Art's Alive!

Another reason to love La Conner

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

At press time, the powers that be at La Conner’s Skagit County Historical Museum were in a quandary.

They’d recently heard that celebrated Skagit County painter and multimedia artist Joel Brock had passed away over the weekend, and the exhibit of his they had planned to open Nov. 1 suddenly took a backseat to the fact that a supremely creative talent was gone.

Ultimately, the museum decided not to present the full exhibit at this time, and are working on putting together a retrospective of Brock’s paintings, with a tentative plan for a Friday evening reception at the museum (for confirmation, call (360) 466-3365 or go to http://www.skagitcounty.net/museum).

Brock’s untimely passing will likely be a subject of many conversations and fond remembrances this weekend, when the town presents the 29th annual Art’s Alive!, a three-day celebration of Northwest art and artists that sees both locals and visitors exploring art at a variety of venues throughout the scenic small town.

“It’s a small community, but we’ve got big dreams”—a comment made by a participating artist on a short video touting the event—might as well be the tagline for the shindig, which aims to highlight both longtime professional artists (such as Jack Gunter, Theodora Jonsson, Steve Klein, Becky Fletcher, Roger Cocke, Kathleen Faulkner, and others) as well as those who are still “emerging” and making names for themselves (Dee Doyle, Mit Harlan, Dassy Shellenberger, Gary Giovane, Lindsay Kohles, and Patti Sayre are on the list).

The aforementioned artists will all be showing their works at Maple Hall starting Nov. 1 and continuing through Nov. 3, but that’s only the tip of the artistic iceberg.

For example, Gallery Cygnus will be highlighting a one-woman show by printmaker and sculptor Jean Behnke through the weekend (and beyond). At the Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA), there will be demos by glass artists, carvers and fiber artists. Earthworks Gallery, Salon Rouge, Caravan Gallery, Wood Merchant and others will also open their doors.

Additionally, groups such as Skagit Artists Together and Art League North will be exhibiting and demonstrating various works at community gathering venues such as the La Conner Civic Garden Club and the La Conner Retirement Inn. And the list goes on (visit the website listed in the info box to see the full roster of events).

Also worth mentioning are demonstrations by Guinness World Record fire walker Trevor McGhee at various times throughout Saturday and again at the end of the long weekend, when art has been perused and those who have bought works to share in their homes or for early Christmas gives have safely stowed away their fine art finds.

While there’s no doubt the weekend-long event would be even richer if Joel Brock were there to share his art at the Skagit County Historical Museum, Art’s Alive! is the perfect time to pay your respects to a Skagit Valley artist who took in the beauty of his surroundings and translated them into his own unique visions. Raise your glasses to him, and take a moment to realize how blessed we all are to live in a corner of the world that inspires so many.

More Visual...
The art of transition

“Thus did Odin establish that all dead men should be burned, and their belongings laid with them upon the pile, and the ashes be cast into the sea…“ recounts the saga of the Norse Vikings.

So perhaps it was no surprise when Steve Jensen’s best friend, dying of AIDS, asked him to…

more »
A Family Affair
Welcome to Tillie Lace Gallery

The first time painter Cooper Lanza and her daughter Morgan entered 1415 13th Street, it was for an opening reception at the former Lucia Douglas Gallery.

Lanza says she was struck by the high ceilings, clean industrial lines and the way the light filtered through the windows at the…

more »
A Child's Touch
Arts in action at Lowell Elementary

With remodels and an expansion, so much at Bellingham’s Lowell Elementary School is shiny and new. That’s nice and all, but the school still needed a child’s touch.

With contributions from all 285 students, the walls and schoolyard at Lowell now have some much-needed color. Three…

more »
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Music Enrichment Project Meet and Greet

4:00pm|Piper Music

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Get Out More Tour

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library


9:30pm|Green Frog

Northwood Steak and Crab Zoots Side Bar
Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Hiking Basics


Final History Sunset Cruise

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Final BIFT

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Amnesty International Meeting

7:00pm|Community Food Co-op

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Zoots Side Bar Swinomish 2016
Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Wednesday Market

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Lynden Book Club

12:30pm|Lynden Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Brewers Cruise

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

The Gun Show

8:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

see our complete calendar »

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books Andrew Subin Artifacts Wine Bar Swinomish 2016 Zoots Side Bar Northwood Steak and Crab Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1