Art’s Alive! 2009

Nana Queen

Katherine participated in the annual Art’s Alive celebration in nearby La Conner this past weekend. She entered this basket titled “Nana Queen” in the open show at the Maple Hall. On Sunday she demonstrated her basketry at the Skagit Historical Museum.

While she was working, I enjoyed talking to another artist, photographer Jeanne Hansen. She was explaining her black and white film work in particular. I have enjoyed seeing her work in other shows.

Katherine Lewis Art's Alive demo

In the photo of Katherine, you can see her basket “Harvesting the Skagit” behind her to the right. We described this basket in an earlier post about the “Paint Me a River!” exhibit.

There were numerous artist demonstrations throughout the town. After Katherine’s demo, we wandered down to The Artist Remarque to see Jane Penman, metalsmith and lapidarist. She cuts a wide variety of stones in free-form and mounts them in simple silver designs that are quite lovely.

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Paint Me a River!

Harvesting the Skagit

Harvesting the Skagit

“Harvesting the Skagit” is Katherine’s entry to the upcoming exhibit “Paint Me A River! Art Meets History” at the Skagit County Historical Museum in La Conner. The museum asked local artists to submit pieces that reflected their personal interpretation of some facet of local history. This exhibit with over 75 original works rendered in paint, glass, bronze, neon, photography, basketry, and multi-media, reveal the wide variety of interesting, amusing and surprising responses that Skagit history can inspire.

Katherine weaving her basket.

Katherine weaving her basket.

Katherine based the form on a traditional tulip bulb harvest basket which was about a bushel and a half size round basket with side handles. She used a variety of colors to showcase the diversity of willows that we have brought here to grow on our farm.

Trimming the ends inside the basket.

Trimming the ends inside the basket.

I was able to persuade Katherine to let me take a few photos while she was weaving this basket. Normally she doesn’t care for me and the camera while she is working.

Weaving the "roped" handles.

Weaving the “roped” handles.

Finishing a handle.

Finishing a handle.

The exhibit opening is Saturday, October 10, 4-7 pm with wine, hors d’oeurves, live music, and a chance to meet the artists. The Museum is at 501 South 4th Street, at the top of the hill, in historic La Conner, WA.

Katherine Lewis, Skagit Valley willow basketmaker

Katherine Lewis, Skagit Valley willow basketmaker

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Juntunen Gardens

Katherine at Juntunen Gardens

Katherine at Juntunen Gardens

Katherine participated in an event this past Friday evening at Juntunen Farm & Gardens in Mount Vernon billed as a garden party and fundraiser for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Several groups helped organize the event including Skagit Artists Together of which Katherine is a member. Past President Thais Armstrong helped gather several artists from the group to come out and demonstrate their work in a beautiful garden setting that has been created by Rod and Mari Juntunen.  There were also informational booths for SAT and the Museum of Northwest Art.

Painter Tom Pickett

Painter Tom Pickett

Fiber artist Andi Shannon

Fiber artist Andi Shannon

Working artists included Andi Shannon, Tom Pickett, Karen Fishburn, Alfred Currier, Anne Schreivogl, and Katherine Lewis. SAT members John McClain, Kathy Huckleberry, and Rose Mary Tate staffed the group’s information booth. Of course, there was live music, beer and wine, and general merriment involved.

Katherine finishing a basket.

Katherine finishing a basket.

Katherine made a lovely oval fitched market basket during the event which Rod Juntunen’s sister purchased.

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SAT studio tour

baskets and willows at Dunbar Gardens

baskets and willows at Dunbar Gardens

This past weekend was the sixth annual juried Skagit Artists Together studio tour. This is the second year that Katherine has participated. The tour is kind of an open farm day for us at Dunbar Gardens. Since Katherine actually works on the second floor of our old farmhouse, we display the baskets in our barn and Katherine demonstrates basketry outside. The nice thing for visitors is that they can see the connection between the craft and the materials. We invite people to walk out to see the willow fields. We can explain the process of growing, harvesting, drying, sorting, soaking, and finally weaving of the willows.

baskets in the barn

baskets in the barn

We had a beautiful two days for the tour. Traffic and sales were less than last year, but that was not surprising given the down economy. We hope folks enjoyed their visit. We were still selling some fresh produce from our garden like we do every weekend, so some people just stopped by for the vegies!

Heidi clowning around

Heidi clowning around

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