Twisp gallery’s show includes indigenous artists
If ever there were a time for fantasy, this is it, and Confluence Gallery & Art Center in Twisp is ready to nurture our fascination with the powerful, the mysterious, the fantastic and the whimsical with its upcoming exhibit, “Hooves, Hearts, and Fairy Tales,” which opens Saturday (Sept. 5).
Curated by Okanogan artist Roxanne Best and Twisp artist Joanne Marracci, the show is inspired by Best’s deep love of horses. “I’m a member of the Colville Tribe and we are horse people,” Best says. “My family is horse people. All hooved animals serve a purpose; they’re important in all cultures.”
Best is new to Confluence Gallery’s board of directors, but when she proposed the show idea last year, the response was enthusiastic. “Hooved animals are very mysterious,” Best explains. “Maybe it’s a girl thing, but with horses, deer, even unicorns, there is always the possibility of a bit of a fairy tale behind the beast.”
As this is Best’s first curating experience, she is mentored by veteran curator Marracci. And as this is a new show in the midst of a pandemic, Best says she’s “keeping it simple.”
Best started by reaching out to a number of indigenous artists, including basket weaver Julie Edwards and Swede Albert, who makes upcycled functional art. The 3D work of Okanogan artist Dan Brown will also be featured, as will the fairy photographs of Brewster photographer Jennifer Tollefson (who, if it weren’t for COVID, would have her fairy photography studio set up at the exhibit’s opening). The Community Gallery behind the main gallery is hung with a solo exhibit by Leavenworth artist Amber Zimmerman.
It is important to Best to showcase the work of indigenous artists. “I’d personally like to see more First People’s art,” Best says, “and I think it’s important that indigenous artists are more widely represented.” Wearing a different hat, Best is currently working on a project with the Northwest Native Development Fund (which fosters economic and financial independence for Native people) involving filming 13 indigenous performing artists, to promote awareness of First People’s creativity.
“Hooves, Hearts, and Fairy Tales” captures 3D, painting, photography, jewelry and other media. “There are a lot of different art forms represented in the show,” Best says. “A little of everything. The show asks you to consider your feelings about the image of the hooved beast — what does your heart say? — and to be open to the fairy tale behind it.”
“I want people to feel light-hearted coming to this exhibit,” Best says. “It’s such a heavy time. Come with a childlike curiosity.” In other words, succumb to the magic, surrender to the fantasy.
Confluence Gallery is open Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Appointments for private shopping and viewing are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. “Hooves, Hearts, and Fairy Tales” closes Oct. 10.