From the garden to the gallery
What: "Summer Moments"
Where: Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Camano Island
WHEN: 11am-5pm Fri.-Sun., through Aug. 11
Cost: Entry is free
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
One of the most unique art galleries in the Pacific Northwest has got to be Karla Matzke’s Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden on Camano Island.
The latest exhibit, “Summer Moments,” proves this season is the perfect time to visit. Dozens of sculptures punctuate the garden. Others, with painting and fiber art, are sheltered nearby in the large, well-lit gallery.
The “mystical spirit” of the Pacific Northwest lives on in paintings by Ann Martin McCool of Anacortes. Her “Moon Bridge” reveals a distant orb in eclipse, floating above a scrim of lines, perhaps suggesting trouble below. In “Earth and Water Vessel,” a vase buried deep beneath strata may indicate a precious loss. And McCool’s imaginings reach treacherous depth among ravaged tree trunks and falling debris in “Along the Way.”
Equally ethereal are the encaustic paintings of Stephanie Hargrave, which she creates on birch panels with multiple, transparent layers of burnished beeswax, resin, pencil, powdered colors and graphite. “Capra Circus 7” evokes a mythic goat charging through a restless dream. “Botanical 2” captures flower and grape forms floating in space.
Who would have thought plastic could be a suitable material for serious sculpting? Micajah Bienvenu has done just that, with “Picture Perfect”—made out out of recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG)—catching the sunshine with a splendid glow.
More traditional material is chose by Don Anderson, who mounts his stainless “Occula” and steel and copper “Lightning” on bases of metamorphic stone.
Kentaro Kojima, a regular exhibitor at the gallery, shows evocative basalt sculptures. “Stir 3. East & West” is a mask-like presence in black basalt, appearing about to speak. Kojima, born in Guatemala to Japanese parents, trained in New York City but now finally feels at home in the Northwest.
Glass is the material of choice for renowned sculptor Hiroshi Yamano, head of the craft department at Osaka Art University. His trademark fish that symbolize his frequent travels between Japan and North America are summoned out of blown, silvered glass. Some nestle in colorful glass bowls.
Sculptor and thinker Sue Taves muses how much the practice of carving stone resembles life. Once you’ve chiseled your first mark, she says, you can only go forward. Among her other work, she’s carved the airy “Sunburst” from pyrophyllite.
Sculptor Jan Hoy mounts gnomic, upward-reaching fired clay cups, entitled “Spring,” on rough basalt, suggesting the power of life to spring from geologic origins. Her lovely “Blue Moons” (pictured) are constructed from the same materials.
Patricia Resseguie has shown her fiber art in the United States, England, and Japan. On Camano Island, she offers miniature examples of abstract “free motion embroidery” created on a sewing machine used as a drawing tool.
Matzke invites visitors to wander the garden paths through the remarkable sculptures and linger to picnic, if they wish. Tables and chairs from the shelter by the gallery can be utilized, provided they’re folded up and returned after use.
Look up, and you’ll see that several old cedar trees have branched into fantastic shapes—almost as if the forest had called a sculpture park into being.
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