Robots, watercolors occupy Gallery at the Park

This month’s exhibit at the Gallery at the Park in Richland is presented by Michael Boynton and Steve O’Shea. It epitomizes what makes the art world so imaginative and unique. Bring your whole family for a fun day at Howard Amon Park, and be sure to stop by the gallery to enjoy Boynton’s “Robots” exhibition and O’Shea’s “Kid’n Around Cover Art” show.

For the past 13 years, Boynton has taught art classes at elementary and middle schools throughout the Richland area. He works with his students on a “Robots” project, where they create found-object sculptures. Boynton and his students also discuss robots in history, news and pop culture, and they contemplate various philosophical robotics questions such as:

  • “Can robots replace humans?”
  • “Will robots become self-aware?”
  • “Do robots have rights?”

As society continues to develop technological innovations, these questions become more and more relevant. Boynton cites an economic report from 2016 in which the Obama administration predicted that 83 percent of future low-wage jobs (paying less than $20 per hour) would be replaced by automation.

“One area of concern is the use of robots for military purposes and enforcement of political ideologies,” Boynton said. “A portion of my art in this show attempts to struggle with that question and the morality surrounding it.”

For the exhibit, Boynton presents his Victorian-inspired steampunk work. Steampunk describes a subgenre of speculative fiction that takes place in an alternate history where technological advancement happened sooner. Boynton has created a series of unique steampunk sculptures that depict robots doing jobs from the 19th century.

The other portion of the gallery showcases the art of Steve O’Shea, an illustrator, graphic artist, watercolorist and architect from Portland. His watercolor images appear on the covers of Kid’n Around, a Seattle-based monthly publication for children.

The Gallery at the Park show features more than 30 of O’Shea’s original Kid’n Around covers, each one unique, whimsical and filled with bright colors and hidden details. O’Shea uses watercolor, colored pencil and ink to create these beautiful works of art. The themes include imagination, learning, play, oceans, friends and heroes.

Boynton and O’Shea’s exhibit will be on display from through April 28. The reception will be held on April 2 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Adult workshops

On April 7 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Felicia Follum will hold a “Tipsy Wine Glass Collage” workshop. She will discuss layering and composition, and she will teach participants creative collage techniques.

View the archived April 2017 issue of The Entertainer

Print art, porcelain displayed in ‘Black & White’ show

This month, the Allied Arts Gallery at the Park in Richland will present “Black & White,” a new featured art exhibit from Mary Dryburgh and Ruth Allan. Dryburgh and Allan combined their unique talents for a beautiful monochromatic show. Though they work in different media — Dryburgh in print and Allan in porcelain — their respective art pieces share certain themes and characteristics, resulting in a diverse but unified collection.

Dryburgh and Allan have known each other for 20 years, and the Black & White show demonstrates their long involvement in the art world and in producing work with their respective materials.

For this exhibit, Dryburgh pulled black-and-white prints from her extensive body of work dating back almost 30 years. She has been using the techniques of woodcut and intaglio printing (or etchings, as they are more commonly known) since she was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin.

Dryburgh emphasizes the importance of her work’s narrative base and the stories that can be found even in abstract images.

“In my opinion,” Dryburgh says, “art is always about communication.”

Allan, a ceramic artist from Wenatchee, provides a complement to the prints with her own black-and-white porcelain vessels that display patterns similar to the line quality of Ruth’s prints.

The notion of monochromatic art has inspired Allan’s work for more than 50 years. She specializes in saggar firings, which result in rust, peach and black pieces, and Raku firings, a style of pottery that comes from eastern Asia and produces a flamboyant iridescence.

Though she celebrates this range of colors, Allan also says, “I find black and white nuanced in a way color can sometimes lack or obscure.”

Unlike the narrative threads that run through Dryburgh’s prints, Allan’s vessels are more abstract and do not contain any intentional stories. But, “I do like to inspire the viewer,” she adds.

The tones and patterns on Allan’s ceramics evoke a sense of mysticism that can also be found in the prints. Despite the clear differences in these two artists’ bodies of work, the Black & White show highlights the harmonious way the pieces come together.

Mary Dryburgh and Ruth Allan’s exhibit will be on display until March 24, and the reception will be held on March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Basket weaving

On Mar. 18 and 19, the Gallery at the Park will be holding an adult workshop centered on basket weaving. Throughout the weekend, participants will be able to learn how to make remarkable projects using natural materials such as cedar, copper and willow bark.

This class is available to anyone, regardless of skill level. Even beginners will have the opportunity to learn good foundational skills in the art of basket weaving.

The class instructor, Judy Zugish, has been making baskets for many years, and you can learn more about her by visiting her website at twigtwisters.com.

The materials fee for the class is $120, payable at the time of the class. To register, stop by the Gallery at the Park on Lee Blvd. or register online at galleryatthepark.org.

Children’s classes

Starting in March, Tenesha Shelby will be holding children’s classes once a month from 1 to 3 p.m. The topic for March will be mixed media portraits, and in April the topic will be watercolor with crayon resist painting. Visit the gallery for more information about the children’s classes.

The Gallery at the Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It’s at 89 Lee Blvd. near the entrance to Howard Amon Park in Richland, and you can visit online at galleryatthepark.org.

View the archived March 2017 issue of The Entertainer

Felicia Follum art and ‘Empty Bowls’ exhibited

This month, the Gallery at the Park unveils a new art exhibition based on the theme of social change. Stop by to see both parts of the exhibition — the Empty Bowls project and the artwork of Felicia Follum.

Follum’s exhibition celebrates the diversity in our community. While she acknowledges that many people do not consider the Tri-Cities to be particularly diverse, she argues, “If you are willing to leave your bubble of comfort, there are so many levels of diversity in the Tri-Cities that I’m not even sure how to define diversity anymore.”

Follum invites anyone who is still skeptical to view her art and see our community the way she does.

Follum recently moved to the Tri-Cities from Laramie, Wyo., where she presented numerous exhibitions addressing important social topics such as religion, human trafficking and racism.

She hopes to continue exploring culture and diversity with her exhibition at the Allied Arts Gallery. This body of work reflects the adventures she has had in the Tri-Cities and the diverse communities she has encountered here.

On the cultural relevancy of the exhibition, Follum says, “I believe that art has the ability to bring diverse groups of people together in ways that nothing else can.”

In conjunction with Follum’s art, the Gallery at the Park’s February exhibition will also feature our own community’s contribution to the Empty Bowls project, a national movement that aims to raise money and promote awareness for the fight to end world hunger.

Local artists have donated handmade bowls of various sizes, media and styles to the project. The gallery also hosted three free one-hour workshops on how to create clay bowls by hand, which more than 40 community members attended last month.

All of these creations will be displayed and sold at the gallery to raise money for the Tri-Cities Food Bank.

Follum’s artwork is a fitting companion for the Empty Bowls exhibition, as some of the groups she has spoken to in the Tri-Cities include homeless communities and refugees who have recently entered the United States — both of which are groups that the Empty Bowls movement will help.

With her exhibition, Follum aims to shed light on the poverty hidden in our community. Even if you have lived here for your entire life, you will gain a new perspective on the Tri-Cities.

The Felicia Follum and Empty Bowls exhibitions will be on display until Feb. 24, and the reception will be held on Feb. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The Gallery at the Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Visit the gallery at 89 Lee Blvd., near the entrance to Howard Amon Park in Richland, and online at galleryatthepark.org.

View the archived February 2017 issue of The Entertainer

Allied Arts Gallery at the Park exhibits fiber arts, hosts ‘Creativi-Tea’ and ‘Empty Bowls’ events

Although the holiday season is over, the new year is bringing with it some all-new exhibits at the Allied Arts Gallery at the Park in Richland.

From Jan. 3 through Jan. 28, the gallery will present Desert Fiber Arts, an exhibit dedicated to fine craftsmanship and artistry using fiber materials, specifically centered on the theme of metamorphosis. For example, multiple artists from Desert Fiber Arts have collaborated on a beautiful, flowing tea towel that will be strung throughout the entire gallery space. Not only that, but Desert Fiber Arts members will also be attending the event to demonstrate knitting, spinning and weaving, as well as to share helpful tips and answer any questions you might have. The artist reception will be on Jan. 8 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Chris Simonen will be the featured artist for this exhibit. She has been an active member of Desert Fiber Arts for a number of years, and her past work includes tea towels, rugs, tapestries and silk paintings.

Desert Fiber Arts originated in 1974 with the purpose of promoting education, interest and participation relating to fiber arts. Members of the organization come from all around the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas, from southcentral Washington to northeastern Oregon. If you’d like more information on Desert Fiber Arts, simply visit desertfiberarts.org.

The ‘Creativi-Tea’

On Jan. 21, the Gallery at the Park will hold the “Creativi-Tea” event, a workshop in which local artist Felicia Follum will lead participants in creating beautiful watercolor paintings, allowing everyone to produce his or her own unique cards. With the help of Sprynkles LLC, the gallery will be transformed into a tea party for the duration of the event. After the lesson, participants will be served tea and tasty treats such as scones, tea sandwiches and small desserts.

This workshop will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $45 for Allied Arts Association members and $50 for nonmembers. Tickets are available at the gallery or on the website, and purchases must be made before Jan. 10.

‘Empty Bowls’ event

This year, the Allied Arts Association is also participating in the national movement called “Empty Bowls,” which will raise money for the Tri-Cities Food Bank and promote awareness of hunger in our community and around the world. The gallery is calling on local artists to donate empty-bowls — handmade bowls of any size, medium or style — to the cause. The goal is to collect at least 200 bowls, which will be sold at the gallery in February.

To assist with the Empty Bowls movement, two local artists are hosting a workshop on Jan. 7 to teach participants how to create clay bowls by hand. This workshop is free, though donations are welcome to help with the cost of supplies. No matter your skill level, you can attend this event and create a bowl to donate to the Empty Bowls project. The workshop starts at 10 a.m. and will be held in three one-hour sessions.

The Gallery at the Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Visit the gallery near the entrance to Howard Amon Park in Richland, 89 Lee Blvd., and online at galleryatthepark.org.

View the archived January 2017 issue of The Entertainer

Gallery at the Park presents Christmas market and more

A variety of fun events in Richland will get you in the Christmas spirit! When you stop by Howard Amon Park to check out the Winter Wonderland on Dec. 2 and 3, make sure you also pay a visit to the Gallery at the Park, located on the pathway between the HAPO Community Stage, the Columbia River and the Richland Community Center. The Gallery will have a German-inspired Christmas market set up on the patio outside, complete with garlands and lights.

Christmas market

The custom of German Christmas markets dates all the way back to the Late Middle Ages. The Christmas season would be marked by the appearance of these street markets, which traditionally included drinks, Christmas cookies and handmade Christmas items such as toys and decorations. On Dec. 2 and 3, the Gallery at the Park will present its own version of the Christmas market. Gallery volunteers will be providing complimentary candy and warm cider, and in the spirit of the traditional European Christmas markets, they will also have gingerbread cookies for sale. Guests will also be able to purchase unique Christmas items made by gallery artists. On the days of the Christmas market event, the Gallery will have extended hours, staying open until 8:30 p.m.

Gallery Aglow

Then, on Dec. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m., the Gallery at the Park will hold a reception for the Gallery Aglow show, an event that features hundreds of works created by local and regional artists. The reception is open to guests 21 and older, and wine, coffee and cookies will be available. For entertainment, the Three Rivers Dulcimer Society will perform, and gallery artist Gail Roadhouse will do demonstrations of watercolor cards throughout the evening. Gallery Aglow runs through the end of December.

Jewelry class

The Gallery at the Park’s final event of December is Sharon Meader’s jewelry class, which takes place Dec. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. Students of all different skill levels can learn to make a beautiful “Caterpillar Bracelet.” As long as you know how to use a needle you can learn to make a “caterpillar” bracelet for the holidays from Sharon Meader at the Gallery at the Park. and thread you have enough experience for this class, and you will be able to create amazing jewelry! If you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity, register online by Dec. 9.

The Gallery at the Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

If you want to support a local business, help the community and get your Christmas shopping done all in one trip, just make your way over to the Gallery at 89 Lee Boulevard in Richland.

For information and registrations, visit the website at galleryatthepark.org.

View the archived December 2016 issue of The Entertainer

Gallery Aglow will get you in the the spirit of the season!

Christmas cheer is already spreading and affecting people everywhere, causing them to want to decorate Christmas trees, hang stockings, deck the halls with boughs of holly and buy gifts for loved ones.

Luckily, in a tradition dating back 30 years, the volunteers of Allied Arts Association turn the Gallery at the Park in Richland into a one-stop shop for all things Christmas. Just in time for early shoppers, Gallery Aglow has beautiful gifts and decorations on display from Nov. 8 through the end of December.

Do you want to give your friends and family members gifts that are as unique and wonderful as they are? Do you want beautiful, handmade wreaths and trees to decorate your house? Stop by the gallery on Lee Boulevard near the entrance to Howard Amon Park and celebrate the 30th anniversary of this special Gallery Aglow show.

Local artists contribute their incredible talents to the show, submitting beautiful and useful items such as ceramics, glassware, jewelry, fiber art and metal work. Unlike the gifts you find in chain stores, these items have been handcrafted with love and care, and each one is a unique piece by a talented artist.

The Gallery at the Park maintains one of the largest retail art collections in the Tri-Cities. Allied Arts Association, which operates the gallery, has served the community since 1948, providing residents with a source of art and handicrafts. Every year through November and December, the Gallery at the Park hosts the Gallery Aglow show, featuring hundreds of works created by local and regional artists.

During this event, the gallery also sells unique wreaths, trees and holiday decorations — all handmade by volunteers at the gallery. All proceeds from the sale of these items go toward funding the Allied Arts Association, which gives back to the community by providing scholarships and setting up programs such as Beads Behind Bars and Art Connection.

The purpose of these programs is make art education opportunities available to everyone in the community, no matter who they are. Beads Behind Bars allows eligible youth at the Benton Franklin Juvenile Detention Center to take beading classes and explore their creativity. The program gives troubled youth a greater sense of their own value, and it’s hoped that it will lead them to make better choices in the future.

Allied Arts Association is only able to expand and continue these programs with the help of fundraisers and the generous support of the local art community.

The Gallery at the Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Support a local nonprofit organization, help the community and get your Christmas shopping done in one place. Stop in at the Gallery at the Park at 89 Lee Boulevard in Richland.

View the archived November 2016 issue of The Entertainer