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March 19, 2018

3/7/2018 11:22:00 AM
Northwest Visionary Contemporaries
An artist's view

We live in a time which deeply needs the power and the transformative substance of NW Visionaries.
There are such artists living today across the Northwest States. Northwest Visionary work began as a movement in the Skagit Valley which now lives in the soul and vision of artists living and working with a direct relationship to the landscape they inhabit across the Pacific Northwest and other parallel visions in the world.
They are not the conceptual artists describing the next flavor of art fad or conceptual genius or in expressing political art. They are speaking of a humble essence of human nature.
The Museum’s origin was in representing this vision.
I feel now more than ever the Museum of Northwest Art is facing its own identity crisis and has been for several years. Identifying with the Museum’s origin in NW Visionary Art frees the Museum to talk about broader visionary art, educate children on topics in art and invite diverse visionary artists. We are a community steeped in Northwest influences. Let us not forget our identity and origin but be the Contemporary Museum of Northwest Art which gives voice to parallel visionary artists around the Pacific Northwest.
Looking back on the roots of the Museum, its mission prioritized the Northwest Visionaries above all else. Much has changed in the art world since then, but
these roots are still the source and power for the community. It is this sense of belonging which brings people in droves to collect art here and to live, retire and create here. We are inspired by the soul of the landscape. As Artists, we belong as much to the land as the land belongs to our work. It is felt in our bones and should not be confused with conceptual faddish art movements. This is a lifelong commitment and deep introspection into a process which inhabits a state of being. It is a way of life depicted by the geology and landscape we live with which defines these parallel artists.
People are drawn to this transformative work because it represents their most precious sense of belonging.
Possibly selling art at bargain prices and selling whatever walks in the door waters down the message and confuses the public of the jewel they seek in NW Art. The Museum has the power to define this treasure and to lead the people in how to attain and live with these treasures in these extraordinary times.
The Museum can be a leader in the art world by finding its way back to its roots.
There is much confusion by the many messages in art these days. There is a unique jewel and special current here in the NW, not seen in other places. Let us not confuse the public with mixed messages of city trends when people flock here to see art not shown many other places. We can be a contemporary art museum once our identity and origin had been made clear. This visionary work is alive and well across the Pacific Northwest thanks to this visionary movement which began here.
Theodora Jonsson

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