Visual

Stars and Sea

Seeking the elements in Edison

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WHAT: “Vessels and Voyages” Artist Talk
WHEN: 4pm Sat., June 24
WHERE: Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey Ave.
INFO: http://www.smithandvalleygallery.com

WHAT: “The Pleiades”
WHEN: Through June 25
WHERE: i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains Court
INFO: http://www.ieedison.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In Edison this month art patrons can enjoy two excellent exhibits: Smith & Vallee Gallery features the work of Steve Jensen, and graphic works and paintings by Thomas Wood can be viewed at i.e. gallery.

The contrast is profound. Wood is a man who knows many things, while Jensen knows one thing well.

Jensen knows crescent-shaped boats, which are colorful in several media: paintings on wood and plaster, translucent resin boxes and recycled marine aluminum.

The boat images recall the funeral urns in his Museum of Northwest Art show last summer. Jensen’s crescent-moon-shaped boats, hovering above the waves, are peaceful, solemn meditations on finality and remembrance. 

Several monumental, carved wall plaques relieve the boat theme. In “Dancing Starfish,” stacked piles of recycled plywood accentuate a curving line of starfish. Who cares whether starfish have four or five arms?

The back room of the gallery is commanded by the 60-inch “Compass”—“made to navigate the waters of the other side”—and embellished with carved sailboats, eyes, a fish and a hand where visitors are to spin it. Jensen didn’t put north, south, east or west on it because, he says, “once you get there, it does not matter.”

The Smith & Vallee exhibit also includes the appealing sculptural stoneware of Jeffrey Hanks of Lopez Island, whose ceramics have been frequently chosen for exhibit in the Anacortes Arts Festival.

The Thomas Wood show down the street at i.e. is a perfect foil for the Jensen pieces. Wood’s sensibility tends to the Renaissance. Both a painter and engraver, he’s often compared to the two great Northern artists, Albrecht Durer and Edvard Munch.

His “Night Swimmer” is a lovely, symbolic work in which a nude swims among salmon, shrimp and jellyfish, sliding through eelgrass. The abstract shapes in line above strongly evoke the style of the region’s own Northwest “mystic,” Guy Anderson. 

Wood’s theme, “The Pleiades,” refers to our age-old fascination with the heavens. Several colorful abstractions suggest starry nights, while the engravings bustle with fish, birds, stars, trees, houses, flowers, humans and monsters. 

In one etching, a man observes a companion hoisted into the air by a goose. “Celebrating the Nearness of Mars” features a pair of savant grasshoppers who gesture skyward. Even the “Three Night Flowers” pay tribute to the heavens.

And what of the dark, brooding church rendered in two versions of “The Pleaides?” In one, a king, leaving his boat on a bush, arrives with a half-human, half-animal bride. On the roof, Leda mourns her swan. A lamb, cat and woodpecker commune with an elderly couple on a balcony. The stone foundation heaves with sculptured forms. A window gallery reveals enigmatic stunts and mishaps within, while a skeleton under a tree prompts his student—a pig in shorts and polka-dots. 

All of these puzzles are worth contemplating while you sip a cold beer in one of Edison’s popular taverns or perhaps enjoy a coffee and delicious dessert at the nearby Tweets.

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Events
Today
Winter Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Salish Sea Early Music Festival

7:00pm| Fir-Conway Lutheran Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Cinderella

7:00pm|Lynden Christian Worship and Fine Arts Center

Winter Dances

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Davis

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

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12:01am

Wild Things

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A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Cups for community

5:00pm

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Opera Scenes

6:00pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Levity

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Greyson Chance

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The Good Doctor

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Cocoanuts

7:30pm|Phil Tarro Theatre

Tomorrow
Winter Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Cinderella

7:00pm|Lynden Christian Worship and Fine Arts Center

Winter Dances

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Davis

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

They come in peace

12:01am

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Good Doctor

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Ferndale Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #154

Lynden Breakfast

8:00am|Lynden Community Center

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Pruning 101

10:00am|Blaine Library

La Conner Birding Showcase

10:00am|Maple Hall

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Basic Pruning Methods with Plant Amnesty

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

A Taste of India

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Clean Water Happy Hour

12:00pm|Overflow Taps

Bird Smarts

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

Baja, Mexico Wine Tasting

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Early Railroads of Whatcom County

4:00pm|Village Books

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4:00pm|Samson Estates Winery

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5:30pm|Lynden Skateway

Kulshan Winterfest

7:00pm|Samish Oyster Bar and Shellfish Market

Jennifer Scott Trio

7:30pm|Jansen Art Center

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Off the Hill Concert Series

7:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Sound of Music Sing-Along

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Contra Dance

8:00pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

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8:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

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