Five things worth knowing this week
1 – New Hours
Please make note of our new winter hours
Kay White Hall (Gallery and Lobby)
- Sunday: Closed
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 – 5:00
- Saturday: 12:00 – 4:00
We will be open extended hours for events
Blue Heron Education Center
- Monday – Friday: 12:00 – 6:00
- Saturday and Sunday: Closed
1.1 – Snow Day(s)
Like a lot of other businesses, we were closed this week Monday and Tuesday. We are likely to close early on Friday, February 8th and will be closed Saturday, February 9th.
2 – Celebrating Clay
We have two new clay classes for kids beginning at the end of February–one for the wee littlest and another for grade schoolers. Both classes are taught by Vashon artist, Carolina Silva.
“I started in an open residency at Seattle University–a clay lab, open and available. So, I started sculpting, hand-building. And the entire process fascinated me. I was hooked by the material, really.”
Older students in Carolina’s Clay Lab will try a few clay tools, some hand-building techniques as well as experimenting with ceramic glazes. “Clay is such a good material for kids,” Carolina says. “For the littlest ones, it’s not about making something precious, so much as it is about the freedom to create, to be open and playful. As they have fun and explore, they learn through their senses.”
Preschool-aged children will use their imaginations to create clay creatures inspired by one of Carolina’s favorite children’s stories, Children of the Forest,by author and illustrator, Elsa Beskow. From that jumping off point, it’s up to each child to find their interest–to let the clay lead them to some new discovery.
“Clay has a life of its own,” Carolina says. “Part of what I love to share is the timing of clay. How it dries, how it changes. And what the material itself asks you to do as you create.”
To enroll your student in one of Carolina’s wonderful classes, follow these links: Preschool (ages 3 to 5) REGISTER HERE
For 2nd through 5th grade REGISTER HERE
3 – Celebrating Brian Doyle
We’ve been posting for the past several weeks about the Brian Doyle one-two panel discussion on February 17 and theatrical presentation on March 9 and 10. Actually it’s 1-2-3, which I’ll get to in a minute.
With red face, I have to confess I wasn’t familiar with Mr. Doyle until sometime last year when it seemed everyone I knew was reading (or had read) his epic and sublime Mink River. David Warren of Vashon Forest Stewards pretty much held me down until I bought the book and read it (thank you David!).
I caught up with Gerry and Mike Feinstein the other day about the genesis of the upcoming Brian Doyle mini-fest, part of the long-running Arts and Humanities series. Gerry says . . .
Mike first met Brian through his work with academic institutions in Portland more than 20 years ago.
He was a superb writer and editor of the University of Portland’s Portland Magazine, a nationally recognized alumni magazine that he produced for the University of Portland. His essays often appeared in the magazine and we savored reading and rereading them. We subsequently discovered his novels and other work in numerous national publications.
Over the years, we got to know Brian as a modest, fun-loving guy who had an enormous appetite for stories about people and for life itself. We were saddened to learn of his passing in May of 2017 at the age of 60. His memory lives on in his work, which continues to inspire and delight us.
The inspiration for putting together some of Brian’s stories and essays in a dramatic presentation came from a notice in the New Yorker Magazinea few years ago promoting a reading of Brian’s work at a Brooklyn club by actors Tony Shalhoub and Brooke Adams. We saw a tape of that performance and realized that Brian’s writing lends itself extremely well to the spoken word.
Gerry mentioned it to Brian and Mary as something we’d love to do on Vashon Island. They agreed. Soon after, he became ill and we tabled the idea for several months.
Last spring, we discussed it again with Mary Doyle, who was very enthusiastic about the idea. So, we spent the summer reading everything Brian Doyle wrote—a lovely task—and chose pieces and excerpts we thought would demonstrate his genius for writing stories that teach us something about the joy of being human.
If you’re a Brian Doyle fan, I don’t think these twinned events should be missed. If this is the first time you’re hearing about this amazing author, all is forgiven! Just be there!
Oh, and the third thing? Mary Miller Doyle, Brian’s widow, will be put on display a series of paintings she’s done in celebration of his life in the Fong-Wheeler Atrium lobby from Feb. 16 until March 10.
4 – Iconic Art, Only Two More Lectures Left
Rebecca Albiani has had a devoted following here on Vashon for many years and has anchored our beloved Art History Series since 2010 . . . the same year Prince William and Kate Middleton became engaged if you’re keeping track.
I actually put that last bit in on purpose. Rebecca’s theme this series has been to explore the question, “How does a work of art attain iconic status?” In her previous lectures, she’s taken on Rembrandt’s The Nigh Night Watch, Picasso’s Guernica, and in a nod the Hellenic times, The Parthenon.
On February 12, she moves firmly into the 20thcentury to take on Andy Warhol and his famous soup cans . . . the man who perhaps more than anyone before him consciously merged art and living with the express idea of creating icons. You can buy tickets here or at the door.
5 – Mr. Goldberg, Your Machine is Waiting.
VAIS is in busy season with 9 residencies this week alone!! Artists are in classrooms at every school district building (including the homeschool group) leading students through art projects inspired by and supporting their classroom curriculum. Stop motion film, Latin dance, Shakespeare, bookmaking, Kamishibai – this is just some of the awesome multi-disciplinary work students are diving into.
In this short clip you’ll see students in Multi-Age testing out the very early stages of a Rube Goldberg-inspired creation with island artist Ela Lamblin. This project spans three classrooms of 1st – 3rd graders studying simple machines and the science behind what makes them work: force, momentum, and energy. Every student has a hand in adding their simple machine to create the massive complex machine we’ll see at the end. Stay tuned for another update and video when this creation is complete!
6 – Finally, and this is a sixth thing
I’ll get back to music and dance again, I promise. Lots of folks commented to me about my post of Douglas Rushkoff and his case for Team Human. And I do love the tagline, “find the others.” Brilliant. I think in many ways, that’s the essence of what we’re trying to do here at VCA. Or maybe encourage all of us to find the others . . . and in the process see we are not “other.”
I’m going to double down on this line of thinking with a TED talk by a Scott Galloway, called How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Manipulate Our Emotions.
Galloway is a Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern school, and a man of tremendous range and intellect. He is famous for his blazing fast slide presentations, and his insights into the four horseman of the technosphere are unrivalled. I promise, even if you’re not interested that you’ll find this interesting.
I’m far from a luddite and have been generally an early adopter of all kinds of technology. But, count me as seriously concerned we are surrendering our agency, and quite possibly a whole lot more, as we daily feed the ginormous AI-driven technobeasts with our personal information, deepest questions, darkest secrets (you do know every online search you conduct is stored and analyzed, right?), family photos, and all the rest. And it’s not lost on me that you are reading this courtesy of some of that very technology.
Thus, my obsession these past months with “Support What You Love. Make Time for Art” and “Team Human. Find the Others.” Let’s all vow to do just a little bit more, maybe a lot more, to find our inner artist. To support someone else’s inner artist. To keep pushing our humanity and creativity to the forefront.
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.