Art Smarts

Tulip town tours, take two

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Every April, acres upon acres of blooming tulips are the star attraction when it comes to touring Skagit County. While I agree the flowery displays are a good reason to brave the hordes, there are also plenty of other attractive things to look at during the month-long season of merriment. Following are a few visually intriguing events to get in on.

If the sun sticks around through the end of the week, Fri., April 6 might be a perfect time to beat the weekend crowds. Whether you tiptoe through tulips or spend the day looking for parking spaces, making your way to the monthly Gallery Walk in downtown Anacortes will give you the chance to do some serious art-walking either before or after dinner. Participants in this month’s rendition of the sightseeing soiree include the Anne Martin McCool Gallery (featuring McCool’s “Springing Forward” paintings, ceramics from Patsy Chamberlain, jewelry by Carole Cunningham, and Bruce Mann’s photos), Burton Jewelers (with works by Guemes artist Leo Osborne), the Scott Milo Gallery (where “All About Wine” will be the theme), the Majestic Inn and Spa (hosting La Conner pastel artist Coizie Bettinger), and the Depot Art Center (“Fields of Color” will give you a visual color display of all things floral). Oh, and did we mention it’s free? When: 6-9pm Fri., April 6. Info: http://www.anacortesart.com

Flowers acted as the inspiration for the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum’s ”La Conner in Bloom: Tulip Festival Challenge” show opening this Saturday. While they quilted, knitted, weaved, stitched, cut, dyed and embellished their 24” x 30” submissions, the artists who took part in this fundraising exhibit got creative in the name of flowers—and also in the name of raising funds for the installation of the museum’s commemorative brick pathway. Plus, all pieces are priced at $250 and less, so “affordable” is also worth a mention. Karin Franzen’s “At Home in High Places” and “Historical Quilts from the Latimer” also open this weekend, so there’ll be plenty to look at once you’ve finished your flower-gazing. When: Opening receptions happen from 1-3pm Sat., April 6. Where: 703 2nd St. Info: http://www.laconnerquilts.com 

A recent press release that came in from La Conner’s Gallery Cygnus pointed out that “Todd Horton is a painter who practices a kind of ‘catch-and-release’ form of painting, daring to nearly destroy what he has so perfectly rendered in paint,” while his creative counterpart in an upcoming exhibit, sculptor Peregrine O’Gormley, was said to involve “a study of the life and times of his subject, often delving into deeper issues of well-being that touch our own.” As these are apt descriptions of the Skagit artists—Horton lives in Edison and O’Gormley resides in La Conner—I’ll leave them intact, and point out that both artists make work that, once seen, is rarely forgotten. If you have a yen to talk to either one of these prolific fellows about what their work means to them and the nature of nature, show up for their opening reception and ask them in person. When: Opening reception happens from 3-5pm Sat., April 6. The art will be up through May 19. Where: 109 Commercial St. Info: http://www.gallerycygnus.com

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