Sophie Stimson at City Hall

by Nora Kovacs for OLY ARTS

Sophie Stimson’s work draws inspiration from body and form, both human and animal. Working predominantly with ceramic, bronze and oil painting, Stimson pays respect to the geographic and natural sources of each medium. For the ceramic pieces, Stimson’s clay is mixed along the Puyallup River, while its red tint hails from Oahu. Once sculpted, the ceramic pieces are painted with melted beeswax and raku-fired. As for Stimson’s bronze figures, they’re molded with wax, encased in a sand cast from which the wax is melted and the bronze poured in. Through these processes, Stimson is able to reflect, not only the physical shape of a subject, but also the more abstract nature of a body in motion.

Moving beyond body and form, Stimson’s oil paintings are inspired by the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Whether it be Nisqually or West Bay or central Oregon overlooking Mount Hood and the Columbia River, locality plays a key role in Stimson’s practice, and her participation in Arts Walk is reflective of that appreciation for community.

“I work for the City of Olympia Public Works Department,” Stimson explains, “and this year I’ll be showing sculptures as part of a city-employee art show at City Hall. It’s surprising how many of my co-workers are quietly working on artwork outside of their full time jobs. I am lucky to live in a town that values art and creates opportunities for artists.”

What: Sophie Stimson

Where: City Hall,
601 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia

When: 5-10 p.m. Friday, April 28;
noon – 8 p.m. Saturday, April 29

How much: free

Learn more: email | Sophie Stimson

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