Visual

Body and Soul

Similarities to reality

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WHAT: Trish Maharam’s “One Continuous Body”
WHEN: Through September
WHERE:Perry and Carlson Gallery, 504 S. First St., Mount Vernon
For more info: http://www.perryandcarlson.com

WHAT: Drie Chapek’s “Soul Juice”
WHEN: Through Sept. 29; attend an Artist Talk at 4pm Sat., Sept. 21
WHERE: i.e. gallery, 5800 Cains Court, Edison
INFO: http://www.ieedison.com

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Abstract art evokes emotions by teasing our minds to look for similarities to reality.

Two accomplished artists offer fine abstract works at Skagit Valley galleries this month; Trish Maharam at Perry and Carlson in Mount Vernon and Drie Chapek at i.e. gallery in Edison. They represent opposite approaches to materials, color and composition.

Maharam descends from a family of fabric entrepreneurs. In her art, so natural to her that she compares it to breathing, she knits, felts and hand-stitches on silk and linen. The finished work is spare and attenuated, her use of color restrained. She observes, “the pieces which most compel me are the ones which take me by surprise.”    

She headlines her work with a poem, “One Continuous Body.” The exhibit is an amalgam of stitchery and text; her own, plus quotations from her favorites, including Rilke and Proust. 

“We make a home,” she writes. “In mine are many rocks, shells, mounds of glass. Fabric, books.” Her choice favors unbleached white linen or silk, sometimes bound up with tiny treasures. “Like a Child” features glass fragments burnished from years of churning in surf, bound with silk thread. The analogous “torsos found” incorporates eroded fragments of shell. 

Many of her works are fragile, especially the intensely personal “hair beads.” She rolled up the 360 “beads” from strands found in the shower. Initial panic for hair lost “gave way to wonder” as the hairs compacted and felted, clinging to each other ”like a small head.” 

Maharam offers many versions of circles of thread on linen or silk.  Breasts come to mind. A series entitled “Gradations of Grey” employs dark knots rising to a point. “Circle of Words” suggests lines of type.  Staring at her spirals of “Spring Green” evoked a feeling of falling into desert ziggurats.             

Chapek has previously shown her paintings at i.e. With “Soul Juice,” she’s at the peak of her game. She paints big, in oil, and surprises by leaving thin washed canvas in pale hues next to thick impasto. She pushes somber blues against pink and faint marigold, orange against green.

Each of her substantial compositions is a rich visual experience. She creates depth not only by impasto, but also by juxtaposing light and dark. “Pleasure” features an irregular, rosy field streaked with red, framed by black on all sides. “Aloft” suggests a mountain peak backed with indigo, sun-washed glaciers tumbling down the front.

Chapek’s “Grounded” mesmerized me. Shrouds in white, yellow, crimson whisper power and majesty—an uncanny congruence to Velasquez’s 1650 portrait of Pope Innocent X.

She is at her most ambitious with “These Times.” There’s no pictorial hook for the imagination here. Sinews stretch across the canvas, framed by viridian to one side and blood red, the other. Was this what another reviewer described as “fully alive and beautifully decomposing?”

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Events
Today
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

The Naughty List Market and Cabaret

2:00pm|Broadway Hall

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Wild Things

9:30am|Connelly Creek Nature Area

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Holiday Craft Bazaar

3:30pm|Lynden Library

Drayton Harbor Shellebration

4:00pm|G Street Plaza

Gingerbread House Making

4:30pm|Ferndale Library

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Photos and Stories with James K. Papp

5:00pm|Gallery Pegasus

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Kids Night Out @ Western

6:00pm|Western Washington University

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Lost Feast

7:00pm|Village Books

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Christmastime is Here with Skagit Symphony

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Tomorrow
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am|Sedro-Woolley Community Center

NSEA Work Party

9:00am

Old-Fashioned Christmas Market

10:00am|Friday Harbor Brickworks

Fairhaven Winterfest

10:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Winter Faire

10:00am|Whatcom Hills Waldorf School

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Winter Arts & Crafts Festival

10:00am|Pioneer Park Pavilion

Sumas Book Club

10:00am|Sumas Library

Snow Geese of Skagit

10:30am|Christianson's Nursery

Your Life is a Story Writers Group

10:30am| South Whatcom Library

Award-Winning Book Club

10:30am|Lynden Library

Mastering Wisteria

10:30am|Full Bloom Farm

Saltadena Celebration

11:00am|Saltadena Bakery

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

Holiday Craft Bazaars

11:30am

Holiday Maker's Market

12:00pm|Terramar Brewing and Distilling

Holiday Joy with Fidalgo Youth Symphony

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Festive Feasting Reception

1:00pm|Good Earth Pottery

Holiday Tea and Crafts

1:00pm|North Fork Library

Big Holiday reds tasting

2:00pm|eifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Shrinking the Worry Monster

2:00pm|Village Books

Teen Art Fair

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Bowman Bay Holiday

3:00pm|Bowman Bay

A Deep Dive Into Eve Deisher's Psyche

3:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Noel Ensemble

3:00pm|Jansen Art Center

One Meditation

4:00pm| Boulevard Park

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Early Railroads of Whatcom County

7:00pm|Village Books

Center Into Solstice

7:00pm|Cafe Blue

Holiday History Hi-Jinks

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Winter Solstice Concert with SeaMuse

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Cidertails with Alexine Langdon

7:30pm|housand Acre Cider House

The Kelley World Tour

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Sunday
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Celtic Yuletide

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Scarlett and Dicey

4:00pm|Village Books

Vaudevillingham

7:00pm|Cirque Lab

see our complete calendar »