Miya Sukune’s artwork, “Get Together,” is included in VCA’s Summer Arts Fest (Courtesy Photo).

Miya Sukune’s artwork, “Get Together,” is included in VCA’s Summer Arts Fest (Courtesy Photo).

Summer Arts Fest and portrait show set to open in July

The island’s arts scene is gearing up for the summer.

The First Friday gallery cruise is inching back as an in-person thing in July, with the evening public opening of the third-annual Summer Arts Fest at Vashon Center for the Arts, and an afternoon public opening of an exhibition of portraits of influential islanders by painter Pam Ingalls opening at The Hardware Store Restaurant Gallery.

Islanders should also note that Gather Vashon, a shop that sells a wide variety of art made by islanders, re-opened on June 18, with a wide range of safety protocols in place. New regular business hours for the shop are 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday, with private shopping, by appointment only, available from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Mondays. For more information, email customercare@gathervashon.com or visit gathervashon.com.

VCA’s Summer Arts Fest

Vashon Center for the Arts will open its annual two-month Summer Arts Fest on Friday, July 3, with rotating shows continuing through Saturday, August 29. The festival will showcase and sell artwork by more than 70 Vashon visual artists in 35 solo and collaborative exhibitions.

“The Summer Arts Fest is the ultimate celebration of Vashon artists,” says Lynann Politte, gallery director at VCA. “Within this two-month period, you can see the diversity of the artistic talent on Vashon.”

Vashon Summer Arts Fest is a festival open to all Vashon-based artists. Each artist is given a three-week show and a designated wall or floor space “mini-gallery” on which to display their art. The fest continues to roll out its rotation with five Friday openings where visitors can see new art and meet the artists.

The festival will kick off with an opening at 6 p.m. Friday, July 3. COVID-19 protocols are in place: masks and social distancing are required, and the number of visitors in the gallery will be limited at any given time. New VCA Gallery hours are: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Friday openings, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., will take place on July 3, July 17, July 24, Aug. 7 and Aug. 14.

“When I met with a group of interested artists and told them about the idea of having the arts fest now during this uncertain time, they were overwhelmingly enthusiastic,” said Politte. “Artists are creating large bodies of work during their stay at home, and they want to show it. VCA feels that art is vital during challenging times. Our mantra since the shutdown has been, “Art Endures” and Vashon artists are our inspiration. They are showing up and showing us that art really does endure.”

To find out more about the Summer Arts Fest, visit vashoncenterforthearts.org.

‘Facing Our Local Heroes’ at Hardware Store

Oil portraits of more than 70 islanders, by Pam Ingalls, will grace the walls of The Hardware Store Restaurant Gallery in July, with an afternoon opening for the show set for 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, July 3. The show will continue through the month for islanders who wish to view it in-person with social distancing and masks required. To see the show online, visit pamingalls.com.

Ingalls, whose oil paintings are well-known and much sought-after on Vashon, took to social media in January to ask islanders to nominate local heroes for her to paint. This show is the result of that effort.

An oil portrait of local music legend Ron Hook is included in Pam Ingall’s show, “Facing Our Local Heros,” at The Hardware Store Restaurant Gallery (Courtesy Photo).

An oil portrait of local music legend Ron Hook is included in Pam Ingall’s show, “Facing Our Local Heros,” at The Hardware Store Restaurant Gallery (Courtesy Photo).

“I collected short videos of the heroes who agreed to have their portrait painted, and got started on painting the show,” Ingalls said. “Then the pandemic happened. Not only were there even more heroes to paint — like healthcare workers and first responders — but I had many months quarantined alone in my studio with these uplifting faces to keep me company. The portraits definitely don’t depict all the heroes on Vashon Island. But the project has connected me to everyday people that I probably would never have met. There’s even a goat portrait! They’ve kept me going these long, quiet months — reminding me that we’re all in this together.”

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