Visual Arts

  • Erik Fremstad’s Unnatural Selections at Lakewold Gardens
    The pictures in Unnatural Selections, animal portraits, by Erik Fremstad of Olympia on view beginning Feb. 16 at Lakewold Gardens in Lakewood, are each made up of thousands of words — and these words count. Selections are detailed, realistic depictions of iconic North American species done in pen and ink and watercolor.
  • The Gallery at TCC celebrates Black History Month with 2nd Annual Black Artists Exhibition
    The Gallery at Tacoma Community College is hosting its second annual Black Artists’ Exhibition in celebration of Black History Month with a lavish display of painting, drawing, photography, glass and digital art. Twenty-two South Sound artists are represented, and there are more than 40 pieces of art in the gallery.
  • Jill Carter’s Projected Valentine Mural
    Frisky bunnies, owls, and other animals play amongst happy Valentine hearts inscribed with “True Love,” “Be Mine,” “I’m Yours,” and “Love Oly” on Jill Carter’s projected mural on the empty Goldberg Building in downtown Olympia.
  • What Lies ‘Within’: Clever creations fill SPSCC postcard show
    The Leonor R. Fuller Gallery at The Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts at South Puget Sound Community College features 13th edition of their annual creative postcard show.
  • Art in Storefronts: Light Up the Night – Winter Wonders
    “Light Up the Night—Winter Wonders,” an Art in Storefronts exhibit produced by Olympia Artspace Alliance is on view through March 31, 2024 in the windows of The Goldberg Building on Capitol Way S in Olympia. It features artwork by students from four area schools.
  • SPSCC’s Native American Exhibition celebrates Hazel Pete
    Honoring the Legacy of Hazel Pete at SPSCC’s 2023 Native American Art Exhibition through Dec. 8th including baskets, mats, clothing and dolls from the 1800s through the present day.
  • Getting Random: Selected Works by Jennifer West — The Evergreen State College’s Gallery Photoland
    The work of artist Jennifer West, graduate of The Evergreen State College, often extends beyond the bounds of genre, combining elements of fine art, performance and media. Showing at TESC’s Gallery Photoland through Dec. 15.
  • The Art That Surrounds You, All in One Place: Tacoma Armory
    “Another thing I think is different and nice about this event is that it’s not just visual artists,” Daniel Garcia continues. “In some cases, we have literary artists, we have poets, we have dancers, so we’re really trying to find that whole realm of artistry and bring it through to Arts at the Armory.”
  • Movements in Time: Art by Maureen Bridget Murphy at Schwartz’s Bakery
    Maureen Bridget Murphy’s artwork, exhibited at Schwartz’s Bakery in Olympia through November, is diverse and many times layered, spanning the spectrum of color and form.
  • Patsy Surh O’Connell’s Splendid “Discovery of Nature” at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College
    Surh O’Connell’s rich and detailed watercolors at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College are like the artist herself, elegant and refined with an inner complexity, wisdom, and intellect. They show a rare and quiet dedication and stamina which reflects all aspects of Surh O’Connell’s life.
  • Collaborating With Nature: The Installation
    Atop each of the 27 pilings in Toten Inlet is a Boucante figure, bodies mostly made of weathered wood, heads and faces of sculpted stone, distinctively dressed in all manner of antiquated machine and engine parts and salvaged odds and ends. The faces are wide-eyed and staring, the mouths open, the effect inscrutable or spooky, depending on the direction of the light.
  • Creating a Platform for Native People’s Art, TCMoFA Becomes Coast Salish Museum of Fine Arts
    Thurston County Museum of Fine Art is reinventing itself this year as Coast Salish Museum of Fine Art, creating a platform for native people’s art. OLY ARTS spoke to Griffin Quinn (they/them) about how this came about.
  • Visit Community Print During Artswalk
    by Molly Walsh Each year, Fall Arts Walk lights up Olympia’s downtown corridors, drawing thousands of people to shops, street attractions and to organizations that call downtown Olympia home. And amongst displays of paintings, music and theater performances, the exhibition from Community Print is slated to include more introspective themes, reflecting on local history, while …

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  • Sandra Bocas and Toni Lawrence Fine Art Show (with a side of Hot Babe Hotsauce)
    by Lynette Charters Serembe Sandra Bocas has traveled extensively and lived in many different parts of the world from her country of birth, Venezuela, to Trinidad, where she moved to at the age of five and where her family lives.  She went to boarding school in Wales in the UK, moved to and worked in …

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  • Arts Walk Cover Artist Jennifer Kuhns Has Come a Long Way
    by Molly Gilmore Spring Arts Walk cover artist Jennifer Kuhns has been there before — and she’s come a long way. Kuhns, well known for her glass mosaics, first had her work on the cover of the Arts Walk map back in spring 2007. This fall, she’s done it again with Olympia Reflections, an intricately …

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  • CaTMA Gallery’s Group Exhibition Explores Intimate Conversation Through a Unique Creative Process
    by Molly Walsh Described as a “response to the concept of intimate conversation,” CaTMA (Contemporary and Transmodern Arts) Gallery’s group exhibition, Pillow Talk, will explore this theme not only through paintings on display, but also through elements of mystery that shroud the creative process. And few in the public will know all that is contained …

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  • Our Cover Artist Mikaela Shafer — Recent and Past Work
    by Lynette Charters Serembe Mikaela Shafer is our OLY ARTS cover artist. Her beautiful and meaningful artworks will be showing recent and past works at Dog Bog Studios with her studio companions Daniel Overstreet and David Overstreet, also other Knitting Mills artists J. Hukee, Evan Clayton Horback and the ACE program artists, and guest artists …

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  • Fall Again – Arts and Entertainment
    by Alec Clayton Fall is a time for rebirth, for rejuvenation, especially when coming in the wake of a scorching dry summer and a pandemic that refuses to go away. Children return to school, and there will be football — Friday Night Lights at area high schools and U-Dub and Seahawks on the telly. Fall …

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  • A River (of felt) Runs Through It
    Artist Janice Arnold’s “Homage to Water” ~ a blue-and-white river of handmade felt swirling and eddying through a rock garden ~ is on view through September 30th along the atrium of Washington State Department of Ecology’s headquarters in Lacey.
  • Nancy Thorne Wins Plinth Project
    This year’s winner of the Percival Plinth Project in Olympia, “A Song for Nurturing Peace” by Nancy Thorne-Chambers, is a bronze statue of a girl holding a bird’s nest with an egg in one hand while the mother bird, a white dove, perches on her other hand.
  • SPSCC 2023 Art Faculty and Staff Exhibition Through September
    The SPSCC 2023 art faculty and staff exhibition is beautiful, well executed, well presented, and thought-provoking with a variety of disciplines on display. Being created by educators, the show has underlying messages. Open through September.
  • You Are Not Alone Mural Project
    Elisa Del Giudice said of the mural project she created, “I brought in elements from the Procession of the Species — a jellyfish and a mushroom that mirror each other. The procession is a beacon of hope, and it’s celebratory, and it’s just so Olympia.”
  • Artist Profile: The One and Only Rene Westbrook
    Rene Westbrook engages the viewer as a visual oracle of creative ideas that can stimulate the senses and become the vehicle for hidden mysteries she wants to explore. Painting, collage, sculpture, and photography work as a catalyst for her latest direction of inquiry, digital compilations.
  • The Beautiful, Chaotic and Rhythmic World of Tom Fath
    Tom Fath says when he finishes a painting it gives him moments of clarity and a sense of being on the right path, creating good from chaos. Much like his life’s journey, his art explores fears and doubts while celebrating what life has to offer.
  • The Ace Pilot Program at Avanti High School Shows Students a Future in the Local Creative Economy
    ACE matched Avanti High School seniors with professional artists for a ten-week apprenticeship. Working within a “collaborative apprenticeship model,” students had the opportunity to witness the artistic process firsthand, practice their craft and learn how creative careers fit into Olympia’s economy.
  • Middle Space at CaTMA Gallery: A Fine Art Show by Lucy Gentry and Rebecca Figel
    Their works have elements in common, the most recognizable being that they are all monochrome. Gentry’s work is more playful and rhythmic, while Figel’s work is darker with more tension.
  • Artists Test-Driving Armory
    “We’re testing out the building — learning about how the acoustics work and how important sinks are for workshops,” said Angel Nava of the city’s Parks, Arts and Recreation Department. “People are so excited for the art interventions, to be engaged in creative projects as a community and to see this wonderful space being used and developed,” Jennifer Kuhns said.
  • Juried Show Brings Barnes Back to SPSCC Gallery
    “We are a community college gallery, and he is a deep part of our community,” said Sean Barnes, the gallery manager — and no relation. “Nathan is an accomplished artist and a wonderful curator, but also, how many opportunities do you have to invite someone back to curate an exhibition in the space where they used to work?”
  • Thurston County Museum of Fine Arts at Olympia Armory Creative Campus
    Thurston County Museum of Fine Art’s mission “is to increase the number of free and accessible art shows/art spaces in the Thurston County area. By doing so we hope to enrich the lived experiences of individuals in our community through the appreciation of art, as well as to provide new spaces and opportunities for local artists to show their work.”
  • The Marvel That is Lakewold Gardens
    There’s so much happening at Lakewold Gardens this summer it’s well worth the drive.
  • Review: This Old World
    This Old World at Childhood’s End through June 11 “is a show made by artists who have lived a full life, it is eloquent, and expertly executed but is also experimental.”
  • Arts Walk 2023 Film and Dance
    Indicative of the vast art and entertainment to be found at Arts Walk, check out the OlyFilm and OlyAct film demo where You’re the Star!
  • Small Creative Studios with Great Big Ideas
    Olympia Arts Walk is a great way to get out and see what’s going on in our vibrant city. This article highlights three places that exemplify what makes Olympia a great place to be an artist or art lover.
  • Something ‘Old,’ Something New
    For Arts Walk, Olympia’s oldest and newest galleries are hosting curated exhibitions that bring together artworks with intention. The shows, at venerable Childhood’s End and tiny upstart CaTMA, aim not just to display art but also to become art.
  • Arts Walk is Back
    Arts Walk is back! Covid never completely defeated Olympia’s Arts Walk, but this year it returns, full-blown — Arts Walk number 66. Artists and art lovers will swarm downtown Olympia, and shops, restaurants and businesses of all types will host artists and entertainers April 28-29.
  • Review: The Annual Juror’s Invitational Exhibition at SPSCC
    Juror Erin Dengerink invited seven outstanding artists to submit works for this year’s SPSCC Juror’s Invitational Exhibition. They are Cebron Kyle Bradford, Jennifer Lauer, Becky Frehse, Becky Knold, Sandra Bocas, Allyson Essen, and Charles F. Pitz.
  • Black Art and Black Artists Exhibition at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College
    Black Art & Black Artists Exhibition – featuring 14 artists from our region, the exhibition showcases works across mediums, exploring themes like historical education, healing and representation. It explores themes of Black culture, identity and society. At Tacoma Community College’s gallery through March 17, 2023.
  • Salish Sea Art Sparkles in the Goldberg Building
    “Winter—Under the Salish Sea,” a project of Olympia Artspace Alliance in partnership with Art in Olympia Storefronts, Artists on Board, and through other collaborations and the City of Olympia, will brighten our winter days as we slowly swim toward the bright sun of spring and summer and will remain in place in downtown Olympia’s Goldberg Building windows through January and February. https://olyarts.org/2023/01/06/salish-sea-art-sparkles-in-the-goldberg-building/
  • Review: A Christmas Carol at Harlequin Productions – & – Art by Becky Knold
    “A story about redemption is fundamentally a story about hope,” director Aaron Lamb says. “And forgiveness. May you too find ghosts that change you for the better this holiday season.” Lobby art by Becky Knold.
  • Leonie Castelino and Irene Osborn at the Pacific NW Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum in La Connor
    Celebrated and award-winning local sculptor Irene Osborn showing with internationally renowned contemporary bojagi artist Leonie Castelino at Pacific NW Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum in La Connor.
  • A Weaver’s Voice at the SPSCC Leonor R. Fuller Gallery
    Historical and modern garments, blankets and other woven artwork from Coast Salish communities are on view in “A Weaver’s Voice at the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery at South Puget Sound Community College.
  • The Armory Creative Campus: An Inclusive Collaborative Space for the Olympia Arts Community
    Olympia begins planning of city arts space.
  • Fall Arts Walk 2022
    Art galleries, bars, restaurants, shops, performance spaces — more than 80 downtown venues will be aswarm with excitement as artists young and old, amateur and professional, bring downtown Olympia to vibrant life for two evenings in early October. It’s been happening twice a year since 1990, when the first-annual spring and fall Arts Walks kicked off. In addition to visual art, there will be street performances, a busking zone and food trucks.
  • REVIEW: Art by Evan Horback and Cecily Schmidt 
    by Alec Clayton The latest artexhibition at Browsers Bookshop is DIALOGIC: Works on Paper by Evan Horback and Cecily Schmidt. Accordintg to the Oxford English Dictionary, “dialogic” means “relating to or in the form of dialogue.” That discribes this show in many ways. There are dialogues between the two artists and between the elments within individual works …

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  • Debra Van Tuinen: Creating Light and Community
    By Molly Gilmore Debra Van Tuinen has received many accolades for her paintings, which were included in the 2004 Florence Biennale and have hung in U.S. embassies, but her latest award recognizes not her art but her courage and her commitment to Olympia. Van Tuinen — who opened a downtown studio and gallery in August …

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  • REVIEW: 2022 Juried Show at South Puget Sound Community College
    By Alec Clayton A sense of joy washes over viewers as they enter the Southwest Washington Regional Juried Exhibition at South Puget Sound Community College’s Leonor R. Fuller Gallery. Brightly colored paintings on suspended panels over the highly reflective black floors intensify the beauty of the space. Mostly paintings and a few sculptures in a …

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  • REVIEW: Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Harlequin Productions
    The rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, with text by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, started as a performance in drag clubs and became an international phenomenon. It’s now playing at the State Theater of Olympia’s Harlequin Productions, starring Adam Rennie as Hedwig and Mandy Rose Nichøls as Hedwig’s husband and assistant, Yitzhak.
  • REVIEW: Bloom at Childhood’s End Gallery
    As summer creeps in and as we begin to see hope for an end to the COVID pandemic, Childhood’s End Gallery celebrates rejuvenation with an exhibition called “Bloom.” It features flowers, flowers and more flowers by local artists, plus paintings, etchings, sculptures and a cascading curtain of living flowers by Olympia artist Kathy Gore Fuss.
  • REVIEW: The 2022 Juror’s Invitational Exhibition
    By Alec Clayton Every year South Puget Sound Community College presents a juried exhibition of works by southwestern Washington artists, and every year an art professional selects a small group of artists from that show to be included in the Juror’s Invitational. The juror for this year’s invitational was sculptor Aisha Harrison, and the artists …

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  • Olympia Artists Unite to Support Ukraine
    By Molly Walsh At 5 a.m. Eastern European Time, Olympia resident Hanna Ilchenko turned on the news. She couldn’t believe the events unfolding onscreen: Russia had launched a full-scale invasion on her home country of Ukraine. Initially, Ilchenko said the reports emerging of explosions and invading forces were difficult to process. “I couldn’t believe in …

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  • A Painted Response to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
    Artist Becky Knold has released a series of paintings that, intentionally or not, were inspired by or reacted to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • Immersed in Van Gogh at Tacoma Armory
    The artistry of Vincent Van Gogh is on moving display at Tacoma Armory thanks to Imagine Van Gogh, a traveling exhibition co-designed by Julien Baron and Annabelle Mauger.
  • REVIEW: Black Love: Community Building Through Mentorship
    Five experienced artists have been asked to mentor younger artists and exhibit their own work alongside works by the artists they’ve mentored. The resulting exhibition, Black Love, is currently on display at SPSCC’s Leonor R. Fuller Gallery.
  • The Big-Little Show: Evan Horback and Jimmy Ulvenes at Bar Francis
    By Alec Clayton There’s a new, big-little art exhibit in a tiny coffee shop. It’s Evan Horback and Jimmy Ulvenes at Bar Francis. Local art lovers will remember Horback from his big gorgeous show at Salon Refu (Now LGM Studio) almost a decade ago. Not long after, he moved away from Olympia, but now he’s …

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  • The Devil’s in the Details at South Puget Sound Community College Annual Postcard Show
    By Alec Clayton The annual postcard show at South Puget Sound Community College is arguably one of the most popular art shows in the South Sound. It’s popular probably because it attracts so many artists working in so many styles and media. The current iteration includes more than 130 works. The criteria for inclusion is the …

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  • REVIEW: Childhood’s End 50th-Anniversary Exhibition, Part 2
    By Alec Clayton For half a century, Childhood’s End Gallery has been Olympia’s paramount art gallery. Bill and Richenda Richardson opened the gallery and gift shop in 1971. Since then, they’ve introduced many of the region’s best painters, sculptors and craftspersons to our town. Today, they continue to display works, not only by outstanding local …

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  • “Decades” at The Washington Center Gallery
    by Alec Clayton Tom Anderson is an iconic presence on Olympia’s art scene. The Park of the Seven Oaks by the roundabout on Harrison Avenue — That’s a Tom Anderson creation. The large, metal art pieces that fill the walls in the emergency room and chapel at Providence St. Peter Hospital — Those are also …

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  • Olympia Arts Walk Returns This Fall
    By Molly Gilmore Arts Walk, Olympia’s twice-yearly celebration of community and creativity, is back to something like the event South Sound remembers, with a street closure at the center of the action. Washington Street between Fifth Avenue and Legion Way will be closed from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, to create space for …

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  • Ensemble of Drawing, Painting, Sculpture at SPSCC Faculty & Staff Exhibition
    by Alec Clayton This year’s annual faculty and staff exhibition at South Puget Sound Community College is an eclectic mix of drawing, painting, sculpture and hybrids of those. It is work that is conceptually complex while maintaining aesthetic joy by artists who are more than talented — They are intelligent and in touch with the …

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  • Olympia Artist Continues Outdoor “Places” Installation This September
    By Alec Clayton OLY ARTS readers and art lovers throughout the Olympia area will remember Kathy Gore Fuss’s floral installation “A Place to Mourn.” Beginning Sept. 6, Gore Fuss will have another floral installation in place entitled “A Place to Reflect.” As with her first such installation, this one will be a place of beauty, …

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  • An Exhibition of Pairs at Childhood’s End Gallery
    By Alec Clayton “Compliments” at Childhood’s End Gallery is an exhibition of pairs — couples who both complement and compliment one another. It is a show of paintings and ceramics by artists who either live together or work together and whose artworks look well together. The couples are painters Christopher Mathie and Chuck Gumpert, ceramicists John …

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  • The Kinsey Collection: Celebrating Artistic Contributions of Black Americans
    By Alec Clayton Art lovers from Olympia to Portland to Seattle should travel to Tacoma Art Museum and see an historically important and one-of-a-kind collection of African American art and historic artifacts in The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection. The collection fills two of the Museum’s galleries, including more than 150 objects including …

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  • REVIEW: 2021 Southwest Washington Juried Exhibition
    By Alec Clayton Guest juror Aisha Harrison chose a wide variety of art for the 2021 Southwest Washington Juried Exhibition at South Puget Sound Community College: paintings, sculpture, textiles in many styles and wide-ranging content. It is great to see this show returning for in-person viewing, albeit at 50 percent capacity. Indicative of the eclectic …

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  • Local Artists Celebrated at 2021 LoveOly Summerfest
    By Alec Clayton Artist Dave Sederberg who lit up the night for Winter Solstice with the astounding “Glowhenge” project is now at work with a group of local artists on an eight-week street-art project for the LoveOly Summerfest scheduled for eight Saturdays in July and August in downtown Olympia. Sederberg has pulled together a team …

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  • Ordinary Objects Transformed Into a Place to Mourn
    By Alec Clayton At a private residence in her Northeast Olympia neighborhood, artist Kathy Gore Fuss has transformed a carved stone into a memorial or place of worship, or “A Place to Mourn,” which she sees as a starting point for a series of floral memorials. “I have been thinking about this project ever since …

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  • Local Artist Charters Path Which Gains Her International Recognition
    By Molly Gilmore A lifelong delight in art and a deep commitment to feminism have shaped of Lynette Charters’ way of seeing the world. Among the most recent recognitions of the Olympia painter’s talent: Two of her paintings will be included in Together, a national exhibition opening May 7 in Woodstock, Illinois. And she’s now …

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  • Four Artists Shine in 2021 Juror’s Invitational at Leonor R. Fuller Gallery
    By Alec Clayton Each year, award winners from South Puget Sound Community College’s juried exhibition are featured in the Juror’s Invitational. This year’s invited artists comprise a quartet of contrasting but equally excellent artists selected by juror June Sekiguchi. They are painters Marilyn Bedford and Hart James, sculptor Ron Hinton, and photographer John Korvell. Bedford …

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  • Olympia Arts Month Featured Artist: Laurel Henn
    By Alec Clayton This year’s Spring Arts Month cover art will be “Fluttering,” a hand-painted relief block by Laurel Henn, depicting quilts on a clothesline. The artist says this image is dear to her because of her mother’s life-long work as a quilter. “Quilts are a source of comfort and a symbol of family heirlooms,” …

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  • The Dynamic Duo That Is Lynette Charters Serembe and John Serembe
    By Alec Clayton Coming to Olympia from New York and England by way of Hollywood, John Serembe and Lynette Charters Serembe have built a life that is wrapped up in art and family and community. John is an actor and a graphic artist, greatly admired for his performances with Harlequin Productions, Theater Artists Olympia, Animal …

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  • After 40 Years in Olympia, Future Is Uncertain for The Artists’ Gallery
    By Molly Gilmore Although it’s a large space with big windows, The Artists’ Gallery in west Olympia is easy to overlook. It’s at the mall, but not in the mall, nestled in between Italia Pizzeria and Massage Envy in the Capital Mall Promenade. And over the past year, the cooperative gallery — featuring a wide …

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  • Picturing the Pandemic at Childhood’s End
    by Alec Clayton Despite the horrors depicted in her latest artworks — devastating fires, a murderous pandemic and the final year of the Trump administration — there is hope and sweetness, irony and humor in Marilyn Frasca’s art. She and four other local artists were asked to show works created over the past year in …

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  • Olympia Gears Up for Arts Month This April
    By Molly Gilmore Remember when Arts Walk, Olympia’s twice-yearly celebration of creations and community, filled the downtown shops and streets with performances, paintings and people? For the second year in a row, Arts Walk as it used to be is on hold. Even with the state poised to enter Phase 3 of the recovery plan, …

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  • Visual Artists Bring Us “Closer” at the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery
    By Alec Clayton “It’s fabulous to be Black – celebrate it. It’s fabulous to be any color under the sun – again celebrate it. That’s what brings back dignity to each human being.” This was written by artist Sandra Bocas for the occasion of her inclusion of the exhibition “Closer” at the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery at South Puget Sound Community College. …

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  • Olympia’s Glowhenge Lights Up the Dark
    By Alec Clayton On the night after winter solstice when our days were the shortest and our nights the darkest, nine glowing monoliths in florescent colors appeared on the grassy mound beside the lake at Heritage Park and lit up the blackness of night with the lighted dome of the State Capitol in the background. …

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  • Percival Plinth Peoples’ Prize Presented to Local Artist With Powerful Personal Perspective
    By Aigner Loren Wilson Recently, local artist Nancy Thorne-Chambers won the 2020 Peoples’ Prize Winner for the Percival Plinth Project for her work Girl Reading in a Story Place. Oly Arts hosted an interview with the artist about the sculpture and recent win. This article is a highlight of the interview and showcase for the …

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  • Local Arts Supply Store Seeking New Owner
    By Abigail Mandlin In these times of shut-downs and lockdowns, quarantine and isolation, we need art now more than ever to sustain us, to keep us sane. Robin Williams said it best when playing beloved high school English teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society: “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain …

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  • pARTners: A Collaborative Exhibit at Childhood’s End Gallery
    By Alec Clayton The “pARTners” exhibition at Childhood’s End Gallery showcases works by three artist couples who live and work together: papercut artist Nikki McClure and her partner, fine woodworker Jay T Scott; steel and ceramic sculptors Robin and John Gumaelious; and mixed-media painters Chuck Gumpert and Christopher Mathie. The show includes both collaborative and …

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  • City of Olympia Announces Arts Month Innovation Awardees
    By Molly Gilmore Literary walks, a livestreamed concert and a show of work by Black artists are among the winners of Olympia’s Arts Month Innovation awards. The city began giving the awards last year to honor projects that stood out in their efforts to encourage community connection and involvement with the arts.  “We wanted to …

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  • Leonor R. Fuller Gallery Offers Rising Futures
    By Alec Clayton In the South Sound as in the country at large, black artists are poorly represented. The “Futures Rising” exhibition, at the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery inside South Puget Sound Community College’s Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, proves that there are many more excellent black artists in the area than is …

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  • Compelling Clay: Unglazed and Rough-Surfaced Sculpture by Aisha Harrison
    By Alec Clayton  Aisha Harrison is an inventive sculptor and former art teacher at The Evergreen State College. She also does two-dimensional art, drawing and printmaking, but it is as a sculptor of strong and emphatic figures that has made an indelible mark on the South Sound art world. “Aisha contributes so much to our …

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  • Olympia Artspace Alliance Continues Storefront Art Displays Amidst Pandemic
    By Alec Clayton Art of great variety and depth of meaning fill the windows in the vacant Goldberg Building, former home of Schoenfeld Furniture, on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Capitol Way in Olympia. The installation is part of Olympia Artspace Alliance (OAA) ongoing project, Art In Olympia Storefronts. “This and many other installations were organized, paid for …

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  • Visually Arresting: The Sculptures of Irene Osborn
    By Alec Clayton Irene Osborn’s sculptures shine a blinding light on what it means to be human, on the tragedy, the triumph, the sadness, and the hope of humans. In her overall oeuvre, sadness, anger and outrage outnumber joy.  Osborn celebrates and honors the naturalness of her media, clay — its slab-like, pliable warmth. She never applies colored glazes …

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  • Two Local Visual Artists Selected for Virtual Coronavirus Exhibits
    By Aigner Loren Wilson Adaptation. It’s what makes great leaders, educators, and creators. The willingness, ability, and creativity to respond to change is what defines a functioning business, especially during this time of uncertainty. We are all stepping forward into a dark time marked by consistent updates and changes that aren’t all trustworthy. Artists—the creatives …

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  • Creative Minds: The Collage Art of Sharon Styer and Gail Ramsey Wharton
    By Alec Clayton Sharon Styer, whose work was exhibited in Harlequin Productions’ lobby during the performance of “Noises Off,” and Gail Ramsey Wharton, who recently conducted a Zoom studio tour as part of the “SPSCC Creative ‘Something’,” are collage artists. They share similar sensibilities and humor. Both artists can be wacky at times, sometimes in …

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  • Evolving Artist Becky Knold on Cardboard, Roofing Paper and Collages
    By Alec Clayton Becky Knold was a late blooming artist. She didn’t start painting seriously until she retired from teaching in 2006. Her only formal training had been a few classes at The Evergreen State College. She learned by doing and by looking at the art of others as much as possible. Once she started, …

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  • Harro Art: For Love of the Sound
    By Alec Clayton Harro, who goes by the one name only — like Prince or Pink or Adele — is an Olympia artist.  In his own words, he says, “Harro grew up street smart dodging ferry traffic on the salty shores of Mukilteo, in Snohomish County. His love for the unique Puget Sound environment is evident in his work. Where …

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  • Art in Flight: The Creations of Chris Maynard
    By Alec Clayton Olympia’s Chris Maynard is a marvel. He makes art of a kind seldom if ever seen anywhere else. He makes images of birds and places them in shadow boxes. Often the birds are in flight and in combination with totem-like formations and abstract or stylized scenes, and everything in the boxes is …

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  • Teri Bevelacqua: Acrylics, Encaustics and Billboards, Oh My!
    By Alec Clayton Imagine a billboard that is a work of art — not just a commercial that’s artistic, but an actual painting, and not a full-size billboard but large enough, and lighted for nighttime viewing. That’s what local artist Teri Bevelacqua created for Burning Man 2019. The title of the piece is “From Here …

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  • Alec Clayton: 50 Years of Painting
    By Editor OLY ARTS writer Alec Clayton was invited to do a talk on his art at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts’ Center Salon. He prepared a PowerPoint presentation but was unable to use it because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Center Salon was postponed to a date at which he can’t be …

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  • Color and Light: Value Contrasting Through Photography with Laney Hawley
    By Alec Clayton Anyone who has stopped in at Hawley’s Gelato for an affogato to sip on while watching people come and go across the street at the Washington Center has likely noticed artistic photographs on the walls. Perhaps a group of high-contrast black and white photos of a ballerina in a white tutu that …

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  • Artist Profile: Nikki McClure and Jay T Scott
    By Alec Clayton Nikki McClure’s artistic output is phenomenal. Her paper cuts have often been shown at Childhood’s End Gallery in Olympia and in other venues. She has published many illustrated books, including How to Be a Cat, Mama, Is it Summer Yet?, To Market, To Market and Waiting for High Tide. Her books have …

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  • Hart James: a Layering of Existences Imbued With Intense Energy
    By Alec Clayton Hart James is quickly becoming one of the Olympia area’s most beloved visual artists. People who have not seen her paintings should do so. “Life is a layering of existences. Each layer is imbued with intense energy,” James explains. “My work speaks of this energy and these layers; the current of the …

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  • South Puget Sound Presents the 12th Annual Native American Arts Exhibition
    By Laurie Owen, community contributor The Leonor R. Fuller Gallery at South Puget Sound Community College is hosting a remarkable show—the 12th Annual Native American Arts Exhibition, curated by Philip Red Eagle. Six Native American artists are represented, each of whose work could easily find a place in major shows in New York City or …

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  • Art Unguarded: Incarcerated Artists Raise $14,000 for YWCA
    By Molly Gilmore Sometimes humanity hits like a ton of bricks. Artists behind bars and community volunteers banded together last month to raise thousands of dollars to help homeless people and survivors of domestic violence. Artists in correctional centers across the state donated more than 200 of their creations — from paintings and sculpture to …

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  • Tacoma Art Museum Receives First Arts Education Grant in Ten Years
    By Aigner Loren Wilson This past January, Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) won a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant will be used to bring awareness, resources, activities, and fund its annual Dia de los Muertos Festival that happens in the fall of each year. With the grant, TAM plans …

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  • Sharon Styer Collages at Harlequin Productions
    ART REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Tacoma artist Sharon Styer is primarily known as a photographer whose photographs of vacant and abandoned buildings, among other subjects, are haunting and mysterious. Now she’s onto something new. About two years ago, Styer began making collages that are funny, bizarre and intelligent – often with known …

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  • Hundreds of Paintings: a Visit to Art House Designs
    Review by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Art House Designs is a large frame shop and gallery with hundreds and hundreds of paintings, prints and other artworks displayed salon style on the walls and on tables and even stacked on the floor. The collection includes hundreds of original paintings and prints by local and regional …

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  • South Puget Sound Community College Gallery to Be Named After Retiring Trustee
    By Alec Clayton The art gallery in South Puget Sound Community College’s Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts will be named for retiring trustee Leonor R. Fuller in honor of her advocacy for arts and education. The dedication event will take place January 24. Fuller served as the chair of the Women of Washington …

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  • Street Art Serves as Foundation for Olympia Artists
    By Anna Schlecht Olympia has become a “city of murals”, with an ever-growing number of large format artworks on walls across the urban hub and beyond. Some murals appear overnight, executed without payment or permission. Others are juried by experts and commissioned for thousands of dollars. Into this pantheon of public art enters a unique …

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  • Susan Aurand: Realism Meets Experimentation Meets Mysterious
    By ALEC CLAYTON Almost everyone familiar with the Olympia art scene knows – or should know – Susan Aurand’s work. For many years, beginning in 1974, she taught at The Evergreen State College, and over the years she’s shown her art in such local venues as Childhood’s End Gallery and South Puget Sound Community College …

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