Art's Alive!

Making magic in La Conner

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

This year’s “Art’s Alive” invitational at La Conner’s Maple Hall features 14 Northwest artists. The striking promo poster for the 33rd annual event that will see the town come alive with visual, literary, musical and culinary art Nov. 3-5 features interwoven images of insects, seeds and trees from cut paper art by featured artist, Ann Chadwick Reid, inspired by traditions of China, Mexico, and Victorian England.

If the selection committee has overlooked the dominant artistic movements of the last 100 years, they have assembled a nice show of Northwest decorative and collectible works. You can’t go wrong with Kathleen Faulkner’s serene oil pastel landscapes, or town and waterfront scenes by Steven Hill, and deeply felt nature studies by Cynthia Richardson. 

By choice or chance, some half-dozen artists share the theme of transformation—assigning human characteristics to animals, mixing up species, turning animal images or actual body parts into artwork.  Catherine Kerwick, for example, molds very dramatic and sensitive ceramic swans. Not only are they beautiful sculptures, but are also practical as bowls and vases.

In Jacqui Beck’s colorful, entertaining semi-abstractions, she often paints animals that carry on like people. In one of my favorites, “Chickens In Love,” a mutt laughs uproariously at the pair of smitten hens. 

Shawn Ferriss online site features pugilistic baby chicks with boxing gloves. Here, he will show songbirds wearing crowns.

Susan Cohen Thompson believes trees are the “most generous and sacred beings on earth—spiritually transcendent [and] capable of healing.” Her dreamy, “expressive nature” paintings depict human faces in leaves and vines (a happy and timeless worldview shared by all who’ve tripped on the magic mushroom).

Also magical are the colored ink drawings of Lindsay Kohles, who surprises by grafting a squirrel’s tail on a moth and crowning a toad with a heron’s head. Species-mixing stories and art appear to be universal in human cultures. But where does this impulse come from and what does it mean?

Then there’s an odd affinity between Kohles’ work and that of Allen Moe. An iconoclast if there ever was one, Moe lives on Guemes Island and sometimes in the Samish delta, where he scavenges wild bits to combine into elegant and occasionally creepy works of art. Allen has created masterworks by pasting snake heads, trout skins or rodent hip bones (subject to availability) around pots made from river mud.

But don’t be disappointed if he presents gypsum-cement casts of sand ripples and gravel beds from the Samish River and the Mojave Desert.  His intention is to show us natural patterns that we otherwise overlook.

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Home for the Holidays

5:00pm|Ferndale Events Center

The 39 Steps

7:00pm|Sehome High School Little Theatre

Little Women

7:00pm|Ferndale High School

Peter and the Star Catcher

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

Romeo, You Idiot!

7:30pm|Heiner Theater


7:30pm|Mount Baker High School

Craft Bazaar

9:00am|American Legion Post #43

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Hot Cider & Cool Art

10:00am|Morgan Block Studios

Used Book Sale

10:00am|Everson Library

Red Barn Handpicked Holiday Market

12:00pm|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen

3:00pm|Lynden Library, Ferndale Library

It's Where the Sidewalk Ends

6:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

New Music, New Dance

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

The Big Short One-Act Festival

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Bellingham Repertory Dance's Emerge

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

VFW Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Hall

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Pancake Feed

8:00am|VFW Post 1585

Holiday Bazaar

9:00am|Hillcrest Chapel

Christmas in the Woods

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

NSEA Work Party

9:00am|Acme Elementary School

Turkey Trot

9:00am|Squalicum Creek Park

Climate Reality

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

South Fork Winterfest

10:00am|Van Zandt Community Hall

Fall Gardening

10:00am|Lynden Library

Cheese Fest

10:00am|Everybody's Store

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show

10:00am|Rexville Grange

Holiday Farmers Market

10:00am|Port of Anacortes Transit Shed Event Center

Lynden Book Club

10:30am|Everson Library

Salmon Sighting

12:00pm|Haynie Creek

Conquering Writer's Block

2:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Fishboy Holiday Show

2:00pm|FishBoy Gallery

NaNoWriMo and Indie Publishing

3:00pm|Everson Library

Skagit Wine & Beer Festival


Homeless Summit and Cold Weather Giveaway

3:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

i.e. artists talk

3:30pm|i.e. gallery

Small Works Opening

4:00pm|Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park

Smith & Vallee Artist Talk

4:00pm| Smith & Vallee Gallery

WA 129 Poetry Reading

6:00pm|Maple Hall

Giving from the Heart

7:00pm|Depot Art Center

A Light in the Darkness

7:00pm|Church of the Assumption

Welcome Home Celebration

7:00pm|Village Books

Ruach Consort

7:00pm|St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Eagles Hall

Michael Kaeshammer

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Legends of the Blues V

7:30pm|Byrnes Performing Arts Center

Peter and the Star Catcher

7:00pm|Squalicum High School


7:30pm|Mount Baker High School

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Bellingham Repertory Dance's Emerge

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show

10:00am|Rexville Grange

Cheese Fest

10:00am|Everybody's Store

Holiday Farmers Market

10:00am|Port of Anacortes Transit Shed Event Center

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Rabbit Ride

8:30am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Getting in on the act


Sound of Music Singalong

1:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

A Musical Thanksgiving

2:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Harmony from Discord with Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The 25th Hour

4:00pm|Village Books

Southside Community Meal

5:00pm|Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

Way North Comedy Showcase

7:00pm|Farmstrong Brewing Co.

Rutie Dornfeld, John Miller

7:00pm|YWCA Ballroom

Kaeshammer Trove
Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Wander + Camber Beer Dinner

6:30pm|Camber Cafe

Rocks & Gems

7:00pm|Bloedel Donovan Community Building


9:30pm|Green Frog

see our complete calendar »

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