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.
The following artist’s works can be seen on the North side of Yakima Avenue between the Hotel Maison and Third Street. This installation runs from October 6th, 2017 through February 14, 2018.
I use clay as a medium for sculpture and evolving artistic expression. My cups and tableware are approached primarily as sculpture and my objective is to “Create sculpture that can be used functionally or as visual backdrop... READ MORE My busts are inspired by people I know, historical figures I respect, and random personalities encountered in public. I believe that capturing the essence of a unique character is not unlike capturing the concept of a useful cup or bowl; the point of departure for each is unique and different.
Layers and textures surround all we do and all we are. Some choose to experience the top layer, the superficial layer, the optimist’s view. I like to explore the under-texture of things, the contradictions, the clues that lead us away from the satisfactory first glance and in to an examination of actual meaning... READ MORE My goal as an artist is to please the viewer at a superficial level, but entice them to extend their glance beyond the first layer, follow the clues, and unravel a meaning in the art. Some of the most common subjects and themes explored in my work, both intentionally and subconsciously, are time, nostalgia, intimacy, and anxiety. I try to convey these themes with materials and colors that both contradict and compliment. My most personal works are guarded by contradictory clues that lead the viewer away from my personal feelings and invite them to apply their own. I’m not interested in revealing the complete picture. I want the viewer to apply the final meaning through their own personal filters. I believe art should be biographical to the viewer, not the artist. The process of making art is biographical to me, not necessarily the finished product. We are all layered and complex people. Art gives me an outlet to explore mine and hopefully tap into yours.
The first formal presentation of my work was a group show in the Wenatchee Gallery, arranged by my college instructor, Sarah Spurgeon, in the early 60’s. Since, I have been regularly exhibiting paintings and pottery in various galleries in the state... READ MORE I earned two Master’s degrees at Central Washington University as a Ford Foundation Scholar, one in English and the other in Art, with a major in painting and drawing, and a minor in sculpture. On a sabbatical, I later earned the required course credits for the MFA degree. In 2004 I was invited by Larson Gallery to have a Forty-Year Retrospective Exhibition of both painting and pottery. I have received many awards and honors during my years as an artist. From 1963 to 1990, Yakima Valley Community College employed me, first as an English instructor and later as Dean of Arts and Sciences. In addition to my other assignments, from 1975 to retirement in 1990, I acted as the Director of the Larson Gallery on campus. During my teaching years, I taught art history. I also wrote an art criticism column for the Yakima Herald-Republic and was invited to jury many art shows throughout the state. During vacations I traveled extensively to visit art sites. Looking at art and studying art is my greatest enjoyment. Making art, collecting art, and participating in art events has enriched my life immeasurably.
Art is my creative outlet! As an artist, I have a colorful corky edge with a story intertwined in each piece I create. I feel that we are all unique in our painting styles and my goal is to create unique art that is different and that will bring good energy to all... READ MORE For those who purchase or have purchased my art, I am deeply appreciative and thankful for your support. There is a special energy that goes into the creative process of painting and making art and I hope that my art brings happiness and a special story that speaks to you in a positive way.
Art Cloth, a term coined by Jane Dunnewold, is a recent category in the fiber world. Quilts came first, but there many of us who just wanted to dye fabric and did not want to sew... READ MORE Quilts are out for the non-sewer, but fabric is a wonderful, forgiving medium. It also allows the artist to work in large formats without the time required for a painting. Instant color drew me in at my first dyeing workshop. I love starting with white, experimenting, doing a little of this and a little of that and ending with an interesting fabric. Thanks to Dunnewold, we can now print, stamp, rust, dye, marble, draw, adhere photos and write on fabric and hang it on the wall. Fabric, un-quilted, has become artwork.
I work in ceramics because I love feeling how a lump of earth transitions under my hands. I am witness to the form growing and taking shape on my wheel or by my hands... READ MORE There is also the appeal of the constant and numerous challenges of this medium: not only in the creative process, but the technical and physical aspects as well. My current body of work is naked raku and sgraffito. The uncontrolled element of smoke penetrating the clay in the raku process is intoxicating. My sgraffito uses a black slip which is carved away that allows the white clay to be exposed. Each piece is uniquely beautiful and can never be duplicated.
I was born on the Yakama Nation and have always lived there, except for brief periods in Seattle, California, and Europe, when first studying and pursuing a career in fine art. I have been a professional artist for more than 55 years... READ MORE My first painting sold at age 18. I look at myself as a healer, through my painting and my art. I make beautiful things in my life. While my painting style has changed and evolved over time, the Valley landscape and environment has always been a primary inspiration. Japanese painting, “American Primitive” portraiture, Abstract Expressionism, textile design, and assemblage sculpture have influenced my art. These diverse forms and techniques are tools and I draw from to create works that reflect and echo my muse — the Yakima Valley.
Over the past four decades my spouse and I have collected and filled our home with works of art created largely by Pacific Northwest artists. Upon my retirement in 2010 I began studying art with Rachel Dorn, Yakima Valley College, and continued finding master teachers to study with over the past seven years... READ MORE My love of nature, design, and architecture lead me to hand-building spirit animals that have entertained me daily in the high desert of Naches Heights, and since our home is filled with art, I decided to focus on making outdoor sculpture. The challenge of managing the technical construction and design elements of each piece I construct is what draws me back into the studio. Playing in the mud brings constant joy and humility to my life.
"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:
Are you an artist in Central Washington and wish to be considered for the next installation? Contact Jane Cooper at email@example.com
Here’s a sampling of past art on display. Photos by Lonny Smart.