Art springs eternal this month
Just one more weekend is left in this year’s spring Vashon Island Visual Artists (VIVA) Studio Tour, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 11 and 12, at 33 studios and other locations around the island. A record 60 artists are participating this year, with sculpture, paintings, clothing, ceramics, garden art, jewelry, candles, mosaics and more displayed in the environments where they are created.
Brochures with maps and descriptions of artists participating in the spring Studio Tour are available at The Vashon Chamber of Commerce and most island businesses or at vivartists.com.
Roots balladeer performs on Snapdragon’s new stage
Scott Cook, a roots balladeer from Alberta, Canada, will play a show at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, on the new stage at Snapdragon. Cook, who accompanies himself with fingerstyle guitar and clawhammer banjo, “brings humor, years of roads, disarming honesty and a deep love of humanity to his songcraft and storytelling,” said presenter Debra Heesch. Noted for his “straight-talking, keenly observant verse,” Cook has toured internationally and released six albums since 2007. His credo, according to Heesch, is that “songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.” Tickets are $10 at the door or online at brownpapertickets.com.
Sax, drums and all that jazz at VHS
V.I.B.E.S. brings the Tacoma-based South Sound Saxophone Ensemble to the Vashon High School theater at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11. Conductor Erik Steighner formed the ensemble in 2015, and today it features over 20 saxophonists on soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass saxophones. The all-volunteer group includes amateur and professional players from high schoolers to retirees. McMurray, VHS and Monday Jazz Bands (with Todd Zimberg) will perform, as well as the award-winning Vashon Percussion Duo (featuring Chick Green and Ethan Choo). The program will feature works by J.S. Bach, Brian Balmages, Percy Grainger, Jean Sibelius, Ralph Vaughan Williams and the newly appointed director of jazz studies at PLU, Cassio Vianna.
V.I.B.E.S. is a nonprofit organization that supports band education at McMurray Middle School and Vashon High School. The group raises money for band program expenses not covered by the school district’s budget, such as field trips, honor band and contest fees, master’s classes, T-shirts, and other activities and materials to enhance students’ musical experiences. The suggested donation is $10 with proceeds supporting the schools’ music programs through V.I.B.E.S. There will be concession sales during intermission as well. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Vashon Library opens to poetry
Linera Lucas, a published poet who has also taught creative writing at Hugo House, will lead the inaugural session of the Open Poetry Group workshop at the Vashon Library meeting room, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 14. Lucas describes the workshop as a “positively-focused poetry critique group, suitable for both beginners and experienced poets.” Participants are to bring eight copies of their work for discussion. The Open Poetry Group is free and is a drop-in event open to all Vashon poets.
Lucas won the Crucible Fiction Prize. Her work is published in anthologies, literary journals and publications nationwide. She has a bachelor of arts degree from Reed College and a master of fine arts from Queens University of Charlotte. She has taught creative writing at the University of Washington Women’s Center, Hugo House and the Reed College Alumni Writers Workshop.
Peter Gabriel music reimagined at Open Space
The musical group The Security Project claims they’ll defy expectations when they perform the music of Peter Gabriel and Genesis at Open Space for Arts and Community on Saturday, May 18. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m.
The band features Jerry Marotta, drummer from Gabriel’s classic line-up (1977-1986) and Trey Gunn from King Crimson, on a 10-string touch guitar. The addition of Happy Rhodes, who boasts a four-octave vocal range, they say, promises to fulfill the band’s goal of re-envisioning Peter Gabriel’s music. Additional players from Shriekback and Sky Cries Mary are Michael Cozzi on guitar and computer scientist/co-founder of Gig Performer David Jameson on keyboards and eigenharp. An eigenharp is an electronic “instrument” that is, in essence, a highly flexible and portable controller, with the sound being generated in the software it drives.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and $35 for a table seat. Purchase tickets at OpenSpaceVashon.com
Photos offer a chronicle of life at Southern border
Island photographer David Lynch will host a photography exhibit and publication party for his newly published book, “Before the Border: the Caravan Series” from 6 to 7 pm. at Snapdragon, May 23. Selected photographs from the series will be on display. Since late 2018, Lynch has traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border three times to document migrant caravans. The resulting photographs form a collection that imposes personal insight into otherwise distant events. Each photo offers a glimpse into the migrants’ individual stories.
Vashon roots band plays at iconic island venue
Jacob Bain and Vashon Events will bring Publish the Quest (PTQ) to its first performance at Sporty’s at 9 p.m. Friday, May 24. Born on Vashon Island, PTQ took off to make a global name for itself as both a musical and philanthropic success. Islander and PTQ frontman Jacob Bain also founded Vashon’s reggae band Trolls Cottage, and he’s joined forces with Vashon Events’ Pete Welch to deliver this one-night-only musical event to the island. Publish the Quest plays an energetic and danceable mix of blues, rock, ska and world pop. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. This show is for audiences 21 and older. Tickets are available now at Vashon Events.org.