Celebrate Art

A multi-dimensional exploration



WHAT: “Into Stillness”
WHEN: 11am-4pm Fri.-Sun., through Dec. 27
WHERE: i.e. gallery, Edison

WHAT: “Celebrate Art”
WHEN: 11am-5pm Wed.-Sat., through Jan. 9
WHERE: A Guilded Gallery, Stanwood

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

If creative gift-giving is on your Christmas checklist, take note that Heidi Epstein is being featured in a solo show at i.e. gallery in Edison.

A longtime Skagit County resident, Epstein has been an educator and interior designer whose history includes a B.A. in landscape architecture from U.C. Berkeley and a masters in painting and art education from the California College of Art. Her work, influenced by Zen Buddhist meditation, has been called buoyant, light, even “shimmery… barely there and [yet] completely grounded.”

In the “Into Stillness” exhibit, Epstein’s pieces fall into several groups. An “Atmospheric” series (watercolor on paper) describes 12 months where the size of the picture changes proportionally to the amount of sunlight received, with a glorious, rose-shaped July at the center.

On the opposite wall, Epstein reprises her months with watercolor selections from her “Narrative” series. “January” is very cool, defined by two upright columns. She awards warm rectangles to “February,” surrounding a block of cold grey-blue. “September” is a mountain silhouette backed by green clouds and gloomy “November?” features a forbidding tree trunk with a single falling leaf.

The striking group, “It Happens in the Garden,” (watercolor, graphite and colored pencil on paper) comprises five works, ranging from the whimsical “Benign Creature” in faint rose to the ghostly worlds of “Night Silence.”

The “Sides” series “began as five papers with a rectangle dimensioned but only partially drawn,“of which we find two—“Silence” and “Bone,” each numinous dark shapes with mysterious light lines.

Epstein posits her “Meditation” series as “expressions of stillness.” The watercolors include “Opposite and Equal,” a somber black-on-brown with electric swathes of orange containing a dark vortex, and “Dharma Speaking,” which boasts repeating translucent disks, dotted with white. “Silence, Line 2,” a grey-green composition set off with white ascending disks, evokes mysticism.

Epstein shifts into three dimensions with several needlepoint creations resting on easels made by Devil’s Mountain Forge. “Submerged,” hand-stitched wool on canvas, suggests a dive into an underwater tennis court. “The Floating World” is an eye-catching, whimsical fantasy.

A peek into A Guilded Gallery in Stanwood revealed some of the treasures their juried show, “Celebrate Art,” has attracted. Among the works on display and for sale include pieces by the multi-talented Val Paul Taylor, a member of the Stanwood-Camano Arts Guild. One of his visual conundrums, an acrylic work titled “Half Past Ethan Allen,” finds his familiar characters—a handsome, red-bearded sage, puppets and roosters—haloed before church windows, up to no good.

A commanding oil painting by Gene Jaress, “Refined Living in Anacortes,” (oil on canvas) portrays boats in silhouette surrounded by a fierce orange haze. Did the image—and perhaps the name—suggest a mishap at the city’s refineries? Nope, it’s based upon a sunrise photograph taken by Thaddeus Hink.

We’ve been following Dotti Burton’s abstract work for years and her “Golden Moment” is well-named. This acrylic painting combines interesting palette textures, balanced color and a sense of movement.

Frankie and Bill Koger of Marysville are a highly artistic couple, taking phenomenal photographs during their travels and creating wonderful artworks to show at the gallery. Frankie’s mixed-media painting, “Finding my Way,” is restrained, balanced and thoughtful. Bill’s watercolor landscapes share the mood, but in a gentle realism.

An exhibiting artist for 40 years, Bill Harrison (also a gallery member) combines geometric elements with abstract details in his highly controlled “Harbor Reflections” and “Red Umbrella,” (both acrylic) evoking a uniquely peaceful, yet gripping mood.

LeElla Day’s oil landscape, “Walton’s Mountain,” (pictured) is nothing less than magical. She suggests the same scenic grandeur as does the 19th century master, Albert Bierstadt, but with heightened realism.

Kathleen Ritz has been a dedicated artist in the Skagit Valley, showing at many of our galleries, including River Gallery, Scott-Milo, and the Depot. Her grand oil painting, “Waterlilies,” evokes the the spirit of Monet, and is an outstanding achievement.


[Dec. 2-24]

FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS: Choose from an online market or shopping in person at Allied Arts’ annual Holiday Festival of the Arts place through Christmas Eve. The “wired market” will be open through Dec. 24 with curbside pickup available, and the “lite” mini-market can be attended from 10am-6pm Tues.-Sat. through Christmas Eve in downtown Bellingham at Allied Arts’ headquarters at 1418 Cornwall Ave.
For more info:


ARTWOOD: Hours are currently 11am-5pm Wednesdays through Fridays, and 11am-6pm Saturdays at Artwood Gallery, 1000 Harris Ave. Please wear a mask when entering the gallery; gloves will be available for guests who need to handle the merchandise.
For more info:

FOURTH CORNER FRAMES: Painter Lorna Libert’s “Close to Home” can be viewed through December at Fourth Corner Frames and Gallery, 311 W. Holly St. The exhibit features works such as “Windy Day on Bellingham Bay,” “The Path at Lake Padden,” and “Bad Hair Day.”
For more info:

GALLERY SYRE: Peruse “David Syre: Envisioning a Better Future” from 11am-4pm Tuesdays through Thursdays (and by appointment) through Dec. 18 at Gallery Syre, 465 W. Stuart Rd. The works Syre created during quarantine have a unique language and message for a better future. Mostly abstract and painted with powerful colors, these recent canvases inspire people to take a leap into the unknown, to think about new forms of living together—and a new world in which humans can coexist with nature again.
For more info:

GOOD EARTH: “Celebrate Handmade” will be featured from 11am-5pm Mondays through Saturdays (closed Tuesdays) and 12pm-4pm Sundays through December at Good Earth Pottery, 1000 Harris Ave. The exhibit features the work of resident artists.
For more info:

JANSEN ART CENTER: Mike Bathum’s “Emerging Nature 2,” “Through the Eyes of the Beholder” by Malissa Perry and Christen Mattix, a Whatcom Artist Studio Tour showcase, a Juried Exhibit, and the annual “Cup Show” can be viewed online at the Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St. Due to recent COVID restrictions, the Jansen is currently closed to the public.
For more info:

MATZKE GALLERY: “Honey, I Shrunk the Art” can be viewed online or in person from 11am-5pm Fridays through Sundays through Jan. 17 on Camano Island at Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, 2345Blanche Way. The 32nd annual small works show features pieces by 40 area artists.
For more info:

MONA: “The Barn Show,” an exhibit commemorating the annual art shows held at the Reims’ farm on Fir Island starting in 1987, can be viewed online from La Conner’s Museum of Northwest Art, 121 First St. Following CDC and state guidelines, the galleries are currently closed to the public. The Museum Store remains open for holiday shopping.
For more info:

SCOTT MILO GALLERY: Pastels by Whidbey Island’s Teresa Saia will be featured from 11am-4pm Wednesdays through Saturdays through Jan. 26 in Anacortes at Scott Milo Gallery, 420 Commercial Ave. Also showing still-life photographs by Randy Dana, a new style of mixed-media acrylic by Anne Martin McCool, nostalgic photos on canvas by Lewis Jones, seascapes and local scenes in pastel by Steven Hill and brightly painted acrylics by Jennifer Bowman.
For more info:

SMITH & VALLEE: “2020: Rear View” shows from 10am-5pm Friday through Sunday, and by appointment, from Dec. 4-20 in Edison at Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey Ave. Pieces in the exhibit can also be perused and purchased online.
For more info:

WHATCOM ART MARKET: Works by as many as 45 Whatcom Art Guild members can be viewed from 11am-5pm Tuesdays through Sundays at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St. Due to public safety concerns, masks are required for all customers, and hand sanitizer will be provided.
For more info:

WHATCOM MUSEUM: In response to Gov. Inslee’s new COVID-19 guidelines, Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building and Old City Hall will be closed to the public through Dec. 15 (or until further notice). The Museum Store will remain open at 25 percent capacity. Virtual programs and exhibits will continue, but all other events are cancelled.
For more info:

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