PORT TOWNSEND — The Showcase Artists, the juried group displaying their work at Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery year-round, received an added invitation last spring.
“Your artwork is wanted in the gallery’s June show, “Shadows and Light,” and you’re invited to interpret this theme in any way you choose.”
And the art flowed in. A morning sun ablaze, the curvaceous outline of a woman in a dark room, bright rays on stone cliffs — the artists reveled in the wide-open concept.
“It did grab me right away. I love the idea of shadows and light,” said Port Townsend artist Diane Walker. Her paintings “Decisions Decisions” and “Into the Shadows of Time” are among the works in the show.
With special lighting added in the space, they will stay on view at Jeanette Best Gallery this Thursday through June 25. The gallery at 701 Water St. is open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays.
In addition, on Saturday, it will stay open until 8 p.m. for downtown Port Townsend’s first Saturday Art Walk. More about Northwind Art’s exhibitions, classes and workshops is found at https://northwindart.org.
“The artwork in this exhibition — some 45 new pieces — reflects light and shadow in both the physical world and in our inner spaces,” said Northwind Art spokesperson Diane Urbani.
Walker, when asked what her art gives her, quickly replied: “pure joy.” Yet there are also times when her anger comes out in her paintings.
“I’ve learned over time that what appears on the canvas is often a reflection of what’s going on in the world outside my studio. Art becomes a way of processing or expressing my reactions to the events around me,” she said.
During the depths of the pandemic, “much of what I was painting was really dealing with light and shadows: trying to paint out my fears and finding ways to bring light into what was, at the time anyway, a pretty dark picture.”
Walker later realized something.
“I wanted all my paintings to have more light in them,” she said.
“I think I draw a parallel between light and hope, and so adding light to my pictures is an expression of hope. Of course that doesn’t change the fact that there is darkness in the world. It just suggests that it might be possible to balance that darkness with light,” Walker said.
Maybe, she added, doing that in a painting allows the viewer to sense the possibility that there can be hope and joy even when darkness is looming.
“We can choose that path; that way of being in the world.”
“Shadows and Light” was also the theme and title of a Northwind Art exhibition about five years ago, said Ken Hulick, manager of the Showcase Artists program.
This sequel exhibition includes artwork by Walker and by Vivian Chesterley, Larry Crockett, Stephen Deligan, Jeanne Edwards, Brian Goodman, Joyce Hester, Francesca Campbell Hulick, Corinne Humphrey, Donna LaHue, Aliina Lahti, Wanda Mawhinney, Evan Miller, Marian Morris, Roger Morris, Jacki Moseley, Sandra Offutt, Jadyne Reichner, Elizabeth Reutlinger, Egor Shokoladov, Kim Simonelli, Linda Tilley, Jeanne Toal and the artist team of Craig Britton and Brittany Whitaker. The artists hail from Jefferson, Clallam and Kitsap counties.