New art exhibits open this week on Vashon. Don’t miss the annual group show by the longtime, beloved Barnworks Collective, and find fresh insight at Vashon Center for the Art’s exhibit, called “Collective Power.”
Barnworks, showing staying power, is back
Barnworks’ artists will present their annual reunion show at The Hardware Store Restaurant Gallery, running from April 2 to April 28.
The group has been painting together and showing together for more than 30 years. Ten artists remain in this legendary group: Sharon Munger, Janice Wall, Ilse and Hartmut Reimnitz, Jon Eric Schafer, Geri Peterson, Donna Botten, Rose Belknap, Mary Hodgins and Jayne Quig.
Their lovely, timeless work will remain up at the gallery until April 28.
At VCA: Collective Power: Earth Systems Through the Female Vision
Collective Power, is a group show of women figurative and artists and their expression of natural forms and figures, will open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 3, at Vashon Center for the Arts.
Each artist brings their own style of art, influenced by their diverse backgrounds and their varied expressions of connection to organic systems, body, and nature. A common thread is their concern about climate change, the environment and keeping a traditionally feminine connection to nature’s organic flow.
Carol Rashawnna Williams is a Seattle-based interdisciplinary artist who makes work that engages audiences in conversations about social, environmental and racial justice. Throughout her practice, Williams contends that the only way to shift race relations and understand climate change is through collective imaginings and re-imaginings of equitable relationships to the land, animals and resources.
Her mixed media encaustics juxtapose abstract designs of trees with realistic renditions of endangered birds. Williams’ figurative drawings focus on trees which she calls, “The elders.”
“The trees have been here for centuries,” Williams said. “They provide us with life – food, shelter, ecosystem. I think of all they have witnessed in the comings and goings of the world. Just because they don’t have a verbal language we can understand doesn’t mean they don’t experience life.”
Devon Midori Hale is a painter, muralist, teaching artist, interdisciplinary collaborator, and community-engaged public artist. Her multi-panel curtain-type installation called “Forest Bath” is inspired by a forest bath (shinrin-yoku) — the therapeutic practice of taking in the forest atmosphere with our senses. This healing concept combines with monumental figures, inviting viewers to soak their eyes in the beauty and awe of the large, powerful bodies, both of women and trees.
The feminine and natural world are often portrayed together throughout art history: women in gardens, women with flowers, women as nymphs, fairies, and sirens. Sydney M Pertl’s portraits, though created in the neoclassical style from which many of these types of works originate, draw from many different elements of nature: the foreign, dark, and mysterious.
Amaranta Ibarra-Sandys paintings are whimsical visual narratives depicting divine women showing strength, wisdom and beauty. Each one is surrounded by shiny gold, which in many cultures is a symbol of power, divinity and immortality. Ibarra-Sandys’ artwork embraces duality, nature cycles, whimsical creatives, goddesses and guardians. Her art is influenced by the bright colors of her Mexican heritage blended with the beauty of nature in the Pacific Northwest.
The Story Hive Project, by Beverly Naidus, is a participatory installation. On display are a series of models for story hives which were created in 2010 for the project, “Eden Reframed: An Ecological and Community Art Project,” installed at the Burton Skate Park on Vashon.
The VCA installation continues the collection of stories for this new and relevant repurposing of the project. Visitors are invited to share their stories about how they have navigated the pandemic, what challenges they have faced and perhaps are continuing to face, and what positive things they imagine might emerge from this time. Paper is provided for visitors to write their stories which are then placed in the Story Hive for others to read. Visitors can feel free to read the stories that have been left behind.
Regular VCA Gallery hours are 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, with strict COVID protocols in place.