PORT ANGELES — The sun-splashed streets of Florence, Italy, the silver-blue ocean at La Push, the faces of people on a downtown street all live in Lynne Armstrong’s work.
Take “Not a Selfie.” It’s a woman she imagined, painted and submitted to the forthcoming show at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.
Titled “The Power of Small Things,” the exhibition of work by 64 artists opens with a free, public reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
In addition to the 5 p.m. opening Saturday, a reception for Port Angeles Fine Arts Center members will be held at 4 p.m., so those supporters will have the first chance to purchase artwork. All of the pieces will stay on display through September, with the gallery open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.
Armstrong lived in Italy after earning art degrees from Cornell and Stanford. She moved to Port Angeles a decade and a half ago, and calls this place “thrilling for an artist.” She said some of her canvases come together within hours, others take more than a year — and every one holds in it the artist’s full history.
“Not a Selfie,” along with another Armstrong painting titled “Annunciation,” is among 99 works in the “Power” show. Everything is 10 inches by 10 inches or smaller — oil paintings, fiber sculpture, pen and ink drawings, assemblage — art lines the walls, shelves and pedestals, having been shipped or brought in by artists from across the United States.
For her part, Armstrong relishes the format.
“I like small paintings, or collage, or any small work,” and the way it calls on the maker to focus.
Sarah Jane, gallery and program director at the center, received about 250 submissions when she put out the call last spring. With Peninsula College art professor Steve Belz and artist Jan Dove, she conducted a blind jurying process to choose the works in the show.
As it turned out, 30 percent of the artists are local. Among them are Ellie Polk, Gina Witz, Kim Blinoff, Mark Smoot, Andrea Woods, Clea Rome and Jeanne Edwards of Port Angeles, Carolyn Votaw of Sekiu, David Willis, Susan Shaw, Marian Morris and Kathy Cook of Sequim and Cathie Wier and Jeffrey Lark of Port Townsend. They join participants from 13 other states, including artists from San Francisco, San Diego, New York City and Pittsburgh. Several are exhibiting their art for the first time.
This show fits the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, Jane said, because so much art can go on display in the relatively snug space.
“We’ve got works priced as low as $100,” she noted, so you don’t necessarily have to be wealthy to purchase the piece you love.
For this exhibition the center won a $1,500 project support grant from ArtsWA and the National Endowment for the Arts, where the funders were enthusiastic about the focus on making it accessible to artists who might not otherwise have places or means to show their work.
About 20 of the 63 participants, including Armstrong, have let Jane know they’ll attend Saturday’s reception. That opening event will also start a fundraising 50/50 raffle for the fine arts center.
Tickets, available at the center and at www.pafac.org, are $5. The winner, drawn after “The Power of Small Things” closes Sept. 29, will receive 50 percent of the total ticket sales.
For more information about membership and activities at the center, see PAFAC.org, visit the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center page on Facebook or call 360-457-3532.