Five things worth knowing this week
Jesse, we hardly knew ye. We’re incredibly sad to bid farewell to our multi-talented Technical Director, Jesse Bell. He and his young family are pulling up stakes and heading to the great state of Florida.
Jesse joined Vashon Center for the Arts in 2016 during the construction phase of the Katherine L. White Hall. Prior to taking on the role of Technical Director at VCA, Jesse spent 10 years with global production and event company PSAV. Jesse worked his way through multiple roles learning all aspects of the event industry starting as an event technician and left their employ as a Director of Event Technology. Jesse graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Recording Arts from the University of Central Florida. While in school part-time, he worked full-time for local production companies and also freelanced as a stagehand, audio engineer, rigger, and just about any gig he could find in local venues, shows and theaters. Working in such diverse settings over the past 16 years has helped to build his wide range of technical and creative skills. Jesse has been drawn to the arts since a young age and holds a passionate belief that the art provides many positive benefits not only to an individual but also to the community as a whole.
Jesse, we’re going to miss you something fierce.
Quartermaster Press, we’re glad we got to know ye. QMP25 is finally coming down from our walls and leaving our building. What an astonishing, uplifting, amazing, transforming, healing, welcoming, educating, challenging, soothing, catalyzing, celebrating, inviting, amazing two months it’s been. Thank you to everyone who contributed their love, energy, art, patronage, patience, encouragement, attention, equipment, supplies, expertise, and enthusiasm. Years from now some of us will look back at this show and mark it as the beginning of a great new chapter in the great journey that is VCA. Thank you.
Propaganda for the Self. This show is important in so many ways and we’re incredibly honored and proud that co-creators Eli Steffen and Corine Manning wanted to bring it to our theater at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26, and 5 p.m. Sunday, May 27, in VCA’s Kay White Hall.
This is Eli’s first show on Vashon since producing the Laramie Project in 2004. It is an exploration of white privilege that asks what will it take to build a truly just, equitable island. Drawing on similar motivations as their original production, Eli says, “this new piece is meant to spark conversation and action. We hope people will leave asking how am I participating in racial inequality, how does this hurt people of color and myself, and what am I willing to alter to build a more liberated world, both on island and in the larger society.”
Utilizing super hero dance moves, presidential speech vocabulary, and lots of audience participation, this show seeks to look deeply at the flaws and beautiful possibilities of this community.
This is not light entertainment and we’re confident Vashon is up to it!
One show leaves, another takes the stage. 48 hours after the Vashon Opera packed up their fabulous and successful production of the Magic Flute, our very own dance company began rehearsals for its spring concert (June 1, at 7pm | June 2 at 1pm & 7pm | June 3 at 1pm). I had the opportunity to stop in a couple of times this week and it’s just too darned fun.
Work on the Vashon Summer Arts Fest continues. This week we finally sorted out the roster of amazing arts and artists that will fill our gallery and lobby in July and August. In fact, here’s a taste of what’s to come!
- Ethan DeLorenzo: ARCHITECTURAL INSTRUMENTATION multi-media installation crafted by recordings sounds from VCA buildings, using them to create original sound compositions and then produce, for viewing, video recordings of accompanying originally choreographed dance performances
- John Lucas and Susan Lynch: TERRITORIAL BEHAVIOR: REAL & IMAGINED FEARS paintings, drawings and poetry that express how we may see ourselves as separate from the animal kingdom while being an integral part of it
- Gretchen Hancock: VASHON VIEWS oil paintings of Vashon and Northwest scenes that allow viewers a moment of recognition and connection when seeing something they know transformed into a painting
- Christy Marsh: VENUS RISING a collection of oil and oil/cold wax paintings by the self-taught artist who began painting four years ago at age 56
- Lori Walters and Margo Tantau: VASH(ON) MY MIND paintings and mixed media inspired by the magical beauty of Vashon
- Vashon High School art students, curated by Kristen Dallum: drawings, paintings and ceramics designed and created during art classes
- Vashon Photographers Group Show, curated by Kim Farrell: EVERYDAY ABSTRACTS a group exhibit with eight photographers showing abstract images (not altered by Photoshop) to demonstrate how photographers uniquely “see” the world
- Brian Dempsey: MYTHOS art displayed in three different mediums — painting, illustration and sculpture. The three forms balance and complement each other to resonate a particular mood
- Kevin Taylor: FORCED INTERACTION paintings assembled from hundreds of precisely-made parts, using MDF, resins and automotive paint to create disparate elements of geometry and expressionism
- Vashon Wood Artists Group show, curated by Steven Caldwell and Shawn Nordfors: WOOD SCULPTURE: HOW WOOD ARTISTS CREATE THEIR ARTWORK a variety of wood sculptures, both artwork and functional pieces, that exhibit the various techniques woodworkers use in their art and craft
- Susan Hubbard: COMMUNITY WEAVING a community weaving project on a 6’ x 8’ x 3’ Swedish tapestry loom to bring participants into the world of this ancient medium as it expresses a deep wisdom in its integrating and unifying process
- Scott Durkee: ART IN MOTION 10 artistic mobiles that will hang from the ceiling, moved by the air that breezes through the lobby and gallery
- Vashon Collage Artists group Show, curated by Donna Romero: CUT & PASTE a collage collection by seven artists showing an array of different effects created out of the simple mediums of paper and glue
- Kris Pedrin: WINTER IN THE NORTHWEST SERIES winter-themed photographs honoring the inspiration and beauty of the Pacific Northwest, especially Vashon Island
- Andrea Bellon: AB INTRA (FROM WITHIN) abstract paper collage that explores shape, color and texture to create compositions that express internal thoughts and emotions, both conscious and subconscious
- Paul Clark: MIRRORS, DRIFTWOOD & YOU 3-D collage using mirrors, wood and other common elements to create art that is a reflection of both ourselves and our world
- THE RED SHOE SHOW, curated by Kathleen Kinney: a group of artists explore (and play with) myths, metaphors, stories, lessons and taboos about women in our culture
- Carol Schwennesen: ART OF CAROL SCHWENNESEN a retrospective collection of her artwork from the last 60 years
- Rachel Lord Kenaga: MEMORIES an installation of 2-D work inspired by old photos and memories that can bring out emotions through visual exploration and excavation
- Robin Jones: THE HERE AND AFTER oil paintings, both figurative and of animals in the natural world, created to raise awareness of endangered species through her activist art
- Mark Beaubien: WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY a collection of photographs from the artist’s travels to over 30 countries on six continents that includes wildlife, landscape and underwater images
- Britt Freda: 188.8.131.52.5.8.ENVIRONMENTAL.IMPACT new works about environmental impact and endangered species. As with numerous natural architectures, the mathematical Fibonacci pattern will appear as a foundational layer in the show
- Vashon Makerspace, curated by Neil Wiesblott: VASHON MAKERSPACE a place where islanders can create, learn and share their art, will be represented with a large multi-discipline installation including an 8-foot wood chair, a 1200-pound cement chair, alternative photographic processes, handmade sculptural jewelry, and lathe-turned wooden vases and bowls
- Connie Conroy: TRANSPARENT JAPANESE TEA HOUSE a full-sized transparent Japanese Tea House created by suspending photographic transparencies with images of a traditional tea house plus transparencies representing tea utensils as placed in a tea ceremony
- Alisara Martin: LOW TIDE LOCAL screen prints and drawings inspired by the little dramas of everyday life, surrounded by Vashon’s natural beauty
- Vashon Ceramics Group Show, curated by Jon-Eric Schafer: 23 ceramic artists exhibit raku, high-fire, wheel-thrown, hand-built and wood-fired ceramic art
- Heidi Anderson: CERAMICS & DRAWINGS BY HEIDI ANDERSON large ceramic sculptures and graphite pencil drawings explore personal narratives that connect with Vashon and nature
- Karlista Rickerson: BEYOND THE SALTWATER’S EDGE scuba diving photography, with images of the marine life in Tramp Harbor, Sandy Shores and Maury Island Marine Park
- Gordon Quinlan: THE HUMAN FACE DIVINE graphic drawings, photography and oils created to reveal the depth of human character and emotion. Quinlan, 77, said he has taken art classes for a number of years but only fully committed to his art last year.
- Marilyn Blitz: NATURE AND WATERCOLOR watercolor portraits of plant life from various climates — tropical, desert, arid and the Northwest — interpreted with dynamic color and liquid freedom
- Marcia McKinzie: PAINTINGS BY MARCIA McKINZIE watercolor batik paintings and pastel impasto paintings that share the artist’s vision of beauty and connection with others
- Dewain Gauntlett: THE PEOPLE, ART AND COMMUNITY OF BURNING MAN photographs taken at Burning Man, the yearly gathering in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The images celebrate the people, artwork and community that make Burning Man an extraordinary event. (Dedicated to Burning Man’s founder, Larry Harvey (1948-2018)
- Apple Cox: WHIMSEY AND COURAGE paintings, limited edition prints and cards that use traditional and contemporary media to produce unique whimsical art
- Brette Flora: A VIBRANT PALLET small paintings and mixed media work showing the creative mind of the artist who is a member of Vibrant Pallet, an organization that serves adults with developmental, mental and physical disabilities through a program that focuses on learning about and creating visual arts
- Louis Luechtefeld: ANIMATIONS BY LOUIS storytelling through a collection of videos using techniques such as stop motion and time lapse. The 11-year old animator will explore a myriad of themes, using both realistic and abstract expression.
- Wren McMurdo: DARK DAYS TAROT tarot cards inspired by the dark days of the lunar cycle
- Neil Berkowitz: INTERSECTIONS photograph installation in which each work, like a triple exposure, merges three locations into a single presence
- Bruce Morser: DAY BY DAY the artist will create a black and white drawing over time on the exterior wall of the VCA breezeway
- Alison Trundle: REWILD three large paintings themed around nature and technology, dreaming and animal tracking, which also serve as the visual component of a multi-disciplinary play by the same name, which will be performed opening night of the festival.
Finally, and this is actually a sixth item, I had a wonderful conversation today with a longtime VCA supporter and friend and somehow we got talking about Puccini’s masterwork, Nessun Dorma, from the Opera Turandot. I’ve heard many renditions but I have to say, this one by Paul Potts still captures my heart. Who is Paul? One of those people you never see coming. He detonated the popular imagination during this performance of Britain’s Got Talent, a guilty pleasure best watched when nobody else is around. Except when something like this happens. Talk about making the impossible possible.
Why “Fish Wrap”? Years ago, living in San Francisco, I became a devotee of a legendary journalists named Herb Caen. While he may not have been the first to use the phrase in connection with “yesterday’s news,” he is the one I remember. Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap. Maybe it’s a generational thing. At any rate, we call our Friday wrap up, The Friday Fish Wrap . . . Five things worth knowing about VCA this Friday.