Summer Moments

A seasonal sojourn on Camano Island

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Everyone enjoys a seasonal sojourn to the Matzke Fine Art Gallery & Sculpture Park on Camano Island. On the 10-acre grounds, it’s possible to peruse more than 100 sculptures by the best American and international artists. There’s plenty of room for children to play and families to picnic.

Within the 3,000-square-foot gallery, Karla Matzke has tastefully curated each large room with sculptures on pedestals, surrounded by brilliant paintings.

In the current “Summer Moments” exhibit, Ann Martin McCool’s abstractions play off nicely against Peter Kuentzel’s whimsical ceramic boats. Her “Memory Moon” spins with textures of ferns and dancing figures, which merge into soft, blended hues of sunset and ice-blue. Influences of Paul Klee, Kandinsky, and Georgia O’Keefe show strongly in her work, along with references to her beloved Northwest landscape. McCool never runs out of fresh ideas, expressed in her recognizable style.

A center point is Richard Hestekind’s “Chrysalis II”— a commanding carving in fuchsite, known as the “healer’s stone” for its power to bring happiness, laughter and joy. Its rough, rusty natural surface contrasts dramatically with the polished jade-green and white interior. Despite its large size, it is intended to be housed out of the weather, as the material is not waterproof.

Hestekind grew up in Japan and has remained imbued with a Zen sensibility to life and art, enhanced by training under sculptor George Tsutakawa at the University of Washington. He creates in the hope his art can enrich our spiritual life.

In the central gallery, visitors will find that the mantle of “Northwest mystic” painter has fallen upon Todd Horton’s shoulders. He enjoyed a year-long residency in Clayton James’ studio, and recalls his first impression of it as “shockingly minimal for being used as for 60 years…like a Zen lumberjack and devotee of wabi sabi [had been] living in the space.” 

Under James’ aura, Horton imbibed the deep spirit of the Skagit. An intimate essay on his experience is available to read. And his new landscape paintings exhibit strength and majesty. “On the Shores of the Salish” appears to be an encomium to James in its resemblance to the iconic painter’s “Geologic Menhirs” (1997), while displaying the characteristic color modulation of Horton’s best work.

The pieces harmonize perfectly with Jan Hoy’s sculptures in bronze, clay and steel, each one a fresh take on shape and material. “Cardinal Connection” is a fascinating giant bowl neatly severed and stacked. Cast in bronze from the original clay model, it beckoned me to tap it lightly to feel and hear the musical resonance.

Sharon Kingston’s popular “atmospheric” oil paintings surround the remaining space. The Bellingham-based artist’s canvases bloom with subtle gradations of tone, endlessly entertaining to the eye and restful to the soul. 

“Evening Poem” is inspired by “that caressing moment” when the hills embrace the clouds—fulfilling Kingston’s wish that “rubbing pigment on canvas can create spaces that translate emotion, memory and thought.”

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Lifestyle Talks

1:00pm|Ferndale Library

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Poetry Writing Group

5:30pm|Village Books

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

European Travelogue

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

Village Books
Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Wild Things

9:30am|Lake Padden Park

Garage Sale and Health Fair

12:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Books and Bites

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Post-Holiday Detox

2:00pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Coffee Tasting

3:00pm|Camber Cafe

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Art Auction Gala

5:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Anacortes Women's March

6:00pm|Depot Arts Center

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Sierra Club Winter Member Party

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery


7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Opera Scenes

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

The Flick

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Tropical Heat Wave Dance


Space Trek, Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Five for Fighting

8:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

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Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Garage Sale and Health Fair

12:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship


7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

The Flick

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Space Trek, Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

VFW Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Hall

Smoking Crow Opening

9:00am|Smoking Crow

Mason Bee Management

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Nordic Ski Ambassadors

10:00am|SnoPark at Salmon Ridge

Plant Society Field Trip

10:00am|Birch Bay State Park

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am|Howard Miller Steelhead Park

March on Bellingham

10:00am|Bellingham City Hall

Winter Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

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Travel to Cuzco and Machu PIcchu

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Mysticism in Art

2:00pm|Skagit County Historical Museum

Mona Openings

2:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Cedar Weaving Workshop

2:00pm|Lynden Library

Teddy Bear Biographies

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

Exploring Port

2:00pm|Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Learn to Grow a Vegetable Garden

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The Fight Against Human Trafficking

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Kindgom Quest

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Music and Memories

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Robert Burns Supper

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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Ensemble Electra

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The Good Lovelies

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