Vashon Summer Arts Fest, at Vashon Center for the Arts, is opening a new collection of shows at 6 p.m. Friday, July 24, at the arts center. Safety protocols in place for the in-person art exhibit mandate mask-wearing and social distancing of six feet from others not in your group.
The new work on display will include watercolors, paintings, paper cut images, and mixed media work.
Vladimir Luna will exhibit abstract paintings with mostly literary, addressing philosophical, historical, mythological themes, often with a focus on questioning the human condition.
Luna said, in a recent profile published by Vashon Island Visual Artists, that the COVID-19 pandemic had given him time to explore new media, and that he had received a recent invitation to exhibit at M.A.D.S. Milano, in Italy, and at the Superfine Art Expo in Seattle next year.
Originally Luna’s artistic training was oriented towards music, when he studied at the Superior School of Music in Durango and then entered The Baja California Orchestra Conservatory and the Hispano-American Institute of Guitar in Tijuana, México.
Two years later, in 2003, he changed music for painting in a self-taught way, analyzing techniques with prominent painters in British Columbia.
Although his work is inclined towards abstraction, he sometimes integrates figurative elements, using sand, construction materials, clay, paper and metal, among others. He said he is influenced by the Argentine and Spanish Informalism movement, the German neo-expressionism of Anselm Kiefer and other post-war painters including Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud.
Another painter, Jeff Good, a returning artist for the Summer Arts Fest, will also show watercolor landscape, along with new Arts Fest participant Jeanne Marie Thomas, who will also show watercolor art. Their work will be joined with paintings by Karen Fox, Brette Flora, Kate Munson, Marc Pease, Carole Meriam and Mary Rothermel.
Newcomer Danny Kopsak will bring a series of hand-cut black paper silhouettes. Pamela Wickard, who exhibited at last summer’s arts fest after having just moved to Vashon, is returning now with new mixed media work.
Michelle Friars’ carbon pencil work was created in the days after her father’s death last summer. Grieving and exhausted, she retreated to her studio not having a clear idea of what to work on, she said.
“I began to idly sketch on scraps of paper and odd little forms quickly emerged,” Friars said.
This was new to her because her work is usually large and figurative. However, these new forms, she said, “had a mystery and melancholy that resonated … They came to feel like companions in grief with a silent, unarticulated narrative, bearing witness and validating the sadness. The inspiration ended as suddenly as it began. They had served their purpose; the series was complete.”
In addition to these new shows, work by Morgan Brig, Patricia Wronsky, Steven Caldwell and Shawn Nordfors, whose shows opened last week, will also still be on display.
The Summer Arts Fest features 70 Vashon artists through July and August. Gallery hours are 12 to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Thursday evening visits, by appointment, are also available. Visit vashoncenterforthearts.org for more information.