Hello, Hadrian

Set in stone in Edison



WHAT: Works by Gary Giovane, Ron Pattern, Rick Klauber, and April Grossruck
WHEN: Through Sept. 1
WHERE: Hadrian Stone Design Studio & Gallery, Edison

WHAT: “Proceed with Abandon…Viva Patty!”
WHEN: Through Sept. 23
WHERE: Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner
COST: Free

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A new gallery in Edison takes its name from Hadrian, the Roman emperor who built the Pantheon out of concrete in the year 138 A.D.

Houston Foist, owner and designer of Hadrian Stone Design Studio and Gallery, offers countertops, fountains, even outdoor furniture, made of this enduring and artistic material—any shape, texture and color you want.

Finding the gallery can take a second. Once you’re in Edison, follow Gilkey Avenue north past Smith & Vallee Gallery, then turn right—between buildings. It’s worth the effort.

Once inside,  you’ll find the gallery is large, airy and well-lit. The present show features Gary Giovane’s painted woodwork. Many years teaching school at the Makah reservation steeped him in the Northwest form-line style. To this, he adds the flavor of Celtic art, British Arts and Crafts, and a love of Japanese design.

His triptych, “Voysey’s Tree,” (painted acrylic on red cedar with red oak frame) is intended to portray the “three Graces” woven together with curling branches. “Northwest Rain Kosode” is a delightful composition in the shape of a kimono, with stylized raindrops the primary element. “Eagle Embraces Her” again employs Northwest tribal design.

“Larrabee Shore” is one of Ron Pattern’s realist nature compositions. It and the haunting “Bare Bones” are a pair of studies of eroded limestone rock with monumental visual impact. Born and raised in British Columbia, Ron is a professional artist, now a Bellingham resident.

And then we come to the “viewing stones” of Rick Klauber. When I was a kid, my dad encouraged me to start some kind of collection.  Instead of collecting stamps or coins, I dragged home rocks from the creek. Little did I know how close I came to an ancient tradition practiced by scholars and aristocrats of Korea, China, and Japan.  Nobody told me I should have sought to reach the world of spirit through the contemplation of naturally beautiful stones.

Klauber has collected them from as far afield as Alaska and Peru and displays the fascinating, intricately shaped rocks on polished wooden bases. Each is a fine sculpture, created by nature alone.  (I’m planning to resume my childhood hobby and take it to a higher level.)

Also at Hadrian Stone are several sensitive pastels by April Grossruck. My favorites were a study of a concentric nesting of baby rabbits in a whirl of delicate color and of a pair of playing dogs—or coyotes—again with a circular energy. 

Beyond Edison, at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, is “Proceed with Abandon…Viva Patty!,” a not-to-be missed, small retrospective honoring the artistic legacy of Patty Detzer,

Detzer, called a “trail blazer and a firecracker,” taught art in many Skagit County schools until her untimely death last January. Her ceramics appear gentle and feminine, but look closer and you’ll see the surfaces of broken glass, human teeth and nails—“exposing the incongruous nature of [female] existence.” Not surprisingly, her favorite event was the Mexican Day of the Dead.

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