Once Again

Fall color at River Gallery

Monday, October 1, 2018

Maggie Mason takes my breath away. In the autumn “Small Works” show at River Gallery, Mason’s collages stand out for exquisite craftsmanship and inventive design—whether it’s “Paris in Winter,” or my favorite, “Winter Swans.” How does she put them together and where does she find such marvelous materials?

Mason and watercolorist Margaret Carpenter Arnett were both trained in their native Britain. Arnett’s misty landscapes, “Magic” and “Tonal Reflections,” reflect her belief in the healing power of art. With a background in both nursing and art, Arnett is a valuable art therapist in hospitals and schools.

British values are also evident in the work of Lavone Newell-Reim, whose stunning English country garden on Fir Island opens to the public during Skagit Symphony fundraisers. But painting, she writes, is the way to understand her role in the web of life. Her subjects range from landscapes and nature studies to abstractions based upon music.  Her “Fir Island Sunset” evokes a fine Japanese woodcut. “Arnie’s Tree” is a tour de force in heavy impasto.

Among new contributors to this season’s show are Kent Nord, Linde Husk, Lani Schonberg, and Leslie Strong. Nord’s oil panoramas of mountain and water are beautiful. “Starry Night” is exquisite, although I overheard one visitor question the tiny human shape beside the campfire. Linde Husk’s “Reaching,” (acrylic) offers a wonderful sunlit madrone.

Dedrian Clark and Coizie Bettinger are virtuosos with pastel. Clark, self-taught, reaches perfection with “The Falls.” Bettinger’s aspen portraits blaze with fall color.

Robert Gigliotti continues his familiar sculptural meditations on balance and the human form in motion; they are backed by Charlotte Slade Decker’s abstractions, which burst with color for the length of a gallery wall,.

Brooke Borcherding has emerged from the confines of a cubistic style with a more free brush and a mixture of subtle shades in “Neighborhood Butte,” “Santa Fe—Burro Alley,” and her bright and inviting “Overlook.”

Denise Takahashi, Terry MacDonald, and Denise Le Blanc all offer bird portraits. MacDonald, a choice of impressionist or realism; Le Blanc, owls with attitude. In Takahashi’s portrait of a grosbeak, you can almost hear its song.

Gary Giovane is remarkably prolific. His new delights include “Eelgrass Nursery Rhyme,” a swirl of fish in a handcrafted wood frame and “Circle About the Moon,” a colorful symphony of waves and rising stalks of grain beneath a luminous orb.

Paul Blum’s bright and enigmatic oil portraits resemble stained glass, concealing a face or a story amidst colorful abstract elements.

With 38 artists represented (including myself) and more than 200 works on view, I recommend visiting more than once to appreciate so many works in painting, pastel and collage, metal, glass and stone.

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Bellingham at Home Informational Meeting

1:00pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Endangered Species Curator's Tour

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Prosecutors race is a referendum on reform


Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Where the sidewalk ends


Walking to the End of the World

7:00pm|Village Books

Brian Dean Trio

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Climate Change and Forests

7:00pm|Sustainable Living Center

Modified documentary and Panel Discussion

7:30pm|Pickford Film Center

Village Books
Parkinson's Dance Class

10:00am|Ballet Bellingham

Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Komo Kulshan Ski Swap

4:00pm|Bloedel Donovan

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Camber Exhcange

5:30pm|1820 Scout Place

Falling Out of the Box Jewelry Challenge

6:00pm|Jansen Art Center

Squash Celebration

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Chuckanut Radio Hour

6:30pm|Whatcom Community College

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Nooksack River Travelogue

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

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Duck Variations

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Skriker

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Side Show

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

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Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Komo Kulshan Ski Swap

4:00pm|Bloedel Donovan

The Duck Variations

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Skriker

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Side Show

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Cider Days


Fall Family Weekend

12:00pm|Western Washington University

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Spaghetti Feed

5:00pm|Ferndale Senior Center

Bread and Puppet Theater

5:00pm|Laurel Park

Paper mache and politics


Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Gore and Lore Tours

6:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

7:00pm|Blaine High School

Friday Night Flicks

7:00pm|Van Zandt Community Hall

Pride and Prejudice

7:00pm|Lynden Christian High School

A Night with Miguel de Hoyos

7:00pm|Kennelly Keys

Laura Read and Friends

7:00pm|Village Books

Daily Dying

7:00pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship


7:30pm|McIntyre Hall


7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Teton Gravity Research

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

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