"}
Visual

Taking Flight

Welcome to the birdhouse

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nestled between the North Cascades and the Salish Sea, the Skagit Valley has long been a haven for birds. In the doughty village of Edison, where the Samish River dwindles to the bay, local residents liven up February’s gloom with a cheerful bird festival.

The Cascadia Weekly previously wrote about the frolic of chicken races and educational programs that took place in early February, but, after viewing the Edison Bird Festival Invitational, I thought it was worth pointing out that the feathery fun continues through the month at the town’s Smith & Vallee Gallery. 

Kathleen Faulkner’s iconic work beckons you into an exhibit of bird-inspired works by three dozen artists that explore the bird experience from egg to extinction. Her oil pastel, “A Gulp of Cormorants” is a restful study of a social gathering; in laudable understatement, it’s a quiet piece in a show dominated by some pretty loud ones.

You will know how it feels to be a mouse, facing a gallery of oversize portraits of predatory roosters, owls and herons. My favorite in this “loud” category would be a playful rendering of a swan and two Jurassic dragonflies done in splashy green, blue and red by Amy Armitage.

Offering the feel of feathers and flight are two monotypes by Kris Ekstrand Molesworth, in careful shades of yellow and blue. 

On the west wall, some 30 small works jostle for space, among which stand out a nice three-color serigraph, “Heron,” by Kristen Loffer Theiss; “Mother,” a semi-abstract, cartoonish but fetching linoprint of nestlings by Jessica Gigot; and a lovely woodcut by Natalie Niblack, “Bittern.”

A stately linocut print by Nicolette Harrington, “With Peace on their Wings,” anchors the center hall with monochrome, patterny outlines of geese, reminiscent of an Escher print.

Don’t overlook the most evocative piece in the exhibition: a delicate chiaroscuro by Ann Reid. “Will we save the Western Snowy Plover?” powerfully and darkly suggests the bird could be walking toward extinction.

Tucked away in a back room I found another treasure: David Hall’s digital print, “Hummingbird Nest in the Kiwi,” a sensitive, harmonious composition—and one of the first to have sold.

Todd Horton, an Edison favorite son, shows two paintings in his trademark style of a realistic figure in negative space, smeared or dripped upon. His “Selflessness” assembles a crow and two nicely drawn chickadees in a pleasing rain of paint drops.

For sheer fun, there are the works of two preeminent pranksters: John Robbins’ large, whimsical abstract, “To Be, a Bird” and that of RR Clark (also known as FishBoy), “The Boys,” constructed of wood, canvas, paint and colored pencil—already sold at a bargain price.

And beyond category is Pieter Vanzanden’s hilarious and scary scupture, a tyrannosaurus-size egg on wooden articulated feet, entitled “GM—OH!” Impending doom. On its own it brings us back to evolutionary beginning and suggests a terrible apotheosis.

But hey! What about the five, hand-felted and painted, soft sculptured hats by Penny Berck?  You could wear them at Halloween—or at the next Edison Bird Festival parade. Be a rooster, a woodpecker or a bluejay!

SVCR-0603 Buffet_ 770x150 CW
More Visual...
Voyager
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 »
Events
Today
5Point Adventure Film Festival

10:00am|Downtown Bellingham

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Barbecues and Beach Parties

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Ferndale Street Festival

6:00pm|Downtown Ferndale

Final Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Historic Fairhaven and downtown Bellingham

A Little Night Music

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Doubles

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|Nugent's Corner

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Sedro Car Show

9:00am|United General Fitness Center

Wondermud

10:00am|Bellingham BMX

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Discover Birch Bay Days

10:00am|Birch Bay Drive

Island Market

10:00am|Islander Grocery

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|Peace Portal Drive

Improv for Kids

10:30am|Improv Playworks

Fidalgo Bay Day

11:00am|Fidalgo Bay Resort

A Swinging Weekend

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Holly Street History Tour

1:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

This Old House

2:00pm|Point Roberts Community Center

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Drinking for Dogs

4:00pm|Green Frog Acoustic Tavern

Downtown Throwdown

4:00pm|Public Market

Scary Monster & the Super Creeps

5:00pm|Heart of Anacortes

Toys for Tots Benefit Concert

5:00pm|Eagle Haven Winery

Moonlight in Margaritaville

5:30pm|Maple Hall

An Evening with Ann Morris

7:30pm| Lummi Island Library

Circus on the Water

8:00pm|Lookout Arts Quarry and Boundary Bay Brewery

Artifacts Wine Bar Andrew Subin
Tomorrow
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

A Little Night Music

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Discover Birch Bay Days

10:00am|Birch Bay Drive

A Swinging Weekend

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Chuckanut Classic

6:30am|Boundary Bay Brewery

Veterans Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Post 1585

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Run to Fight Blindness

9:00am|Cascadia Eye

Marsh Mucking

10:00am|Tennant Lake Interpretive Center

Anacortes Open Streets

11:00am|Commercial Avenue

International Concert Series Finale

2:00pm|Peace Arch Provincial Park

Cirque Literary Journal Reading

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Chuckanut Writers Info Session

4:00pm|Village Books,

Sunday Night Fusion

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Swinomish 2016
Monday
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

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

see our complete calendar »

Artifacts Wine Bar Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab Bellingham Farmer’s Market Swinomish 2016 Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Andrew Subin 5 Point Film Festival