Loomis Hall a smorgasbord of art

Published on Wed, Dec 2, 2009 by Tara Nelson

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Local residents will be able to catch a glimpse of some of Blaine’s best talent on display this weekend at Loomis Hall.

The gallery has scheduled their Holiday Art at Loomis Hall event for 5:30 Friday, December 4 at 288 Martin Street.

Studios will be open during regular hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with the addition of the following Sundays: December 6, 13, and 20.

The show will feature the works of 10 resident artists as well as a dozen other local, state and international exhibiting artists.

In addition, art from Blaine high school students and the Boy & Girls Club will be available to the public with proceeds being donated to the Boys & Girls Club and the Blaine high school art association.

Admission is by donation and art will be available for purchase. The event will be catered by Table Top Gourmet catering.

Since its opening last summer, founder David Vargo said he has been amazed at the reception the space has received. Already the two lower floors have been occupied by local businesses including the most recent additions of Alpha Chiropractic; Megan Cary, an early childhood educator.

The top floor features art studios, a community gathering space and a dance studio opened by Tiiu Kuuskmann.
Vargo said he wants to continue building a multi-purpose community venue that could include yoga, aerobics, ballet, ballroom dancing, and hip hop classes,  as well as community art and cooking classes. 

“My vision was to create something to do in Blaine, a place for the public that is designed for the community to be involved. When I saw this building, I saw the opportunities of being able to do that,”  he said.

The following resident artists will be featured at the December 4 event:

Mary Bender

Bender was trained at the Pasadena Art Center School of design for two years and four years at the University of California with degrees in Art.

She has won numerous awards for her artwork, graphic design work and administration skills. She works with watercolor and mixed media.

Donna Lee Elke

Since becoming a professional artist in 1994, Elke’s work has been shown in galleries in Colorado, Iowa and Washington. Since moving to Birch Bay/Blaine in 1999, she has studied at the Vancouver Academy of Art and with the Canadian Federation of Art.

The open skies, broad horizons and the all-consuming silence of the Saskatchewan prairies permeate Elke’s work.
Whether expressed by colorful textural abstractions or the ink and pencil drawings of “My Secret Garden” or through her latest work, elegant graphite lines impressed upon white paper or canvas, Elke said it contains a meditative aloneness that reflect the land where she was born.

Allie Ryser

Ryser is a prolific local glass artist who specializes in making jewelry from the glass beads, vessels and pendants she creates. She has taken many classes in glass work and has been creating art crafts and jewelry for 13 years.

Peg Cutting

Cutting is a fabric artist who favors work with collage, art quilts, and hand-made gifts. She is also a chef and plans to run the catering department she is developing at Loomis Hall, setting up various events for groups and individuals.

Janet Rudnick

Rudnick is a local oil painter who was trained in the Bay area at California College of Arts and Crafts then completed her training at Gonzaga University. Her work is displayed in Washington, Oregon, California, and Canada. Loomis Hall art director Barbara Wean said Rudnick’s work “expresses the beauty and vibrancy of color, texture and motion.”

Patricia Schmidt

Schmidt started to create jewelry to combat stress and found that she was good at it. Many of her uniquely crafted jewelry pieces are in the hands of her patrons in Arizona. Her recent creations use Swarovski crystal and Southwestern stylized pieces as well as natural stones and lamp work pieces.

John Scott

Scott paints  landscape, marine, animal and bird life and is also an award-winning sculptor. His paintings and sculptures are in private collections.

He has studied with accomplished artists in Arizona and Bellingham. Scott said his art and photography portrays that which appeals to him intellectually, aesthetically, and emotionally.

Patricia Stevens

Stevens is a self taught photographer who never stops taking photographs. She loves her medium and has been published in the Institute of Photography.

Barbara Wean

Wean said she has loved creativity in all its forms since childhood. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University in creativity, and a certificate in garden design from U.B.C. She has had classes in sculpture and oil painting at Gage Academy in Seattle.

Helen Worley

Helen has a great love of travel and has traveled all over the world taking photographs. Wean calls her work “exquisite.”

For more information, visit www.loomishall.com.