"}
Visual

Arts at the Port

Elemental beauty in Anacortes

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

“Air, Earth, Water” is the title of the 2014 “Arts at the Port” show. It opened last Saturday and is the serious part of the wild and crazy Anacortes Arts Festival the city has thrown every summer for more than 50 years.

In a quiet warehouse at the north end of Commercial Avenue you’ll discover two conjoined exhibits: the first is a stunning collection of works by 36 regional artists selected by juror Patricia Watkinson for their “skill, innovation, imagination and poetry.“ The second is an invitational show featuring five outstanding local artists. This “invitational” is what we’re going to talk about here.

Aaron Haba is a visionary. He takes logs, branches, flowers and rope and constructs something never before seen or imagined. Or he digs a form in the earth to cast a sculpture in concrete, which he lifts with primitive levers to a standing position and polishes to a fine sheen (see “Pearl” or “December” at Camano Island’s Matzke Sculpture Garden). In another culture he would have been a shaman to guide us into the underworld. 

For the Anacortes show he has constructed “Vessel,” an outsized wooden hemisphere, from discarded church timbers…just feel its massive presence. And he puts together a forest of sticks beneath stiff, hanging cords, entitled “Requiem for Mercy.” It looks different from every viewing angle. Go figure.

Patricia Resseguie exhibits her “free-motion embroidery” internationally. She compares her fabric creations to moss and lichen, growing into “a tumble of color, shape and texture.” She began as a journalist but a trauma required a complete reassessment of her goals and identity. Art is her path to a new life. 

Resseguie’s contribution is a series of delicate spiderwebs of lichen-inspired stitchery in rusty red and green and gray. Understated in size, they may be the most beautiful pieces in the exhibition.

Kris Molesworth’s monotypes are distillations of what she sees in our sea- and land-scape. Her hands fly over the monotype plate, brushing ink, and she pulls a single wet print full of energy and subtle color relationships to illustrate her experience of the farms and oceans of the Skagit River-Padilla Bay region where she has lived most of her life. Less abstract are her vigorous, sweeping charcoal and pastel drawings.

Brian ONeill is a sculptor who works with a gravelly clay to create “vessels” not intended for functional use, but to challenge us to reflect on the relationship of their rough exteriors to the “anthropormorphic,” hidden space inside. Any of them would be a welcome centerpiece in your living room. They have a centering presence, like ancient Chinese sculpture.

Peregrine O’Gormley nails his colors to the mast. His avowed goal has been to foster awareness of the fragility of the earth and how near we are to destroying it. His life-size bronze sculpture, “How Much Longer?” stands in rain and weather on 4th St. in Anacortes: the sturdy form of Mother Earth bends backward from the strain of supporting all her children. (O’Gormley has won many awards for his art and the strength of his conviction speaks through his work.)

Mother Earth is present here, but in miniature: she has curled herself into a baseball-sized sphere and appears to be grieving. There are several other modest pieces: a tiny frog and “Calling,” an extra-large, life-sized, backward-twisting raven with wings outspread, carved from a blackened cedar drift log. Like all the other works I’ve mentioned here, it’s worth a look—or two.

SVCR-0672 QMT_770x150 CW
More Visual...
River Visions
When storytelling and ecology collide

The artists of the Sepik River in Papua, New Guinea create striking, evocative work, acclaimed by collectors and museums worldwide. In a pair of brilliant exhibitions at the Museum of Anthropology of the University of British Columbia, the lyrical Sepik storytelling collides with a…

more »
Surge
Connected by climate

It’s been 35 years since La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art (MONA) first opened its doors to the public as a way to showcase the region’s most interesting and innovative artists.

When it comes to the future, that aforementioned number is equally important. As part of the venue’s annual…

more »
Time Travel
Operation Art Walk

We’d secured tickets for an 8:30pm showing of Blazing Saddles, and my date and I found ourselves with an hour-and-a-half to kill before the movie began.

When I suggested cramming as many Art Walk stops as we could into the limited time frame—starting from our house in the York…

more »
Events
Today
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Yoga for Outdoor Fitness

6:00pm|REI

Cooking with Sea Vegetables

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Candidate Forum

6:30pm|PUD Building

The Happy Elf Auditions

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

CW BOB 2016 Everybody’s Store
Tomorrow
Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

The Happy Elf Auditions

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Making Miso

4:00pm|Skagit Valley Food Co-op

Not If But When

6:00pm|Burlington Public Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Bingo in Blaine

6:00pm|Blaine Senior Center

Wonton and Char Siu

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Roving Cocktail Party

6:30pm|Gretchen's Kitchen

Eagle Presentation

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Blackfish Prophecy

7:00pm|Village Books

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Beginning Square Dance

7:00pm|Ten Mile Grange

Monastery Talk

7:00pm|Bellingham Shambhala Meditation Center

Village Books CW BOB 2016
Wednesday
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Lynden Book Club

12:30pm|Lynden Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Fun with Fermentation

4:00pm|Blaine Library

Ukulele for Everyone

4:00pm|Everson Library

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Bokashi Composting

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Teton Gravity Research's Tight Loose

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Bebel Gilberto

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Bebel Gilberto

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Northwood Steak and Crab Village Books CW BOB 2016 Everybody’s Store Andrew Subin Artifacts Wine Bar Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Bellingham Farmer’s Market Swinomish 2016