Vashon Center for the Arts will host the Fourth Annual VIVA Member Show, June 4th – 27th.
Vashon Island Visual Arts (VIVA) opens its annual member show at Vashon Center for the Arts (VCA) on June 4 with a reception starting at 4 pm and side by side with the Biennial Student Show opening the same day with an artist reception from 2pm to 4pm. VIVA artists number 115 in this, the biggest membership show ever, and works range from two dimensional painting and photography in virtually all mediums to three dimensional jewelry, woodworking, ceramics, collage and more.
And this headline “Small Island, Big Art”, graciously on loan from Lynann Politte for whom it is her tagline for the VCA Gallery, really says it all! The VIVA show is not only one of the biggest exhibits of the year in terms of participating artists but will allow for the first time in over a year the most visitors in the gallery. The VIVA artists are ready, having spent the COVID year immersing themselves in work, new directions and new designs. Lynann Politte observed that “All through the pandemic I’ve witnessed artists continue to make great art, expressing a spectrum of emotions and experiences of the year-long shut down. The art in the VIVA show reflects this diversity in expression and medium. And, amazingly, all of these artists live here with us on this small island”.
Each member artist was encouraged to submit one or more pieces within certain guidelines to the show juried by VIVA Board members Annette Messitt and Lin Holley. Asked his thoughts on the exhibited works, VIVA President Brian Fisher commented “Such diverse and intriguing work from Vashon’s visual artists! As an artist and appreciator of the interpreted visual, I am amazed by the scope and nuance reflected in this show. I am also motivated to wonder- how? I think, how was that texture created before it was shaped into that mug? Was the photographer moving or the subject in this photo? What kind of a brush or was it a tool that makes such a scalloped mark? We each are hardwired to think and make in a unique way and this show proves the fact.”
But the most succinct description of the exhibit and exhibitors come from curator/jurors Annette Messitt and Lin Holley. Drafted to do the heavy lifting that such a large show embodies, the two organizers have viewed every piece of art submitted and essentially loved them all, whether room on the walls was sufficient or not. They were forced to make hard decisions in many cases, especially 2D works, to select only one out of two or three equally amazing images due to space constraints. Reflecting on that process, Annett Messitt said “The VIVA Members Show illustrates that while many things have been on hold during the pandemic, creativity was alive and well among Vashon visual artists. Visitors will recognize works from their favorite on-island artists and enjoy seeing both 2D and 3D work from new members that are equally as exciting. The show is a perfect way to usher in a post-pandemic era that we believe will be defined by hope and creativity.” For a full list of exhibiting artists, selected photographs, show hours and other details, go to https://vivartists.com/.
So what do these comments tell you? Probably what you have known and experienced year after year on Vashon but it may have taken a pandemic to remind us – we live in a rich, artistically diverse community that is, statistically, simply chock full of exceptional artists. And this show gives you the opportunity to see a huge number of them in one place, at one time and, for some of them, the first time. VIVA is particularly happy to be sharing the walls with the Biennial Student show as VIVA is dedicated to providing scholarships and guidance to emerging high school artists by funding $2000.00 or more in scholarships each year.
On Friday, June 4 and throughout the show, VCA will maintain COVID protocols as outlined by VCA and which include the “Meet the Artist” reception spread out over four hours with artists’ arrivals evenly spaced out during that period, social distancing, signing in, readily available hand sanitizers and mandatory masks. The Biennial Student Show will maintain the same safeguards during its 2pm to 4pm reception. The exhibits run through June 27th. We are indeed a Small Island with Big Art!