Phil Carriso’s “Hurricane Ridge’s Morning Gift” is among the artwork on display at Port Townsend Gallery.

Phil Carriso’s “Hurricane Ridge’s Morning Gift” is among the artwork on display at Port Townsend Gallery.

First Saturday Art Walk slated for Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — Downtown art galleries will stay open until 8 p.m. Saturday with special exhibits for the First Saturday Art Walk.

Among them are Aurora Loop Gallery, Port Townsend Gallery, Gallery 9 and Northwind Art.

Aurora Loop Gallery

“Home Bound” is among the pieces that will be on display at Aurora Loop Gallery.

“Home Bound” is among the pieces that will be on display at Aurora Loop Gallery.

Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will be the opening reception for a show of surreal artwork that features, in addition to visual art, an interactive Surreal Soundscape created by Lola Lazer at the Aurora Loop Gallery, 971 Aurora Loop.

“Please bring a rubber band,” organizers said.

Julie Read, local acrylic painter and painting teacher, is taking her turn at curation for the first time in this show, which will continue through Oct. 29. Routine gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

When Mary O’Shaughnessy, owner of Aurora Loop Gallery, approached Read about curation in 2022, Read chose this October as the month to curate since she enjoys the spooky and strange celebrations happening this time of year.

For years, Read has been working with an eclectic group of locals who attend her Open Studio.

When the opportunity to curate a show came up, several students expressed interest in participating, but for some, surrealism was a mystery. So, Read hosted surrealism nights with her student base during the summer.

The group explored automatic drawing, frottage and collage. Of course, painting happened too, being Read’s primary medium she teaches.

Many of the pieces in the show are works created by students participating in the surrealism nights. For some of these artists, it will be their first time showing in a gallery.

There are a few invited artists from the community to encompass the wide array of mediums that surrealist art has been presented in. These include Harold Nelson, Steve Parmelee, Robert Tognoli, Holly Varah, Margie McDonald, Mary O’Shaughnessy and Charlie Van Gilder.

Port Townsend Gallery

Port Townsend Gallery is featuring printmaker Phil Carrico and woodworker Martha Collins in “Against the Grain: Creation Through Destruction” this month.

Collins, Carrico and other artists who exhibit at Port Townsend Gallery home will be on hand during Gallery Walk from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. The gallery, at 715 Water St., ordinarily is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, as well as by appointment. For more information, phone 360-379-8110 or see

While most artists add layer upon layer to build their work, both Collins and Carrico go the other direction, turning timber, filleting flitches and gouging grain, all in an effort to release artwork trapped in the medium, organizers said.

Collins’ miniature bowls are reminiscent of hand-crafted woven baskets with as many as 13 different wood species combined to create intricate geometric patterns, organizers said.

In 2019, Collins won Best Artist New to the Show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. She has participated in the prestigious Smithsonian Craft Show, and her work is now part of the permanent Bresler collection.

Like Collins, Carrico’s deconstruction of linoleum and Baltic birch allows for the creation of multi-impression woodcut prints. MFA-prepared at the University of Alaska, Carrico spent most of his life honing his skills at printmaking while teaching art to the next generation.

Every step of the printmaking process is final unto itself as, once the block is inked, all impressions of that layer must be made on all the prints in the series. Then, after cleaning the block, the next layer is revealed by Carrico, carefully carving out only that which should remain of the impressed color. This happens for as many as 16 color impressions.

For both Collins and Carrico, there is no undo. Because of their destructive processes, every attack on the medium is final. Every cut. Every slice. Every gouge. Nothing is left to chance. Destruction as a means of creation requires discipline, a vision and a plan.


Gallery-9’s featured artists for October are Susan Martin Spar with oils and pastels and Linda Marie Kempe with hats, bags and accessories.

Both will be on hand for the Saturday art walk at the gallery at 1012 Water St. Regular winter hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Monday.

Susan Martin-Spar’s “Cascade” is among the art at Gallery-9.

Susan Martin-Spar’s “Cascade” is among the art at Gallery-9.

Spar is a classically trained artist who studied at Georgetown Atelier in Seattle and graduated in 2012.

Her earlier training included a degree from FIT in New York as well as various workshops and classes from well-known artists.

Her art consists of landscapes, figures and detailed still life and is in the permanent collections of both the Millard Sheets Foundation and the Corona Heritage Park Foundation as well as private collections throughout the U.S., Australia and the Far East.

This October, new work includes “Cascade,” a floral that represents a new path the artist has been exploring since last year.

It will be featured in the front window.

Sparr also been trying her hand at an expressionist form of figurative painting and three of these romantic figure paintings will also be on exhibit, along with two fantasy paintings and several of her other traditional pieces.

Kempe creates a wide variety of art from wearable fabric arts to paintings that jump off the canvas and invoke deep thinking.

She has been producing and selling art for more than 20 years, developing a style unique to herself called “Flow Energy Art.”

She is influenced by painters like Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali and Georgia O’Keefe.

Kempe’s paintings fill the stairwell and upstairs room at Gallery-9, along with her wearable art and new products to be featured in October.

She created and sold her first custom evening gown at age 16, and has been making clothing and costumes ever since.

Northwind Art

Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery, 701 Water St., will stay open late Saturday during the art walk.

On display are Weather or Not, plein air paintings by Northwest artists and Artist Showcase 2023.

Weather or Not will be shown through Oct. 29.

Artist Showcase 2023 is now exhibiting Companions, creations by 24 regional artists, through Dec. 31.

The gallery’s usual hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

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