The view at River Gallery
What: Spring Show
Where: River Gallery, 19313 Landing Rd.
WHEN: 10am-4pm daily through April 28
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Skagit Valley boasts great scenery, world-class farming and a thriving arts culture. And in the valley no place is more scenic, or supportive of art, than the River Gallery, nestled in peaceful Dodge Valley near La Conner.
Among the 38 featured artists in the aptly named “Spring Show,” Sheila Evans is included for the first time. Her pastel studies, “Aloft,” and “Arc of Flight” depict a water plant, the darker stems visible beneath lustrous leaves, glistening white and bronze. She enjoys composing them almost as abstractions.
Karen Bakke is also a new presence. She has been working as a professional artist since 1976, and in fine art exclusively since 1995, specializing in commissioned work, including large murals for commercial locations, hospitals, government buildings and homes. She’s a versatile artist who has painted nature, wildlife, religious subjects and portraits.
“Field in Flower” by Kent Nordby (his second time at the gallery) offers a panoramic view of yellow and red tulips edged by blue-green daffodil foliage and white paths, the viewer’s eye sweeping up past hills to higher mountains in the distance. The white towers and tan roofs of a distant town suggest a white village of Andalusia.
Christine Troyer’s pastel study, “Skagit Farming,” exhibits delightfully free pastel work. A fall-colored tree is reflected in a peaceful watercourse, curving toward the viewer.
A regular exhibitor, Robert Giglotti portrays each of his small bronze and stone sculptures of human figures as deeply absorbed in some spiritual or athletic activity. His “Beyond Samsara” depicts a man about to be engulfed by a wave—of transcendence?
Annette Tamm challenges the boundaries of fused glass. “On the Brink of the Abyss,” a grand inky disk, swept with star constellations, challenges the eye to wander in its depths. Her virtuosic process involves fusing glass layers containing gold leaf and paint, then laminating glass spheres onto the surface.
Also working in fused glass is Melissa Ballenger. Her craft reaches new expressivity in platter-shaped “Schism,” its white top contrasting with a dark red-brown layer below, divided by an energetic band of black, white and brown rectangles.
Charlotte Decker works in bold yellow, red and blue acrylic paints. “Rama” is a powerful statement. On a background of yellow marches a magisterial procession of blue and red oblong constructions, some opaque and some translucent.
A nice surprise by River Gallery curator Sylvia Strong is her lovely set of realist oils. She has previously shown handsome figure studies; now the ever-present Skagit clouds have captured her attention and she portrays them sensitively, with grays and blues shading imperceptibly into one another.
Jacqui Beck’s mixed-media compositions operate on two levels—as colorful, strongly abstract compositions and amusing whimsies. “Waiting for Nothing” posits a cat and bird contemplating each other from opposite ends of a clothesline. Another clothesline props up the delightful “Out to Dry.”
The gallery opens for only six weeks in springtime and six in the autumn, so catch this fine exhibit before it closes this Sunday.
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