Mother’s Day art events this weekend

Published on Thu, May 7, 2009
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By Jack Kintner

Blaine will have two art shows this coming Mother’s Day weekend along with new releases and tastings at six Whatcom County wineries, including Blaine’s Dakota Creek Winery and the GLM Winery, home of the Glacial Lake Missoula label. Even the weather reports are promising.

The art tour weekend has always enjoyed bright sun over the four years it’s been running, as if Mom deserved no less on her special day.
It’s in Blaine where the art show and winery release weekends begin to blend as Ken and Jill Peck’s Dakota Creek will be hosting local glass artists Karla Eames and Sharon Swanson as well as featuring nine new wines including 2007 versions of their popular Firefighter Red and Jill’s Blend.

The wineries are cooperating in this weekend under the banner of the newly formed Whatcom Winery Association, with two member wineries each in Blaine, Everson and Bellingham.

“Guests will be able to enjoy samples of each participating wineries’ newly released and soon-to-be-released wines,” said Ken Peck. “Some wineries will offer a preview of the upcoming vintages with barrel samples, allowing a rare opportunity to taste wine directly from the barrel.”

Winery owners, winemakers and other staff members will be available to answer questions and provide information about the winemaking process.

Swanson and Eames are both local artists and though they both work in glass their products are different. Swanson creates everything from large custom windows to small suncatcher hangings out of stained glass. Eames uses a blowtorch and Italian glass rods to make beads, something she’s grown so accomplished at doing that she now teaches the craft as well.

The wine tasting begins Friday, May 8, and runs through Sunday. Each place has its own hours. Dakota Creek will be open from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. each day, while GLM will be open from noon until 6 p.m. each day.

For more information go to, and to Other wineries on the release tour include Chuckanut Ridge Wine Company and Vartanyan Estate Winery in Bellingham and Samson Estates and Mount Baker Vineyards, both in Everson.

Both wineries are also publicizing the Sweet Road Artisans Alliance Springfest Studio Tour. Ten north Whatcom County artists at seven different stops around the area (in addition to the wineries) will demonstrate as well as sell their crafts on Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Artists include some new faces, such as Brian Major, whose clients include both the Seattle Art Museum, known as SAM and the Bellevue Art Museum and Bellevue Square mall. His house at 978 Harrison is the tour’s third stop.

Famed sailor, surfer hall of fame member, painter and sculptor Bob Hogan is the first stop on the tour at 1167 Rene Court near Blaine’s Montfort Park.

Hogan’s work reflects his years on the ocean, whether surfing on it in California or Hawaii or living off the wild goats of the Galapagos or exploring Easter or Pitcairn Islands from his own sailboat.

Second on the tour is another new face, fiber artist Dr. Guo Cheng in the log house at 680 Georgia Street.

She is known for the tight and even weave of her knitting and crocheting. She will also host northwest scenic photographer Wayne Holverstott.

Stop number four, at 4104 H Street Road near the Harvey Road corner, Donna Charbonneau will be working on and displaying her hard-shell gourds and jewelry at the home that she shares with her husband Dave and family. (Her husband, a descendant of Lewis and Clark’s Indian guide Sacajawea, likes to kid that he’s one of the few people who can brag about having had more than one relative on the expedition.)

Donna’s art reflects her appreciation of shapes and forms found in nature and expressed in glass and molten metal.

Farther out on H Street Road and a short distance north at 9745 West 31st place, felt artist Donna Hunter and driftwood furniture maker Jim Agnello will demonstrate and display their work at the Artfelt Studio.
Hunter uses a Scandinavian method to make the felt that is then turned into bags, hats, table runners and cushions. Agnello’s creations have to be seen to be believed, made out of driftwood, glass and stone found on beaches in the area.

The sixth stop is Blaine’s landmark Circle of Trees art studio run by Cathy Taggett and Ron Snyder. Taggett’s paintings evoke suggestions of northwest locales with an economy of brush strokes, revealing a zen-like essence with which she depicts local water, trees and mountains.

She has recently branched into wearable art like scarves as well as acrylic painting on canvas. Ron’s brooms will also be there, and maybe even Ron himself.

The last stop on the tour is everyone’s favorite, John and Kelly Wood’s Wildwood Dream Alpacas at 3750 Sweet Road.

“It’s your one-stop shop for everything alpaca,” said Kelly, who added that this year they will have a “shear to shawl” demonstration both days beginning at 1 p.m. They’ll shear an alpaca, then spin and weave the yarn they get into what Kelly says will be a luxurious hand-woven shawl, something you know if you’ve ever touched alpaca yarn.

The two shawls will be sold at a silent auction.

“This will be a fun and educational chance to see how an animal is sheared and how the wool is turned into clothing,” Wood said, “so stop by!”

For more information on the studio tour and a map, go to or call 332-8082.

Maps are also available at the Blaine visitor center, most Blaine stores or at the participating wineries.