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February 23, 2020

11/7/2018 12:43:00 PM
Art is now Alive in La Conner
MaryRose Denton

Art comes alive in the La Conner community this weekend, as 14 invitational artists display their work and share their craft through various demonstrations held throughout town: It is La Conner’s 34th annual Art’s Alive.
Kirk Ruse, an oil painter in the show says, “art is not only a personal reflection of the artist’s spirit, but those who engage in the art somehow see a reflection of their self, embracing something outside of themselves and growing a sense of community.”
His paintings can be seen at That’s Knot All, one of 12 merchants showing works this weekend as part of the Walk Through Town Tour. He is joined by oil painters Lynn Zimmerman, Nick Fennel, Kathryn Altus, Sheila Evans and Christine Skinner. She believes “the arts remind us all of place, expression of how individuals interpret the world either visually, via music or in words. Art serves as a reflection on the world we all share. Artworks bring contemplation to the viewer, can invoke a sense of beauty, or anger or political truth. To witness expression demands our own.”
Her rich, colorful oil works depict the world of the Skagit Valley, connecting to this time and our unique place we call home.
There are watercolor artists, David Hall and Nicki Wight, acrylic artist Dotti Burton and sculptors Bo Miller and Bliss Kolb.
Kolb creates crank-operated mechanical creatures. His automata are an artistic medium now rare, reminiscent as they are of the 19th century. He finds community by utilizing the very modern technology of the internet to reach fellow artists and build his audience and sales. His reflection: “The internet has connected the tiny numbers of individuals around the world who are interested in the subject, all mostly isolated in their own communities but now sharing their work, ideas and questions with each other.”
Art manifests itself in many forms: visual, music, dance and words. It is through the eye of the lens that photographer Spike Mafford invites us into his view of the world. “Art nourishes the soul and bends the lines of conformity,” he finds. These sentiments can be seen throughout his works, such as his “Alter” pieces which combine several media for a soul enriching result. For fellow photographer Craig Barber, “Art adds quality to life,” which he accomplishes by volunteering with the La Conner Arts Commission and partaking in the local community.
Katherine Lewis, an exquisite basket maker, rounds out this year’s artists, showcasing several of her fantastic creations.
Come meet these artists and hear their stories over a glass of wine, all the while enjoying live music performances at the artists reception Friday, from 5-9 p.m. The open show, also at Maple Hall, includes artist demonstrations.
Information is online: artsalivelaconner.com or pick up a program at local businesses.
Show your love for the arts in your community this weekend at Art’s Alive!

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