Random Questions with Margo Hankel

Blue Whole Gallery President Margo Hankel answers some Random Questions and talks about 18 years of the gallery.

June marks the 18th year Blue Whole Gallery has brought local, Northwest artists together. For nearly two decades the gallery in Sequim has housed a variety of work crafted by artists from all walks of life.

The cooperative gallery has 30 artists and continues to develop, reflecting the collaboration of its members.

“We all work really well together,” Margo Hankel, gallery president, said.

The gallery recently has gotten more involved with schools and features monthly the work of a student artist.

“It’s (student’s art) always very fresh,” Hankel said.

Looking ahead to many successful years to come, Hankel would like the gallery to continue with proactive community outreach and possibly offer more classes and workshops.“I think art enriches everyone,” she said.

A retired design engineer, Hankel has pursued art throughout her life, but began painting about six years ago. Drawn to the “natural” elements of painting with watercolors, she said, “If done right and on good paper, a watercolor will last a long time.”

From 5-8 p.m., Friday, June 5, Blue Whole Gallery members invite the public to celebrate their 18th anniversary and enjoy some cake.


Question 42: What is your first or best memory of/in Sequim?

“My first memory of Sequim was going to a swap meet on Bell Hill before there were many houses built and before the new road (U.S. Highway 101). That was also the day I decided I wanted to live on the Olympic Peninsula.”

Question 19: What is your favorite part of your job?

“I’m retired, but my favorite part of painting is the social aspect. Painting is usually a solitary activity, but I belong to a painting group, North Olympic Watercolorists, so it gives me a social outlet. I really love to work the gallery and talk about art with people. The art community is great here.”

Bonus question: What do you feel Blue Whole Gallery has meant to the community?

“It’s a place of enjoyment. It’s a place people can bring visitors and appreciate local art. I think Sequim and Port Angeles are art centers because there are so many artists … probably because there are a lot of retirees so they can do what they want to do.”

Bonus question: How would you like to see Blue Whole Gallery continue to grow moving forward?

“I’d like the gallery to continue to reach out and involve the community.”

Question 25: Who is the last person you would want stranded on a deserted island with you?

“Rush Limbaugh.”

Question 8: What is your favorite food?

“Fried chicken – It’s always been my favorite since I was a kid.”

Question 38: If you could thank one person, who would it be and why?

“George Zien (local artist) because he shared his craft with me.”

In Random Questions, members of the community each draw five random questions (sometimes more) out of 50 from a bag and he/she will answer these questions for your entertainment. With suggestions for random interviews, e-mail Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.