Shows last through Nov. 13
A “show of things moved by the wind,” the “Something in the Wind” exhibit opens at Confluence Gallery & Art Center on Wednesday (Sept. 29) 2021.
“It is about the unseen air, the very breath we breathe, the elemental qualities that make their power known through their effects on other things,” a press release says. “[It] is about changes large and small.”
Exhibit co-curator Cheryl Wrangle said that the title she and co-curator Marcy Stamper proposed for the exhibit was “Blowing in the Wind,” but copyright concerns about the Bob Dylan song led them to change the title. Still, Wrangle said, the exhibit features some artwork that depicts the winds of change, as opposed to literal interpretations of things blowing in the wind. And, Wrangle added, “literal can also be symbolic.”
With 33 artists contributing to the exhibit, the gallery features an array of pieces of art, from paintings to photography to mixed media to sculpture. Methow Valley and regional artists are represented with sculpture by Dan Brown, copper weathervanes by Jessica da Costa, and photography by Sherry Malotte. Other artists from Seattle, Moses Lake and Leavenworth have provided works, including Kim Matthews Wheaton’s landscape paintings, Cordi Bradburn’s Asian brushwork and Ian Shearer’s urban streetscapes.
Stamper said “for a show about wind and the movement of air — powerful, but invisible, forces — it’s fascinating and inspiring to see how these elements took shape in the imagination of visual artists. There are calming pieces and some that depict lots of energy and tumult.”
“Something in the Wind” is about change: movement, alteration, transition. “What does change look like?” the exhibit asks gallery visitors. Friends, you know where the answer is.
Interconnected in the Community Gallery
“The Methow Valley is my playground and my muse,” said artist Patty Yates. The inspiration Yates takes from the Methow Valley’s natural world — trees, specifically — forms the body of her new solo exhibit in the Community Gallery at Confluence Gallery & Art Center.
Called “Interconnected,” the exhibit features the trees that Yates said “feed my soul.”
Yates prefers plein air (“open air,” outdoors) painting and has created art in the Methow Valley for four decades, but with the relentless smoke of summer 2021, she had to leave the valley for periods of time. “It was difficult to produce art,” she said. “I couldn’t work outside and I adopted a ‘woe is me’ attitude.”
Yates traveled to cleaner air intending to paint elsewhere, but said “they weren’t valley places. The valley is my place; I couldn’t do it.”
So she returned to the valley, pulled out photographs, drew on her memories of clean air and golden light, and worked in her studio “at a breakneck speed” to create new paintings and resurrect old work.
“COVID and smoke gave me a strange gift of quiet to paint,” Yates said. “I had to fight my way out of my funk.”
Yates’ lifelong passion for trees anchors the exhibit. “When I was a kid I concentrated on charcoal trees,” Yates said. “It broke my heart to be in forests after fires — all those black sticks. But we’ve lived in this cycle forever. We have to accept it as part of living in a place like this.”
Although Yates frequently paints in places like Upper Twisp River, which saw significant fire suppression impact, she hasn’t yet been to visit her familiar stands of trees. “There is a lot of grief for me,” she said. “I need time and space to prepare myself before I go see those places.”
For Yates, the exhibit urges us to consider how connected we are, to the earth and to one another. “We all have roots,” Yates said. “Even though I’ve only been here 40 years, I’ve taken root in this place.”
“Something in the Wind” and “Interconnected” are open at Confluence Gallery from Sep. 29 through Nov. 13, 2021. Admission is free. Gallery hours are Wednesday throuh Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit confluencegallery.org for more information.