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 April 5th through September 2019 and can be viewed on the North side of Yakima Avenue between the Hotel Maison and Third Avenue.
With the bombardment of images we face daily, it becomes increasingly difficult to absorb the reality of what we are truly seeing. By removing superfluous background as well as the distraction of color I focus on and isolate the raw human emotion, the visceral impact of war and violence that produces the refugee and immigration crises of today... READ MORE Midway through this project news broke about the USA implementing an excessively cruel strategy: separating the families of those crossing our border, that is, cruelty to be used as a deterrent. I have attempted to humanize statistics of the most vulnerable people being further traumatized by inhumane policies. The graphite and charcoal drawings are all taken from actual news reports covering worldwide refugees and immigrants. I wish to capture the attention of the viewer and cause them to pause and contemplate the current plight befalling our fellow human beings around the world. If my art motivates you to take action, consider supporting Women for Women International, Refugee Council USA, World Relief Seattle or the Yakima YWCA.
My daughter said to me, "Mom, you should specialize. Choose a medium that you like and stick to just that one expression." I can't do that. I am having fun with all the mediums that I experiment with: acrylic, soft pastels, encaustic, inks and watercolor. Abstracts, landscapes, animals, people, collage, trees, all hold a wonder for me and I am thrilled to try my hand at letting my intuitive, creativity announce my own expression of these forms... READ MORE I go into our garage and find objects and mediums to experiment with, and just "Go for it". I am not trying to be famous, or paint to sell, or even paint with the purpose to please. I am having fun. It has always been important to me to recycle, reuse and reduce my footprint upon this earth. In keeping with this desire I buy used canvases and frames and reuse them. I am told that Vincent Van Gogh did this too, so I am in good company. I also use new materials, new ideas, and new approaches to my work. I’m so happy to be a part of our art community and to give freedom to my heart's expression without limits.
I always wanted to be a painter since I was a little kid. My brothers were artists but I never thought I could do anything. I would look at paints and brushes wishing I had them but never could afford them. In 2007 I bought a starter kit and some canvas and have been addicted ever since... READ MORE I use pictures and still life most of the time. I have no formal training but learn by watching You Tube. I actually had a commission a couple years ago and hope to do more. I only work in oils because it dries slowly and I can make changes easier. Hope you enjoy my work.
Painting, expressionist painting in particular, is somewhat of a new venture for me. For the majority of the last two years I have been working in programs like Photoshop, creating music single cover art and various collage pieces. I got to a point where I was tired of constantly adjusting hue and various saturation levels, double checking how images looked on my laptop versus phone screens. So I began to paint... READ MORE The everlasting desire for perfection when creating digital work nearly broke my creative spirit, so the paintings you see now come from a place of catharsis. Two of my biggest inspirations are Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The way they both could say so much with so little will always inspire what I make. Following in their steps, I hope to create work that is both vibrant and visceral. When I start a new piece, I often will see an image, normally a face or head, and begin the piece from that point. The words I write on my pieces might just be phrases overheard from the television or they might have a closer relation to the themes of the piece. I try not to think about what I am doing too much while I’m painting because that’s when I’m enjoying the process the most.
Exploration of the natural world has been a large part of my life since I was child. My mother was frequently worried when I was not home for supper, only to return home at dark covered in mud and wearing a big smile... READ MORE I am a landscape and wildlife photographer specializing in images from around the Yakima Valley. It is my goal to show the great diversity and beauty of the area in which we live. I started photography in the Midwest when I was 14, trained at the Ohio Institute of Photography, and worked with several professional photographers in Portland. Through all of this, I have maintained a passion for walking the hills and valleys wherever I live, exploring what is around me and sharing what I see with others. I currently market my work to individuals and businesses looking for large photographic prints for their interior design needs.
My art represents experiences in my life, the depth of my imagination and embracing my weirdness. You’ll see many intense colors and also extremely detailed black and white art in my arsenal. My style is my own but... READ MORE I have had many inspirations throughout my like from watching my father draw, to books I read and my connection with nature. The art shown shows my range as an artist. The black and white drawings were done using black Bick pen and Ticonderoga pencils. The color drawings were created with woodless and oil based colored pencils plus Prisma markers. My aim is to stimulate thinking and imagination and to push the envelope. I have been creating art as long as I can remember. My ambitions are high, with my goals including exhibiting at art displays, galleries and festivals plus being in graphic novels and children’s books. I’m currently on the path to reach these goals.
"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:
The application period for the next round is now open. Deadline to submit is August 30th. Click here to access.
For more details contact Jane Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a sampling of past art on display. Photos by Lonny Smart.