashon Artists Linked in Social Engagement — opened a new gallery in the space in time for the next month’s gallery walk. Now, 14 years later, islanders will have to see how the tale unfolds this time around.
VCA: Re-imagining Quilts and Fiber
This month, Vashon Center for the Arts will host “Re-imagining Quilt & Fiber Art,” a show designed to introduce the new works and direction that fiber artists and quilters are exploring.
The exhibition includes a collection of 21 quilters from the Contemporary Quilt Art Association, a group quilt created by the Pacific Northwest African American Quilters, and a collection of politically inspired fiber art from Seattle artist Esther Ervin.
The Contemporary Quilt Art Association put a call out to their members for art that “pushes the envelope” of the methods and materials of art quilting. With the addition of non-traditional materials, these quilt artists continue to reinvent the form, creating a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes that are defined as quilts only because they are layered and stitched.
Esther Ervin’s current collection of work, in fiber, is mostly done with needle felting. The felt is cut out, and roving is worked in if shading is needed.
Sometimes, other materials are integrated into the work.
“Nkonsonkonson” (In Unity, There is Strength) is a large group quilt created by the Pacific Northwest African American Quilters that embodies the friendship and community the members of this group share.
The gallery will be open Friday, Feb. 3 for the gallery cruise between 5 and 8 p.m. The show will remain up until Feb. 26.
Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.
For more information, visit gallery.vashoncenterforthearts.org.