Five things worth knowing this week

Hanging week part 1.  My favorite time of the month at VCA is what I think of as “hanging week,” when the new exhibits load in and the artists and staff lovingly labor to hang each new show.

A perennial favorite, Ray Pfortner’s Encaustic residency with VAIS is on display in the lobby of the Kay White Hall during the month of June.  The students were prolific – 195 pieces are exhibited from three McMurray classes, showing the range of creativity and skill the students developed.  First Friday, June 1st, 6-9pm.

Hanging week part 2: At the Blue Heron 5th grade work in the Japanese storytelling art of Kamishibai is adorning our walls through June.  Students worked with artists Roxy Hathaway and Nancy Scott Wienker in this VAIS residency, writing a personal family story then painting 3 scenes in a unique watercolor wash technique to illustrate the action and emotion.  Like all good storytelling, these pieces are meant to be read aloud.

Kamishibai has its roots in the 8th century when Buddhist monks used picture scrolls to teach history, and the Chautauqua students’ work shows just how timeless art can be with funny and touching stories from their own modern lives.  First Friday, Blue Heron, June 1st, 6-8pm.

Hanging week part 3: I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to seeing Kate Thompson’s amazing show of love and passion called “In your (her) face.”  Gallery Manager, Devin Grimm and I went to her lovely studio some weeks ago to see her oeuvre and it was stunning then.  Seeing it hung with such care by Kate and Ann Nicklason on our big lobby wall is something else entirely.  This is the second show in a row hung salon style on our big wall and I think it is emerging as one of the great display surfaces on this island.  This is a can’t miss show.  Thank you Kate!

Rounding out an amazing June collection is a star-studed Landscape Show . . . and it really is a wonderful rounding of the total visual experience at VCA this month.  This is a group exhibition that brings together seven contemporary Vashon artists exploring the notion of landscape and perspective. Ted Kutscher / oil painting Janice Wall / pastel Terry Donnelly / photography Eddy Radar / acrylic painting Jon-Eric Schafer / ceramics Michael D. Maher / water color Rose Belknap / oil painting.  The span of styles, media, visions, and execution is just remarkable.  Massive thanks to Janice Mallman and Molly Reed for helping Devin Grimm organize and curate this show.

Music to melt your heart. Our Intro to Musical Theatre class performed a show for family and friends this week. Nine students, ranging in age from 5-10, have been learning the ropes from veteran actress and instructor Alex Drissell. Their six week class included vocal coaching, theatre games, movement and dance. We congratulate these young actors and look forward to seeing them in future productions!

Adding to the theme, and we’ll call this item 4.5, on Thursday, June 7th, 7:30pm, come watch the world premiere of an original performance piece by VHS students!  In this VAIS residency Stephen Floyd’s Theatre Arts students worked with Maria Glanz and Elizabeth Klob of UMO to develop a new work of ensemble-generated devised theatre.  Dive into the hearts of these writers and performers as they explore the universal, opposing themes of isolation/connection, shame/self-acceptance, and anxiety/confidence.

Keeping it Safe.  On Wednesday we staged a full-on fire drill.  The klaxon blared, our building marshals pulled on their gear, and we all gathered in our muster area to meet with our intrepid island fire crew to review procedures, talk safety, and feel grateful for the sophistication of our building’s fire detection and suppression systems.  The crew then spent the next couple of hours crawling in and around every nook and cranny of the Kay and our beloved old (and fully sprinklered) Blue Heron.
Finally, and this is actually a sixth item, I went down the YouTube rabbit hole last night and rediscovered this most amazing and delightful “flash mob” video posted a few years ago by Banco Sabadell  to coincide with its 130th anniversary.  It is a fitting homage to the bank and it’s home town.  Wait and watch as the musicians swell from one to 100 people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l’Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs.


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.

 

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