By Lynann Politte
For Vashon Center for the Arts
A day doesn’t go by during the Summer Arts Fest at Vashon Center for the Arts that a visitor doesn’t ask, “These are all Vashon artists?” in a tone of disbelief. Yes, they all are.
This is because of the simply amazing breadth of talent on the island. Each mini-gallery, or part of the gallery wall or floor space dedicated to one artist, is as different as each artist.
The next rotation of 2-D art exhibitions at Summer Arts Fest opens at 12 p.m. Friday, July 23, with a reception for the artists that evening, from 5 to 8 p.m.
What makes this festival different from regular VCA Gallery exhibitions is both the more frequent rotation of shows and also the types of artists whose work is on display. Because the artist can choose a limited amount of wall space, the festival attracts artists along the spectrum of exhibition experience. Artists who have never shown before can be right next to an accomplished artist who wants to show new works.
This new rotation has artists who are new to the island, showing for the first time at VCA or on the island, and returning artists.
Sophia Krikawa, a recent high school graduate, is showing her collection of mixed media, ink, and watercolor for the first time. Michael Brinker just recently moved to the island and will be showing his new neighbors his acrylic paintings. Other artists new to showing at VCA are Donna Liberty, Harmony Kellogg, and Renee Jett (Henson).
These artists’ exhibitions are hung alongside those by veteran printmakers Annette Messitt and Deborah Taylor, who are both showing new explorations in technique or subject in their work. Maija McKnight will present her delicate and bold painted embossed copper work. Rounding out the exhibit is the light fabric boxes by Robin Mallory, oils by Rachel LordKenaga, oil and cold wax by Andrea Bellon, and soft pastel pencil by Robert Thomas. Bill Dilley’s large hand-carved wood statues are still on display until the last weekend in July.
Having a diverse collection of art and artists makes for a welcoming gallery for people with different art aesthetics. And yes, all the artists are from Vashon. Summer gallery hours are 12 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, at VCA.
Lynann Politte is Gallery Director of Vashon Center for the Arts