Port Angeles arts center to shut door for vacation
By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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“I am going on holiday,” said Anderson, the sole staffer.
This will be the first time in memory that the fine arts center has closed, said Jake Seniuk, Anderson’s predecessor. Seniuk was executive director from 1989 until his retirement last summer, while Barbara Slavik was education director until her retirement this January.
Since they shared the operations of the center — and Seniuk rarely took time away — it never had to be closed to the public, he said.
The gallery, which currently houses the “Pillars” mixed-media art show by John and Robin Gumaelius of Grays Harbor County, will be closed until a week from Wednesday.
Webster’s Woods open
But the surrounding Webster’s Woods park, with its forest and meadow adorned with about 100 sculptures and paintings, will stay open during daylight hours.
Vandals attacked Webster’s Woods in December, breaking, shoving over and in some cases smashing some 35 of its art installations.
But Anderson and a team of volunteers repaired much of the damage and reopened the 5-acre park in late January.
As for the indoor space, Anderson said leaving it to be run by volunteers isn’t practical.
Anderson became head of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center last July after Seniuk’s retirement. Her city compensation package included a week of vacation on the books when she was hired, a salary of $5,350 per month and 11 days of paid vacation annually.
When Anderson returns, she will resume work on a new art-and-nature education program she hopes will appeal to local residents of all ages.
Anderson has hired a contractor, Karen White of Kirkland, to coordinate the program, which could include art classes for schoolchildren and scout troops as well as workshops for adults.
White also will organize weeklong art day-camps for youngsters this summer, Anderson said.
Anderson and White worked together at Anderson’s previous job at the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg, Ore.
White will bring “new perspectives” to Port Angeles, Anderson said.
White’s contract will run through the end of the year and will be funded by a $15,000 grant that the fine arts center received in January from the Wiancko Family Trust via Anna Wiancko Chasman, a well-known artist and teacher who lives in Joyce.
The center’s education programming is “a work in progress,” said Wiancko Chasman.
She imagines the storage rooms at the center being turned into classrooms; “that will mean more opportunities for all of us teachers and students,” she added.
Anderson, for her part, said she is in the early stages of planning artist-in-residence programs and other offerings.
“We’re contacting organizations to hear what they need” in an arts enrichment program.
“We’re not saying, ‘Here’s our program; take it or leave it.’”
Anderson can be reached at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center at 360-457-3532.
After her return March 28, the center’s gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. More details are at www.PAFAC.org.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: March 14. 2013 5:12PM