by MATTHEW NASH
The older the Blue Whole Gallery gets the more active its members become.
For its 15th year celebration, new and old faces rally at the gallery June 1-3, starting with the First Friday Art Walk.
Stemming from an idea by gallery member Karin Anderson, the three-day event expands their regular group show, this year called “Into the Blue,” to include a special reunion of past members, live music, art demonstrations and food.
Anderson said 32 members are featured in the main show and 33 former members return with one or two pieces in the Blue Whole Gallery Annex, which shares space with the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce’s new second Visitor Information Center.
“It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with past members who are still active in the local arts community,” Anderson said.
“It’s also a nice way to bring more people downtown because our whole goal is to get more people here.”
In the past year, Anderson said she has seen the First Friday Art Walk blossom due to the efforts of organizer Renne Brock-Richmond, which has brought more people into the gallery.
Potter Dianne Johnston has been a gallery member off-and-on for 10 years and rejoined recently after seeing local artists rejuvenate the gallery.
“We’ve made a huge leap,” Johnston said. “I’ve seen how all the members have pushed themselves … Occasionally, we explode a little bit requiring a lot of us but we want it because we want to share with former members and friends and new people.”
“We also have a lot of fun together,” Johnston said.
Inspiration for the ambitious celebration stems from Carol Janda, a watercolorist and potter for 10 years with the gallery.
Anderson said she saw Janda’s “Into the Blue” oil painting and felt that it was the piece of inspiration she needed.
Janda said the piece is more about emotional feelings than a perfect composition.
Finding the perfect mesh of local artists, Blue Whole Gallery has seen dozens of artists since opening June 14, 1997.
“We’ve been the live wire down here,” Janda said of the gallery downtown.
Blue Whole Weekend
Branded “15 and Fabulous,” the “Into the Blue” group show opens 5-8 p.m. Friday.
A special sneak preview of the past artists’ work runs the same time down the block at 163 W. Washington St., the special annex exhibit that runs through June.
On Saturday-Sunday, June 2-3, the gallery celebrates its “Blue Whole Reunion Show 1997-2012” in the Annex featuring live music by Kate Lily from 5-7 p.m. and Redwing from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, and Sarah Shea and performance painting by gallery artist Jeff Tocher from 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
Blue Whole Gallery’s regular hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. The Annex show continues noon-4 p.m. daily through June 30.
For more information, call 681-6033 or visit www.bluewholegallery.com.
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.