WEEKEND: Port Angeles Fine Arts Center brings back Art Outside event Saturday

PORT ANGELES — It’s to be a summer solstice walkabout and a gathering of art and nature lovers: Art Outside, reborn at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., this Saturday.

Art Outside took a hiatus last year, as fine arts center executive director Robin Anderson organized other activities.

This summer, she’s bringing the event back home to Webster’s Woods, the 5 acres of forest and meadow outside the center’s gallery doors.

This place, named for founder Esther Webster, is a deep-green haven, dotted with scores of sculptures and other art installations put in each June, from 2000 through 2012. That was the year Jake Seniuk, the fine arts center’s curator and director for 23 years, retired.

Seniuk, as he developed this Art Outside idea, invited artists from across North America to create works in the woods.

Many of those pieces are still interwoven here, along the walking paths and peeking from behind the trees.

Now, to mark Art Outside’s 15th year, Anderson is throwing both a reunion and a picnic.

“The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is honoring some of the many dedicated artists who have supported the art park,” she said, by asking them to the Art Outside Sculpture Invitational.

The 13 sculptors, from Joyce to Port Townsend and beyond, were invited back into the woods this spring.

Visitors can have their first look at the artists’ new creations this Saturday, as the center provides maps for self-guided tours of the park from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Then everyone is invited to stay for a free reception with music, supper and a mask-making activity with artist Sarah Tucker from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

“We’re putting together a drum circle,” Anderson added, and “we’re going to have the reception on the patio, and the board members are going to barbecue for us.”

Community members with drums are, naturally, invited to join in the circle. It’s “just good fun,” Anderson said, “to celebrate art and summer.”

Among the participating artists are Anna Wiancko Chasman of Joyce; Kim Weimer, Dani LaBlond and Gray Lucier of Port Angeles; Margie McDonald and David Eisenhour of Port Townsend, Deanna Pindell of Port Hadlock, David Nechak of Seattle, Lin McJunkin of Sequim.

Others from across the region, include Lanny Bergner, Alex Anderson, Claudia Lorenz and Barbara De Pirro, the Shelton artist known for her use of recycled materials. De Pirro’s “Fungo Plastica,” for example, is crocheted plastic bags laid into the bark of a tree.

Once the new Webster’s Woods art is revealed during Saturday’s party, the pieces will stay till next May.

The art park is open, with free admission, every day of the year from sunrise to sunset.

To find out more about Art Outside and other summer activities at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center — such as the Paint the Peninsula plein air festival — visit www.PAFAC.org, or phone 360-457-3532.

The center’s indoor Webster House gallery also offers art shows, with volunteer docents on hand, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

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