Visual

Second Chances

Reconnecting with a master

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

William Cumming died in 2010 at the age of 93, but those enamored of the Northwest School painter known for his important contributions to modern art will have the unique opportunity to reconnect with his works at an exhibit and sale taking place June 9-July 8 at La Conner’s Forum Arts.

“William Cumming, Small Works, 1943-2009” will feature hundreds of original pieces priced between $350-$1,000, making it possible for art lovers of a variety of income levels to purchase one-of-kind works. The show promises to highlight nearly 60 years of the preserved collection of Cumming’s sketches, including both playful and moving images of the people and street scenes of Seattle.

The nationally acclaimed artist had a great love for the art of drawing and a skilled eye for the kinetics of the human form, and a recent missive sent by In the Valley of Mystic Light co-author Claire Swedberg pointed out the artist “once declared he could recognize a friend down the road, without ever seeing the face, simply by gait and posture; and those telling instants of a person’s movements or posture became key elements in his work.

“Cumming could capture a whimsical or highly poignant moment with a few strokes of the pen or pencil,” she adds. “At various points throughout the six decades of his career, he could be found sitting at a coffee house in the University District, with a pencil and sketchpad—or any other material on-hand, even newsprint—sketching those he saw and often selling the sketches or giving them away on the spot. Others he took home to develop into paintings.”

Cumming’s journey on his path to being included among other Northwest School artists such as Morris Graves, Mark Tobey, and Kenneth Callahan took him from his birthplace in Kalispell, Montana to Tukwila. Growing up in the small farming community south of Seattle, he took drawing courses by correspondence and spent weekends traveling to the big city and teaching himself art history at the Seattle Public Library.

In 1934, after graduating from Foster High School, Cumming briefly attended a private art school in Seattle before the effects of the Great Depression had him returning to the family home. He had trouble finding steady work, but eventually found himself doing odd jobs with the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project, where he met Graves and his circle of friends and artists.

By 1941, his figurative painting style had drawn attention, and the Seattle Art Museum gave him his first solo show—the next would come 20 years later. Teaching art, social justice issues and workers’ rights were important parts of Cumming’s life, and at an opening reception taking place Sat., June 9, those in attendance are welcome to share their memories or impressions of the man with the crowd at hand.

Dena Lee, Cumming’s widow and the co-host of the exhibit, will also be on hand at the event. Give her your thanks, because she’s the one making it possible to peruse and purchase previously unseen pieces by a master.

When asked why she chose to release these sketches now, Lee’s answer is simple. “These works need to be out of storage,” she says, “shared and displayed in the homes of those who love Bill’s art!”

More Visual...
Cultural Contributions
A big unveiling at Riverwalk Park

On a drizzly Saturday last April, a rapt audience sheltered under tents and umbrellas on Mount Vernon’s new Riverwalk Park, where at last, flood-defense measures have been put into place and the community can enjoy farmers markets and other gatherings. 

Attorney Joe Bowen was one of the…

more »
Limited Engagements
Here today, gone tomorrow

Don’t blink, because you might miss a few noteworthy events. They’re limited engagements, so be prepared to show up and represent by perusing creative works, entering into meaningful dialogue with those you’re sharing space with and perhaps offering financial support by purchasing a piece…

more »
Materialism
A collection that packs a punch

We’re profoundly lucky to have the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum on top of the hill in La Conner. The hard-working curators consistently offer world-class exhibits, two of which may be the most powerful fabric art you’ll ever see.  

“How I Felt…A Woolistic Approach”…

more »
Events
Today
Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Bellingham Dance Company's Hunchback

7:00pm|Majestic

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Open Air Summer Rep

7:30pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Chuckanut Writers Conference

9:00am|Whatcom Community College

Lummi Stommish Water Festival

10:00am|Lummi Nation

Whatcom Cultural Arts Festival

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Keys for Kids

5:30pm|Stepping Stones Garden

Off Broadway

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Musicals and Brawls

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Plant Hike

8:00am|Hannegan Pass Trail

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Padden Triathlon

8:30am|Lake Padden Park

March Point Run

9:00am|Andeavor Refinery

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverwalk Park

Twin Sisters Market

9:00am|Nugent's Corner, North Fork Library

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am| Depot Market Square

Welcome to Chickenlandia

10:00am|Blaine Library

Lynden Farmers Market

10:00am|Centennial Park

Lummi Island Saturday Market

10:00am|Islander Grocery Store

How to Renovate an Older Urban Garden

10:00am|Roeder Home

Imagine This! Home & Landscape Tour

10:00am|Whatcom County

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Inside the green building scene

10:00am

Apps & Snaps for iPhone Gardeners

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

A Novel Affair with Nancy Pearl

11:30am|Maple Hall

Ice Cream Class for Adults

12:00pm|Lynden Library

Concrete Saturday Market

1:00pm|Concrete Community Center

Lynden Cemetery Tour

1:00pm|Lynden Cemetery

Tuesdays with Morrie

2:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Seafood Boil

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Seafood Boil

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Saturday Seafood Boil

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Chuckanut Writers Conference Open Mics

7:00pm|Village Books Reading Gallery, Evolve Chocolate and Cafe, Lovitt Restaurant, and Magdalena's Creperie

Musical Reunion

7:00pm|YWCA Ballroom

Dudestock

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

An Evening with Ira Glass

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Trove Web
Tomorrow
Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Bellingham Dance Company's Hunchback

7:00pm|Majestic

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Lummi Stommish Water Festival

10:00am|Lummi Nation

Off Broadway

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Brunch on the Bay

10:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Skagit Symphony Garden Tour

10:00am|Mount Vernon

Junk in Your Trunk

10:00am|North Fork Library

Edison Farmers Market

10:00am|Edison Granary

La Conner Live

1:00pm|Gilkey Square

Women on the Water

1:00pm|Community Boating Center

Audubon at the Museum

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Trivia Time

3:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Way North Comedy Triple Header

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Take Me to Church

8:00pm|Rumors Cabaret

Village Books Trove Web
Monday
Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Rainbow Reads

12:00pm|Lynden Library, Ferndale Library

Plant Diagnostic Clinics

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Hammocking Basics

6:00pm|REI

Hammocking Basics

6:00pm|REI

Monday Night Pizza

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme Commons

Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Orca Month Kayak Tour

6:00pm|Zuanich Park

Books on Tap Two

6:30pm|Tino's Pizza & Pasta Co.

Open Mic Night

7:00pm|Village Books

Guffawingham

9:00pm| Firefly Lounge

see our complete calendar »

Trove Web 2018 Cascadia Kids Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1