Visual artists, videographers, poets and writers from the Methow Valley are featured in an exhibit that highlights the unique environments of the Methow and Wenatchee watersheds. The exhibit is at the MAC Gallery at Wenatchee Valley College (WVC).
Called the CHA CHA Exhibition (CHA stands for conservation, history and arts), the show features the creativity and innovation that emerged from two artists’ residencies in and around the Methow River and the Wenatchee River.
The residencies were sponsored by the Icicle Fund as part of its 20th-anniversary celebration, and by Methow Arts and the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. The resulting show includes artists’ responses to the Icicle Fund’s mission to celebrate and support conservation, history, and arts in the region, said Scott Bailey, a WVC art professor and curator of the CHA CHA exhibit.
The goal of the residencies was to explore the unique environmental aspects of each location. The artists revisited work created by poet William Stafford in the Methow Valley in 1993 and by the Watershed Artists in the Wenatchee Valley in 2001. Twelve artists were selected for the two residencies, and some created art in both.
The Methow residency, which took place in October 2020, gave local artists Jennifer Molesworth (watercolor paintings), Rod Weagant (oil paintings), and Subhaga Crystal Bacon (poetry) the opportunity to explore the Methow River watershed and how it has changed.
Two artists from outside the valley also participated in the residency. Sarah Horowitz created paintings and accordion books and Heather Murphy did paintings and illustrated writing.
Bacon, Molesworth and Horowitz also participated in the Wenatchee River residency, held in May 2021, along with Methow artist David Lukas, who makes videos, and Merry Maxwell, a Methow artist who works in oil painting and writing.
Artists in the Wenatchee River residency visited several locations in the watershed to document their surroundings — and any environmental changes since 2001 –— through visual art, writing and music.
The mission of the original Watershed Artist residency was to create an awareness and emotional connection to the unique cultural and natural history of the Wenatchee River Watershed through art.
Other artists in the Wenatchee residency include Heather Murphy, who created paintings and illustrated poetry; Marlene Farrell, who wrote prose; Gretchen Daiber, who created mixed-media paintings; and Jane Zanol and Claire Seaman, who did paintings.
The exhibit is on view at the MAC Gallery at WVC’s Music and Art Center through Oct. 27. It has also been shown at other galleries in the region.