The longtime and joyous tradition of Vashon’s First Friday gallery cruise is slowly and cautiously returning, with galleries enforcing strict safety protocols including required masking and social distancing. Arts spaces also restrict entry, based on their size, to small numbers of visitors at a time, and most to do not offer public bathroom facilities.
Art awaits those who wish to venture out, but please, take care in all public places as cool weather returns, as cases of the novel coronavirus have ticked up on Vashon in recent weeks.
VIVA at VCA
Vashon Island Visual Artists’ third annual members show will open from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, at Vashon Center for the Arts. Regular gallery hours are 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
VIVA annually invites its members to showcase one or two of their pieces in a major exhibition. This year, the show boasts the participation of 100 local artists.
It is the first time that VCA has hosted the show. The tall atrium walls and over 1000 linear footage in the Koch Gallery will allow VIVA artists to display larger works than previous years of photography, paintings, prints, assemblage work and drawings. In addition, the atrium and gift shop provide space for sculptures, pottery, jewelry and fiber arts.
“The quality of work showcased this year is remarkable. In spite of all the adversities in 2020, the artistic heart of Vashon continues,” said Jean Echevarria, who has co-curated the exhibit with Kristen Reitz-Green.
VIVA’s 2020 schedule of studio tours and annual Members Show have been severely impacted by the pandemic, with the cancellation of both ViVA’s spring and holiday studio tours. But not to be dissuaded, ViVA has now launched the creation of another program: VIVA Art by Appointment: Your Personal Path to Island Artists, a guide to over 70 studios on Vashon.
The members’ show, originally scheduled in June, was canceled too, but VCA’s decision to host it gives the exhibit a second chance. that benefits both ViVA and VCA.
“VCA Gallery has had to rework our 2020 schedule since March because of pandemic postponements and cancellations,” said Lynann Politte, VCA gallery director. “In juggling shows and possibilities, new opportunities popped up and [we were] able to host VIVA’s show in October. I’m thrilled.”
The 2020 VIVA Members Show will surprise and delight those who come into the VCA Gallery this October, organizers said.
For more information, visit vivartists.com and vashoncenterforthearts.org.
Island Paper Chase
At 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, Island Paper Chase will unveil a new creation by its owner Alice Larson, called “Origami Progress Flag.”
The 3 by 4-foot work is composed of over 1000 hand-folded paper cranes strung with pearl beads to present a picture. The image is an updated interpretation, by Daniel Quasar, of the LGBTQ Pride Flag, adding five arrow-shaped lines representing greater inclusivity and the continued need for forward movement in our current community climate. The piece was commissioned by Amanda and Chip Goss, who were drawn to the concept of 1000 cranes by a trip to Nagasaki, where this origami symbol is tied to the concept of peace.
VALISE gallery will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, with a group show by its members called “The Art of Solitude.”
A statement about the show reads:
“Breathe in the inspirational works of VALISE artists as they search for solace, intention and catharsis in a brave new world. From this stillness emerges explorations into the generosities of the heart. Maybe the pieces of our lives that lay scattered about can be remixed into a universe that truly cares for each other and the planet that sustains us. Maybe the willingness to interpret our feelings into colors and forms and stories will bring hope, change and growth. Maybe to be alone is essential to opening ourselves to living in our most natural state, the grace of just being and the interconnectedness of all.”