The Yakima Arts Commission, an advisory group appointed by the Yakima City Council, developed an idea to harness the creativity of Central Washington artists to invigorate windows of empty downtown storefronts by displaying their work as part of a project called, "Windows Alive!". "Windows Alive!" is part of an ongoing effort to bring public art in Downtown Yakima.
Below is artwork from a previous show. The current show runs through March 2020 and can be viewed on the North side of Yakima Avenue between the Hotel Maison and Third Avenue.
Growing up, art was not a part of my world. It wasn’t part of my education, my home, or my community. I have always been creative, but it isn’t until recently that I am coming to see myself as an artist. Like many people, I thought artists were able to draw and paint realistically and more importantly you either could or couldn’t and I couldn’t... READ MORE It was as an adult that I first learned that drawing is a skill which like other skills can be learned. I came to art through sewing, weaving, spinning, dying, basket making, paper making, marbling, paste paper, photography, jewelry, pottery, books and since have learned to draw and paint as well. I am a world traveler and art is integral to the exploration of cultures, lands and peoples. It is one of the common denominators when language fails. I was a career educator and the most people who teach like to learn. My background includes a few classes, a lot of workshops, some great mentors and many hours of exploring on my own. It is the book arts that have captured my attention. It is a small corner of the art world that many people don’t realize is out there. Each book is like a mini exhibition and offers the opportunity to integrate so many of the crafts I enjoy. My books are personal and how I process my world. They range in size, can come in recognizable book form or can be surprisingly different and operate in unusual ways. Books are interactive. There is a changing dialogue between the book and the viewer. What one takes away depends on the day, the moment, their background, what they see and can relate to and need at this intersection. There are well over 100 handmade and very diverse books in my studio. I have taught and made books with all age groups in Yakima and beyond.
As an amateur beginning artist, my advantage is lack of experience with different mediums allowing me to explore and learn. The greatness of this is having fresh ideas, concepts, inspirations and best of motivation. For a while, I was stuck, I hit a wall where I could not think anything creative to paint and I found myself very drained both mentally and physically, you know, artist block... READ MORE Recently, I began to use my sketchbook a lot more. It became my diary, I even titled it “MindFlow”. The purpose was to jot something down no matter what it was, no matter if I liked it or not. Eventually my train of thought began to change to the point where I was “thinking outside the box”. I created social media accounts to share my work with the public. The sites became an everyday thing for me, I would visit every day. I began to find art all over and I developed a higher interest in urban street and graffiti art. My artist block was slowly fading, I got this sudden attractiveness to the colors and the abstract concepts of urban modern art and the clever ways these modern artists incorporated historical art pieces into the “modern” ways of art expressionism. These artists have influenced my art work process. They gave me new light, a new window. Since then, creativity and physical processes has become faster. I did a lot more freehand work, diving straight to painting rather than doing pre-sketching. I am enjoying the amount of freedom a can of spray paint gives me! My current and future pieces will be different then my earlier work. Overall, the purpose is to expand my knowledge in new mediums and elevate not only my own mentality but that of others too. We have enough focus in the bad things of this world, it’s time to throw some positivity back out there!
An avid drawer from childhood, he studied art throughout his formative years at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, the School of Visual Arts and the New York Studio School. In 1992, after he graduated high school he moved to Los Angeles and worked as an animator and illustrator. In 1996 he moved to San Francisco and fell in love with figure drawing at San Francisco City College. There he wrote his first children’s book Margaret which was published in 2004... READ MORE In 2004 he moved to Portland. That year he discovered the Florence Academy of Art, a classical drawing and painting school in Italy. Determined to excel at classical painting, Jeremy studied the figure continuously for 3 years in preparation for his trip to Florence in 2007. On his return to Portland he immersed himself in the techniques he learned in Italy, and developed his own voice in still-life and portraiture. Jeremy has shown in numerous galleries around Portland, as well as in Los Angeles and Seattle. He currently lives in Yakima, Washington.
Janice is an ex-health care worker and full time studio artist. She was raised in a Southern California suburb with the families of ex-soldiers post WWII. Her family attended the Science of Mind church. Metaphysics was a rarity in the 1950's and '60s... READ MORE She and her sister were always making things growing up, no one would have considered art a career. To her working class parents artists were strange rich people with nothing better to do. However this did not stop them from being makers their whole lives. The creative urge continues to propel her and her sister. She is influenced by popular culture, family history, recycled materials, music. Her favorite art materials are paper, acrylic ink and paint, boards (she doesn’t like the texture of canvas), old magazines & books, outdated posters on telephone poles, things found on the ground. She considers the ultimate challenge of art making to be yourself. To love your own line. The challenge is to dwell in the art making and not worry about what others think of the finished product. The challenge is to tell your truth, your story.
The world around us can be serious, dark and quite scary, which is why I like my work to be on the whimsical side. Some work will include photo transfers, drawings, mixed media, as well as just layers of colors, all the while making sure nothing is too serious... READ MORE Drawing and photography have always been my first love in the world of art, then I met encaustic and my world drastically changed. Encaustic medium allows my work to be free of the ridged, photorealism artwork I was so accustom to throughout my early years of creating artwork. With the versatility of encaustic medium, find myself constantly asking “What can I try next?" A wise instructor, Herb Blisard, once said to me "Just look!" I took that statement to heart. Where someone might see a car with rust on it, I see all of the beautiful colors the rust and paint make together. When someone is driving at night, they see the lights, but do they see the glow from the lights and the different colors the lights make? Encaustic medium allows my work to show others what I saw when I "looked". My latest work includes sculptures with encaustic medium, as well as using rice paper with encaustic medium. The sculpture work is fun, I'm looking forward to more work in that area. Using rice paper and encaustic medium to create artwork has been a wonderful journey. I love how the medium makes the paper translucent while adding some durability to something so fragile. Having light shine through the paper provides a glow that enhances the imagery painted on the paper. Art is an important part of our world and I'm thrilled to be able to take part in the opportunities Yakima offers local artists.
I find glass to be challenging yet meditative. There is something magical about using fire to change glass from a solid to liquid and back, battling gravity, managing the heat from the glass and torches, and using tools like they are an extension of your body. All of it is a delicate dance you make with the glass, and one small misstep can turn your sculpture from a work of art to a pile of glass in the dustpan... READ MORE The Glass Sculptures that are part of this exhibit are designed to add a burst of color to your garden or home. These sculptures are made in our glass Hot Shop, using copper tubes as blowpipes. I add layers of color then blow, twist and stretch the glass to shape before cutting it from the tubes to cool down overnight. Once cool, they are arranged in flowerpots to their final orientation. Lighting highlights the distinct transparent characteristics of glass that separate it from most other art mediums.
"Empty windows in unoccupied storefronts send a message that isn't very positive," said Yakima Cheryl Hahn who originally championed the "Windows Alive!" project. "The idea behind 'Windows Alive!' is to fill those storefront windows with beautiful art and create a more engaging and vibrant environment downtown. The project also gives local artists a wonderful opportunity to showcase their work."
Windows Alive Coordinator:
For more details contact Jane Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a sampling of past art on display. Photos by Lonny Smart.