Five things worth knowing this week . . .

Precious Little Feet. Vashon Center for Dance hosted a “My Favorite Ballets” dance camp for two age groups this week. Campers made Coppelia puppets and learned to dance like dolls.  After learning the children’s version of The Red Shoes, their own red shoes  danced them over to the Gallery to experience the Red Shoes exhibit.  The historically important ballets of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty were explored with crafts, videos, and dancing.  They took a fun break to sit in giant chairs before taking over the stage at The Kay to dance solos and duets.  Our audience wanted an encore!

The last dance camp of the summer, Fairy Tales dance camp, is next week and is sure to be as fun and educational.

Art, So Fine.  I have tried five different ways to start this sentence about Alisara Martin.  She is a brilliant teacher, advocate for our children, beacon of goodness, gifted artist, supporter of arts education, and all around pied piper for magnetizing people to art and art to people.  There.  I did it.

My daily wander over to our Blue Heron Education center revealed Alisara and a fleet of young artists absorbed in color theory, use of neutrals, composition, and more.  It was hotter than hades outside and surely the siren songs of summer could be heard calling, but these young students were instead advancing their craft with a focus that frankly left me a bit awed.  Look at the pictures of art supplies that Alisara brought for these kids to explore.  Tell me you don’t want to take her class!!!

Amazing Ceramics.  We open tonight an absolutely stunning ceramics show.  I am truly running out of superlatives to describe the wonder, span, depth, and quality of the art that is being mounted week after week through Vashon Summer Arts Fest.  If you are even remotely interested in ceramics you should come on down tonight to see what master work really looks like.

Come by on Saturday afternoon to try your hand as we’ll be running a full-on demonstration and workshop that will see you making a firing your own ceramics.

Team!  We’re really pleased to tell you that Michael Hayes has joined the team as our new Technical Director. Michael is a graduate of Tisch School of the Arts and brings over 25 years of production experience to VCA.  Locally, Michael previously served as Technical Director for the Capitol Hill Arts Center and Production Manager/Technical Director for Hugo House.  He has extensive experience in lighting design, audio engineering and as electrics lead for companies such as Seattle Children’s Theatre, Village Theater, and NY Harlem Productions.  In addition he has applied his talents to large festivals and corporate events when working with Live Sound and Stage and Bold Hat Productions.  Ask him about his massive project helping to build out the Old Rainier Brewery!  Michael and his wife look forward to making Vashon their new home in the near future.

Right along side is Ethan DeLorenzo,our new Assistant Technical Director.  We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Ethan over the past few months since he designed lights for the New Works dance concert, has been supporting events, and created an amazing sound installation for the Summer Arts Fest.  Ethan is a lighting designer, recording artist, and sound engineer who has worked with recording studios in NY and LA as well as large music festivals such as Coachella.  Ethan is also active in the farming community and is a proud father of two-year-old Ode.

Ben McQuillin continues to support us as a Production Assistant.

Thanks to both Ben McQuillin and Ethan DeLorenzo who stepped up this summer and provided leadership for our events.  Thank you for keeping everything running smoothly and wonderfully!

Follow us on Social Media.  If you’re not already, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram.  Former history teacher, documentarian, and island muse Shauna Ahern tells our stories through words and images five days a week.

Finally, and this is a sixth thing . . . this past week magic happened.  The story goes like this.

Last Thursday The Paperboys, a simply marvelous Canadian band, was to play at Concert in the Park at beloved Ober Park.  The day dawned gloomy and gray and at 10:30 AM, Pete and Allison at Vashon Events called to start the wheels rolling to move the concert to our building.  The weather finally cleared but that’s another story.

Our building seats 300 people, and can manage more than that Standing Room Only (I’m not saying a number!).  So in came the public and we all did our best to accommodate all our new guests.

As these things go, we had just the week before loaded in amazing new shows featuring something like 35 Vashon Artists, including Britt Freda.  A woman coming to hear the music found herself rooted in front of one of Britt’s amazing works.  Names and emails were passed by our staff.  Conversations ensued.

The painting now belongs to this new “collector.”  I use this word with care as it featured in the email trail I had a chance to see. Britt has graciously allowed me to publish something she wrote that I think speaks so eloquently and powerfully to the “Why” of art.

Hi again,

I realize collecting art can feel daunting and confusing at times.  And I totally understand that purchasing mid-market (or higher) original pieces can feel very expensive.

It is among my passions to help people, who don’t consider themselves “collectors,” purchase original works from working artists.  Lots of seeds are planted when people decided to invest any amount of money in art that nourishes them.

There’s the obvious . . . living with art and the stories that will be told to the people who visit that house or space. There is sometimes, delightfully, a friendship cultivated between artist and “collector.”  And there is the real fact that purchasing original works of art allows the artist to continue to create new work.

Painting is my profession.  I have two children and I regularly ask myself if this career path, to which I’ve devoted my life work, is sustainable.  But at my core I believe in it.  I fight for it.  I believe in creating beauty out of challenging, complicated sometimes painful things. If I can practice that in my life, with paints or relationships or as a parent, I think it is work worth doing.

Your choice to purchase an original painting truly makes it possible for me or any artist to continue to create work.  And if you feel like it makes more sense to you to donate that money to another cause, I respect that each of us needs to feel whole about the contributions we are able to make to the world.

My reference to the term “collector” is anyone who purchases original art work.  A person’s art collection may be a few tiny ink drawings on paper that evoke something sweet or moving to the person who owns them.

A collection, be it one piece or three or thirty, should tell a story about the people who’ve chosen to have that art in their homes. It’s a personal relationship.  I’m happy to meet with you and talk more with you if you’d like about buying art or building a humble art collection. It shouldn’t feel daunting, I believe it should feel welcoming. Your interest is so important.

I hope that with my work or other artists work you’ll continue to be moved by art and support the creation of it, big or small.

Thanks,

Britt

Like I said, Magic.

PS.  If you didn’t get to hear Paperboys in our building, enjoy the video.

 


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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