Visual

Happy Accidents

A date with history

See

What: "Women Artists of the Northwest: Katherine Eva Houlahan"

Where: Fourth Corner Frames & Gallery, 311 W. Holly St.

More:

WHEN: Through March 30

Info: http://www.fourthcornerframes.com

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Sheri Wright swears she didn’t initially make the connection that the exhibit of painter Katherine Eva Houlahan’s works showing as part of an occasional “Women Artists of the Northwest” series at Fourth Corner Frames and Gallery would be on display during Women’s History Month.

“I guess it was serendipity,” Wright said the day after the show had opened to resounding success during March’s Art Walk in downtown Bellingham.

But thanks to that “happy accident,” the eye-catching exhibit featuring an array of Houlahan’s landscapes, portraitures, floral watercolors and sketches created during her most prolific years—approximately 1914-1938—are drawing renewed attention to the important area artist more than 50 years after her death.

Wright says researching Houlahan’s history has been rewarding in its own right. The artist was born in Canada and raised in California, but it appears she found her true home when she moved to Seattle in 1901 to attend the University of Washington. Other than studying stints in Paris and New York City, the Pacific Northwest would turn out to be her home base until she passed away in 1964 at the age of 80.

In her younger years, Houlahan was known to travel alone with a pack horse and her painting supplies in the Olympic and Cascade mountains—as well as the San Juan Islands, Hood Canal, and Neah Bay. And judging by her impressionistic mountain landscapes—a few of which are included in the Fourth Corner exhibit—the effort was well worth it.

“The landscape ones were done earlier in her career,” Wright said, pointing out that the colorful and expressive portraitures of children and young women that are also part of the show were painted in later years, and were what helped her make a living as an artist.

Other topics of interest include the fact that Houlahan never married, that one of her mentors was world-renowned artist Robert Henri—who used to call her “Happy”—and that, due to health issues, she didn’t paint much past the age of 50.

Despite that last fact, Wright said Houlahan remains an important artist. “She’s got a great resume. There are collections everywhere. She’s got a following. She’s got a name.”

In 1968, Wright added, the Frye Museum in Seattle hosted a retrospective of her work. When asked how Houlahan’s art came from the Frye to the walls at Fourth Corner Frames, look again to serendipity.

“The owner of this collection is a client of mine,” Wright said. “I’d already framed a few pieces from this collection over the last year. He’s a collector who has seen the work I’ve shown featuring women artists of the Northwest, and asked if I’d be interested in highlighting his pieces. It was a perfect marriage.”

The result is a scenic stroll through history through the eyes of a master artist whose work deserves to be remembered. It will probably be a long while before patrons of the arts will see this many of Houlahan’s works in one place—let alone get the chance to purchase them.

On opening night, Wright said, sales were made and another client who’d viewed some of Houlahan’s work in Seattle and recognized her pieces when she saw them.

“She told me it was ‘so effective’ to view them together,” Wright said. “I love that.”

March Silver Reef
More Visual...
Heavy Metal
From sparks to sculpture

A passion for extended guitar solos and amplified distortion won’t be a requirement for those attending a couple of metal-focused exhibits on display in Bellingham through the month. Instead, all that’s needed is the capacity to appreciate what happens when heat and sparks help welders…

more »
Verdant Valley
Enchanted in Edison

One of the most refreshing exhibits in the Skagit Valley is the combined show of artwork by Kathleen Faulkner and Ann Morris at Smith & Vallee Gallery in Edison. Faulkner’s work, often seen here during the past 10 years, has achieved a high level of beauty and significance in her recent…

more »
Clay Play
A passion for pottery

When asked what makes her passionate about working with clay, potter Ann Marie Cooper has a difficult time containing her enthusiasm for the craft.

“‘Passionate for clay’ pretty much sums me up,” Cooper says. “I love the medium itself, its endless possibilities. I can spend an entire day…

more »
Events
Today
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

La Conner Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

Regional High School Art Show

8:00am|Northwest Educational Service District

Birding Adventures

9:00am|Skagit Valley

Imagine Convergence on Orcas Island

12:00pm|Rosario Resort

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition

12:00pm

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Dig Deep

3:00pm|Deming Library

Happy Hour Thursdays

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Pub Run

6:00pm|Stone's Throw Brewery

Ancient Beauty

6:30pm|Deming Library

Native American Flute Workshop

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Cross-Country Bicycling Travelogue

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

Peter Pan, A Musical Adventure

7:00pm|Meridian High School

Wild Mercy

7:00pm|Village Books

Dyo Festival Plays

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Bellingham Puppetry and Mask Festival

7:30pm|Alternative Library

Asleep at the Wheel

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Asleep at the Wheel

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Tomorrow
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

La Conner Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

Regional High School Art Show

8:00am|Northwest Educational Service District

Birding Adventures

9:00am|Skagit Valley

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition

12:00pm

Imagine Convergence on Orcas Island

12:00pm|Rosario Resort

Peter Pan, A Musical Adventure

7:00pm|Meridian High School

Dyo Festival Plays

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Bellingham Puppetry and Mask Festival

7:30pm|Alternative Library

Wild Things

9:30am|Whatcom Falls Park

SICBA Home & Garden Show

11:00am|Skagit County Fairgrounds

World Water Day Beach Cleanup

12:00pm|Squalicum Beach

Peace Vigil

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Barry Lopez and Horizon

7:00pm|Village Books

Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Sierra Hull

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

The Pageturners

7:30pm|ACT Annex

Tarnation, Ryan Stiles

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Legally Blonde The Hunts
Saturday
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

La Conner Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

Birding Adventures

9:00am|Skagit Valley

Imagine Convergence on Orcas Island

12:00pm|Rosario Resort

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition

12:00pm

Peter Pan, A Musical Adventure

7:00pm|Meridian High School

Dyo Festival Plays

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Bellingham Puppetry and Mask Festival

7:30pm|Alternative Library

SICBA Home & Garden Show

11:00am|Skagit County Fairgrounds

Tarnation, Ryan Stiles

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Pageturners

7:30pm|ACT Annex

Honeywagon Runs

8:00am|Riverside Park

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #154

WNPS Field Trip

9:00am|Breazeale Interpretive Center

Native Plant Sale

9:00am|Whatcom Community College

NSEA Work Party

9:00am|Squalicum Creek

Make It and Take it

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Nordic Roots Seminar

9:00am|United Methodist Church

Spring Studio Seconds Sale

10:00am|Blue Water Pottery

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Youth Ag Day

10:00am|Skagit Farmers Supply

Quilt Museum Annex Open House

10:00am|Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum

Skagit Beer Week

11:00am|Skagit Valley

Dahlias Made Easy

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Free My Heart

12:00pm|Village Books

Tax Help Available

12:30pm|First Congregational Church

Forest Bathing

1:00pm|Rockport State Park

A Family Immigration Story

1:00pm

Fidalgo and Mount Baker Youth Symphonies

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

PechuKucha Night

5:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Cheese Classes

5:00pm|Chuckanut Center

Giovanni & the Camino of St. Francis

7:00pm|Village Books

Manouche NW Concert Series

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Contra Dance with the Alphabeats

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Gabriel and Rebecca Manalac

7:30pm|Jansen Art Center

Skagit Symphony's Masterpiece Concert

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

see our complete calendar »

Legally Blonde Village Books Trove Web Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 The Hunts