Visual

Natural Light

Springtime in the greenhouse

Monday, April 16, 2018

One of the favorite attractions of tulip season is the springtime art show at the River Gallery near La Conner. Drive south past the vibrant fields of flowers, turn west on Dodge Valley Road, then left onto Landing Road. Here the work of 39 artists is displayed perfectly in a converted greenhouse under natural light.

Jacqui Beck’s playful abstractions remain among my favorites. “A Day with Some Wind” evokes stairs and buildings surrounding dreamy-blue negative space—it’s beautiful and it beckons one to discover what’s going on.

Sharing a work studio with Beck is newcomer Denise Takahashi. Trained as a nature illustrator, her merganser portrait “Copper and Emerald” combines realism with a surreal take on water reflection.

Maggi Mason continues to delight with her vision of a happier, more peaceful world. A young girl reads under a canopy of autumn leaves; another frolics with butterflies—all accomplished somehow with collage. It’s sweet, but never hackneyed.

Cynthia Richardson’s forest studies have unique depth; lately she has been creating stark figure studies by painting a leafless tree against white space. An architect by profession, she enjoys designing houses—but painting, she confesses, warms her heart.

Brooke Borcherding is a young Seattle artist whose colorful landscape and city studies continue to increase in both power and delicacy. I love her (oil) “Heading North,” and (acrylic) “Cascades Triangulate.”

For years, Terry MacDonald’s whimsical portraits of barnyard characters have been popular. But here’s a change—blue, black and red crows who are astonished by their orange field with printed letters and collage in “Crowing Around III.” “Last Good Time in Town” is a full-on abstraction with hieroglyphs of chevrons upon a sweep of blue, yellow and red-violet. It appears MacDonald has emerged from her chrysalis and spread her wings.

Paul Blum paints puzzles. At first glance, you think, “stained glass.” Between the black lines are blue, red or yellow fragments of faces or birds suggesting a story. My favorite is “Bob Grimes in Wickersham.”

Among the sculptures are works by Robert Gigliotti, Maria Wickwire, and glass artist Melissa Ballenger. Gigliotti is well-known for unique concepts and precise execution in cast bronze. “Into the Mystic” is a showy piece featuring a male figure leaping, holding aloft a ribbon—which, also being bronze, supports him. In “Four Noble Truths,” a trim juggler balances on a ball while holding three others. 

Wickwire’s evocative ceramic studies quickly became conversation pieces when she arrived in the Skagit Valley a couple of years ago. It’s difficult to take your eyes off her sculptures of lovely female nudes suffering unique and expressive traumas.

Mellissa Ballenger offers a nice surprise with delicate, standing glass panels. She has fused together thin strips of harmonious shades of glass. “Synchronicity” seems to be held together by a breath of air. It would display beautifully in a sunny window—if you could trust the cat not to knock it over.

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Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

BC Morgan Horse Show

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

The Gun Show

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Aliens

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Cornwall Park

Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Everson Library

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Coffee Tasting

3:00pm|Camber Cafe

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Ski to Sea Block Party

5:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

It Can't Happen Here

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

Baywatch and Brawls

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Beachside Barbecue

8:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Village Books
Tomorrow
Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

BC Morgan Horse Show

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

The Gun Show

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Aliens

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

It Can't Happen Here

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

Baywatch and Brawls

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #154

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverwalk Park

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Lummi Island Artists' Studio Tour

10:00am|Lummi Island

Birch Bay Kite Festival

10:00am|Birch Bay State Park

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Public Sail

1:00pm|Squalicum Harbor Marina

Mark Twain Bench Dedication

3:30pm|Village Books

Artist Talk with Sheila Klein and Ries Niemi

4:00pm|i.e. gallery

The cutting edge

4:00pm

Saturday Seafood Boil

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Village Books Trove Web
Sunday
BC Morgan Horse Show

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Birch Bay Kite Festival

10:00am|Birch Bay State Park

Lummi Island Artists' Studio Tour

10:00am|Lummi Island

The big picture

7:30am

Ski to Sea Race

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Edison Farmers Market

10:00am|Edison Granary

Historic Fairhaven Festival

10:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Langar in Lynden

11:00am|Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Audubon at the Museum

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

Art of Jazz

4:00pm|Majestic

Take Me to Church

8:00pm|Rumors Cabaret

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