VALISE Artist Collective and Gallery and Open Space for Arts & Community will partner to present “Close to Home,” a walk-through exhibition of Vashon stories and poems, coupled with paintings, sculptures and installations. The exhibit, taking place at VALISE, opens this week and will run through June 26. It is free to the public.
The gallery, located at 17633 Vashon Highway SW, will have an opening reception for the show from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 7, or viewers can stop by earlier that day. VALISE’s regular hours are 1 to 5 pm. Fridays and Saturdays. Masks and limited capacity protocols are in place at the gallery.
The various components of the new exhibit fit together like a puzzle.
In late 2020, Open Space announced “The Literary Project,” a literary flash fiction/prose poetry project for island writers. The Literary Project is the third project of Attention! Artists at Work — a program by Open Space designed to hire artists who were financially impacted by COVID-19.
By the spring, 31 writers had been selected for “The Literary Project” — 23 of whom were compensated for their submissions because they had been financially impacted by COVID-19.
Vashon artist Sharon Shaver worked with Open Space to coordinate the project. But after overseeing the literary selections, Shaver took it all one step further. As a member of VALISE, she pitched the idea of doing an exhibit created by VALISE members that provided visual interpretations of the stories and poems from the Open Space project.
“Community connection and support is the mission of VALISE and this is the intention of the show,” said Shaver. “In the gallery, viewers will find a story by each writer in the literary project and an accompanying piece of art. Each story and painting express a different vision and experience of life on Vashon — the hard times and the good times.”
Visual artists participating in the project include Dot Cherch, Bill Jarcho, Pascale Judet, Corinne Lightweaver, Rachel Lordkenaga, Robert Passig, Jiji Saunders, Sharon Shaver, Heather Timken, Hita von Mende, George Wright and Lenard Yen.
To read the stories of “The Literary Project” and learn more about the project, artists, and Attention! Artists at Work, visit OpenSpaceVashon.com.