Five things worth knowing this week . . .

Octopus’ Garden

I’ve said this before, I don’t think anyone has more fun in life than Caroline Rockey except the kids who take her fabulous classes.  I had the chance to stop by a couple of times this week to take in the madness and amazement that is Octopus’s Garden . . . a deep dive art project that’s all about tapping into your inner cephalopod!  The kids did large-scale drawings, worked in oil pastels, and made fabulous 3D sculptures.


Loving Student Photos

Ray Pfortner sent me a note the other day telling me there were nearly 100 ballots cast by visitors to the Emerging Photographs Show in October.  Yes!  Even better, student work in each of the different shows received votes – VCA Teen Photo Intensive Workshop, the two different VCA Crazy About Photography Camps and the McMurray Photography Exploratory.

The voting resulted in 6 tops artists, all in the Teen Intensive, with an amazing 3 ties – for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place!  Ribbons will be posted by week’s end.

Sadly the show comes down this Sunday.

Here are the results:

#1 – Red-Eared Slider, Seattle Japanese Garden by Ayah Lahlou

#1 – Cockpit, Museum of Flight by Calvin James

#2 – Still Life, Union Station, Seattle by Sophie Raymond

#2 – Katy Dances at Union Station, Seattle by Gillian Kirkpatrick

#3 – Spoiled Harvest, Pike Place Market, Seattle by Gillian Kirkpatrick (her second ribbon in the show!)

#3 – Venus Flytraps, Amazon Spheres, Seattle by Sarah Smith (my able teen assistant for the Intensive and Crazy I Camps)

#4 – Blue Bench, Pike Place Market, Seattle by Logan Stark

Kudos to all the young artists who now have yet another credit to claim as they make more art. And thanks to all who took the time to vote, studying the many pieces in the show and making the hard decision on the one to vote for.  All the young artists who shared their work with us certainly made that decision very difficult – to their credit.  The three ties tell it all.


Buddy Building Bash

This is starting to feel like the “all kids, all the time” Fish Wrap, but then again, that’s a big part of why we’re here.

This is so cool . . . tonight at the Blue Heron, Vashon Center for Dance is hosting the All Hallows Dance Party to raise funds for the Blue Heron studio rejuvenation and to support our mentorship program.  Miss Crissy will teach the Monster Mash Shim Sham, Miss Tiffany will teach the infamous dance from Thriller, and our younger dancers will have the opportunity to mingle and mummify our older dancers.  Throughout the night students will be dancing and engaged in buddy building activities. It will be an All Hallows to remember!


Amazing Visual Art in 2019

I know this is just a great big tease, but I can’t help it.  Our intrepid group of Vashon art lovers (artists, community members, and staff) met last night for more than three hours (after spending who knows how many collective hours leading up to) working through a truly amazing collection of submissions for our 2019 gallery year.  It is beyond inspiring to marinate in so much brilliance and humbling to have to make selections.  We are looking forward to sending out invitations and contracts next week and will announce the full 2019 gallery year soonest after acceptance.  Stay tuned!


Tracking the Public Benefits of Regional Cultural Organizations

Long before joining the board and then staff of VCA, I was an ArtsFund board member.   One of the things they do is properly assess a study of the  Social Impact Study of the Arts in our broader Pacific Northwest community.  They asked if I would share a few notes about this good work with our VCA family.  Here’s the news . . .

According to the study’s findings, arts are a viable and proven—yet often underutilized and unacknowledged—strategy to positively transform and benefit our communities. 

In this report, “social impact” is defined as the advancement of community priorities. There are three primary focus areas: youth development & education, health & wellness, and neighborhood vitality. Intersecting these themes are additional focus areas including business and environment. In each, the report probes the potential for arts to influence more equitable outcomes, exploring how arts affect not only whether social impacts happen, but with attention to how, and for whom. 

Mari Horita, ArtsFund President & CEO, stated, “We offer this report to frame a new way of understanding arts’ public value in the evolving community. How are arts advancing community priorities and positive outcomes for participants and non-participants alike? What are the public benefits of the arts?” 

This work identifies where arts intersect with salient social issues such as: 

  • positive civic and educational outcomes for vulnerable youth; 
  • social cohesion in an increasingly diverse and disconnected population; 
  • an aging population living longer with disease; 
  • a state of emergency on homelessness; 
  • workforce readiness and the future of work; 
  • safe, vibrant, and inclusive neighborhoods; 
  • and inequitable access to opportunity. 

The ArtsFund study is one of the early publications in the nation—and the first in our region—synthesizing arts’ impacts across multiple social themes. 

Follow this link to read the report.


Finally, and this is a sixth thing

As regular Fish Wrap readers know, I’m a sucker for lists.

Lovers of rock and roll will surely thrill and chafe to this authors audacious claim to the 15 Best Guitar Riffs of All Time! I actually went looking for a definition of the word “riff” and discovered it’s a “an ostinato phrase (as in jazz) typically supporting a solo improvisation”.  Whatever.

Honestly, I have no earthly idea how someone comes up with such a list, but as a public service, here they are in chronological order.

  • John Lee Hooker: ‘Boogie Chillen’’ (1948)
  • Muddy Waters: ‘Mannish Boy’ (1955)
  • Chuck Berry: ‘Johnny B Goode’ (1958)
  • The Kinks: ‘You Really Got Me’ (1964)
  • The Rolling Stones: ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction)’ (1965)
  • Led Zeppelin: ‘Whole Lotta Love’ (1969)
  • Derek And The Dominoes: ‘Layla’ (1970)
  • Deep Purple: ‘Smoke On The Water’ (1972)
  • Queen: ‘Killer Queen’ (1974)
  • Aerosmith: ‘Walk This Way’ (1975)
  • AC/DC: ‘Back In Black’ (1980)
  • The Smiths: ‘This Charming Man’ (1983)
  • Dire Straits: ‘Money For Nothing’ (1985)
  • Guns N’ Roses: ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ (1988)
  • Nirvana: ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ (1991)

The mind reels that such a list doesn’t include any Hendrix.  Follow the link to listen to the whole collection.  In the meantime, may I humbly submit three of my favorite!  What are yours?

Chicago, 25 or 6 to 4

Issac Hayes, Shaft

Heart, Crazy on You


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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