Mother’sDay art tour scheduled this weekend

Published on Thu, May 10, 2007
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Mother’s Day art tour scheduled this weekend

The second annual Mother’s Day art studio tour in Blaine is set for this weekend, May 12 and 13, and is both bigger and more varied than last year’s event that drew hundreds of patrons.

The two-day show’s eight different tour sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and is designed to both showcase the juried work of local and area artists and provide families with a fun and convenient outing for Mother’s Day.

New artists this year include Blaine’s Glenda Barnhart with her museum-quality 1/24th-scale model English cottages filled with unusual and fascinating miniature work.

Barnhart’s work has been recognized by museums, professional associations and governments in Europe, where she and oil painter husband Ron spend much of their time. Ron’s large-scale and complex oil paintings include portraits, animals and railroad scenes, fitting for a man whose career as a railroad engineer was just beginning at the end of the steam era.

Ken and Jill Peck’s Dakota Creek Winery just east of town on Haynie Road is also a new tour stop this year. Their varieties of white and red wines are made from the best eastern Washington grapes they can find which they truck back to their spotless new facility. Included at this stop is Blaine photographer Jack Kintner’s framed and unframed local scenic and art photographs, this year including many images from a recent tour of mainland China.

Also joining this year’s tour is Blaine photographer Helen Worley, whose recent travels to New Zealand and the British Columbia coast have generated many images that she offers as both framed art work and as cards. “I look for feeling-centered images truly worth a thousand words,” she said.

Georgia Donovan, another Blaine artist new to the tour this year, is a one-time jewelry designer whose work was once featured in major retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada. She now paints in watercolor and acrylic.

Blaine oil painter Jano Argue is also new to the tour this year. A one-time circus performer, her moving depictions of people interacting on a deep psychological level have merited solo shows in several major museums and earned her a residency with the Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain. Her work, like the circus, combines color and fun with a serious, even risky and dangerous element, giving it impact and meaning.

Stained glass artisan Sharon Swanson’s experience runs from architecture to graphic arts. Her work is quite popular because, especially when viewed against the light, of its vivid and glowing rich colors expressed in designs that often have a balanced, Victorian theme.

Another glass artist, Blaine’s Allie Ryser, mixes various substances to produce unique and colorful small glass art pieces that she fashions into one-of-a-kind jewelry. Karla Eames, whose work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world, likes creating and teaching others about lamp work beading, and also creates free-standing yard art, mosaics and stained glass windows.

These two women exhibit together with an impressive display of color and inventiveness that begins inside Ryser’s studio and can end up outside on the lawn, “rain or shine,” Ryser added,” because glass is waterproof.”

Long-time locals often point at former art teacher and Blaine resident Cathy Taggett’s watercolors, seen on the walls at both the Seaside Bakery and Northern Meadows, with a sigh of recognition, saying “yeah, that’s the feeling of the northwest.”

She skillfully uses watercolors and mixed media in ways that in a few strokes and shapes evoke strong feelings and images of place, and also does unique ceramics that are folksy and exuberant. This year she’s added hand-painted silk scarves.

Taggett shares her Circle of Trees studio on Sweet Road with her partner, Shenandoah-style broom maker Ron Snyder, whose description and demonstration of the process of making these traditional, high quality housekeeping tools is a delight in itself.

Each is made from the highest-quality broomcorn straw by a traditional Shaker method and is attached to handles that are quite functional but could be anything from a deer antler to a golf club.

Wood sculptor and painter Bob Hogan, now ashore after years of cruising the world’s oceans with his family, offers images of harbors and other cruising scenes from such exotic places as the Mediterranean and Easter Island.
Several artists will be exhibiting at the tour’s most popular stop, the Wildwood Dream Alpaca Farm, where owners John and Kelly Wood will again set up the family-friendly alpaca petting area. Kelly will demonstrate weaving on one of her several looms and also offers alpaca fiber for yarn, spinning tools and handmade hats, scarves, shawls, and handbags.

John has long turned his eye toward the unusual and over the years has built up a must-see collection of antique tools and furniture, gadgets and furnishings, clothing and jewelry.

Inside, Donna Charbonneau will be at her torch working glass into lampwork beading and jewelry. She also works with hardshell gourds, turning their stiff, gently curved organic structures into decorative and useful items with a unique flair.

There are eight stops on the tour this year, four of them in Blaine and four more about a mile east of town on Sweet Road and Haynie Road. Request a stamp at each place, because if you go to all eight then you’ll be entered in a drawing at your last stop to receive an art piece.

Road signs indicate each studio, and comprehensive maps with artist’s information are available at all stops as well as at Northern Meadows Specialty Gifts and Wine in the town center at H Street and Peace Portal Way, the Blaine Visitor’s Information Center, the Blaine Harbor Center and most restaurants around town.

For more information call the Blaine Visitor’s Center at 360/332-4544.