Hey: this would have been the weekend of Strawberry Festival, people. Enjoy the quiet, and celebrate with a safe and artful alternative this year.
Summer Arts Fest is on a roll
Vashon Center for the Arts’ Summer Arts Fest continues to roll out with openings of new shows, with in-person receptions at the arts center. This week’s opening, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 17, will feature four artists: Steve Caldwell, Shawn Nordfors, Patricia Wronsky, and Morgan Brig.
Caldwell and Nordfors are woodcarvers. Nordfors’ signature carved heads range in size from 3 to 4 feet tall. Caldwell, who is known on the island for his functional bowls and platters, has now added segmented baskets, ironic boats and “earth cones” to his repertoire. Wronsky will exhibit hand-woven scarves, and Brig will exhibit a collection of sculptural creatures made from a blend of welded copper, enamel, wood, clay and found objects.
These new art shows join eight other exhibitions: Miya Sukune, Robert Thomas, Erin Schulz, Denise Dion, Renee Marceau, Steven Ellis, Stephen Malshuk, and Christopher Allen.
Lynann Politte, gallery director at VCA, said that the first in-person reception for Summer Arts Fest, which took place on July 3, was a success for those in attendance, including six of the seven artists with work displayed in the show. All artists and gallery-goers wore masks and practiced social distancing, she said, and the gallery at no point felt overcrowded.
“The artists had their art exhibited and talked with visitors about the art, the visitors were filled with joy, inspiration and gratitude that the gallery was open and filled with beauty and, yes, art sold,” Politte said. “Our sales for that evening were about 67 percent of what a pre-COVID, very good, “First Friday” usual was… which, to me, is fabulous.”
Regular gallery hours are 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays to Saturday, and private appointments can also be made at vashoncenterforthearts.org/Gallery as well to see the art from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. The VCA Gallery has COVID protocols in place for safe viewing of shows in person. Masks are required and physical distance is practiced. Unfortunately, bathrooms are closed to the public.
Must-see movies at the drive-in
The Night Light Drive-In, a collaboration between Vashon Theatre and Open Space for Arts & Community, shines on with upcoming classic movies on a big, outdoor screen situated on the Great Lawn of Open Space.
Upcoming shows, all taking place at 9 p.m. include a double feature of “Back to the Future” and “Animal House” on Thursday, July 16 and Saturday, July 18; “Arrival” on Friday, July 17; a double-feature of “Liar Liar” and “The Big Lebowski” on Wednesday, July 22 and Friday, July 24; and “Mad Max: Fury Road” on Thursday, July 23 and Saturday, July 25. Tickets, $20 for a carload, must be purchased in advance at vashontheatre.com, where movie-goers can also purchase refreshments in advance and find out more about safety protocols for the drive-in.
Want to stay home and watch movies instead? No problem, just check out Vashon Theatre’s expansive lineup of new independent films that can be streamed straight into your living rooms. Highly recommended: “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” a documentary about the life and career of the legendary civil rights hero and U.S. Congressman from Georgia.
Head home to a concert
Vashon Live is keeping the local music scene alive with its ongoing calendar of online concerts, streamed on facebook.com/vashonlive. Coming up this week: local Americana darling Gregg Curry, playing live at The Black Cat Cabaret at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18, and the duo of Tekla Waterfield and Jeff Fielder, playing Vashon Live’s Campfire Sessions at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 19.
Call for artists for a paid public art project
Open Space for Arts & Community has launched a new public art initiative, aimed at beautifying public spaces throughout Vashon with new works created by local artists in the age of coronavirus. The effort is dubbed “!Attention! Artists at Work!” Described in detail on openspacevashon.com, it is being created to help support local artists who have lost much of their income during the pandemic.
A call for artists for the first project of the project, a “mural quilt” to hang outside at Open Space, has a deadline looming on Friday, July 17. Anyone interested in contributing to the project, donating to it, or just finding out more about it should visit openspacevashon.com — or follow Open Space for Arts & Community on Facebook, Instagram.