Editor’s Note: This occasional column, presented in partnership with Vashon Island Visual Artists (ViVA) re-introduces islanders to old and new friends in Vashon’s vibrant artistic community. This week, we hear about what sculptor and painter Cyra Jane Hobson has created in the era of coronavirus.
Cyra Jane Hobson is a multimedia artist who specializes in intricate, surreal stone sculpture and large fiery paintings.
She has been outfitting and working out of a stone carving studio at the Beall Greenhouses since 2015, and was in downtown Seattle for 13 years prior to that.
Pre-COVID, to support her studio practice, she taught stone carving at elementary schools in three neighboring counties and at Pratt in Seattle, worked as an associate book designer with Chatwin Books, directed Washington’s International Stone Sculptors Symposium each July, and juggled a few other roles as well.
Once the lockdown hit, and with nothing else to keep her sane, she carved “Chiffon” in white marble. Chiffon is an isolation maze, and was walked into intentionally to be carved out of.
“I wanted to try this pattern larger for years, but didn’t really want to jump into the subject matter,” she said. “Well, now, everyone was going through it, so it seemed like the time.”
She also commandeered an outdoor greenhouse space as a painting studio and made nine huge fire paintings that had originally been for a big First Friday dance party art walk night at Snapdragon and instead decorated the front cafe during June, just after they were able to reopen the bakery. She couldn’t keep those paintings around due to lack of storage space, but can’t wait to make something else big and celebratory once dance parties can happen again.