PORT TOWNSEND — Kerry Tremain flouts the rules of nature photography, says fellow artist and friend Ray Troll. Famous for his own rule-flouting art, Troll spoke about the photographs on view in “Outside In,” a major exhibition at Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery.
Troll singled out Tremain’s photo of a black oystercatcher, in which the viewer locks onto a single eye of the ebony-black creature.
“He got the spirit of that bird,” Troll said.
The show also features ethereal landscapes by Brian Goodman, sculptures and jewelry by Sara Mall Johani and bronze works by her late husband Tom Jay.
“‘Outside In’ is a sensory experience,” said Diane Urbani, communications manager for Northwind Art. When it opens today, it will present 23 of Tremain’s photographs from his book “Aves,” including images of white pelicans, trumpeter swans and one angelic bluebird.
Goodman’s photographs from his project, “Solace of Space,” render forests and seashores in ways that invite contemplation.
“My intent is to blur the lines between what we refer to as ‘photography’ and what we refer to as ‘art,’” he said.
“These are images of such tranquillity,” Urbani said, “a refuge for the mind and heart.”
“Outside In” interweaves the photography and sculptures with a soundtrack of birdsong. On occasion, Tremain and Goodman went out together with their cameras, and the results are shown together in the gallery.
Jay and Johani have 11 works in the show, which is the first gallery exhibition of Jay’s sculptures since his death in 2019. He is remembered as a kind of shaman — a poet, author and sculptor of ravens, fish and other Northwest totem creatures.
Jay and Johani are well-known in the region as both artists and originators of Wild Olympic Salmon, the pioneering wildlife restoration group.
“Like Tremain and Goodman’s photographs,” Urbani said, “the sculptures evoke the spirit of an animal, and the feeling of a place.”
Said Johani in an invitation to friends: “Tom and I are pleased and honored to be invited to exhibit our sculptures along with two formidable photographers.
“Of course, Tom can’t participate in person,” she continued. “But his sculptures stand in for him admirably. It’s almost as if he were here to see his work on display, they are so very Tom.”
On Saturday, “Outside In” will be part of Port Townsend’s Art Walk, when the local galleries stay open until 8 p.m. Tremain has invited another friend — Yup’ik artist, singer and dancer Chuna McIntyre of Eek, Alaska — to sing a welcome song at Jeanette Best Gallery that evening.
“Outside In” will continue through Aug. 27; the regular hours are noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays at Jeanette Best Gallery, 701 Water St.
Both Tremain and Goodman moved to Port Townsend several years ago from California: Tremain from the Bay Area and Goodman from Los Angeles. Tremain was an editor of Mother Jones and California magazines; Goodman was a commercial and documentary photographer. The men have begun new lives here, practicing their art and learning firsthand about the nature of the Pacific Northwest.
Last year, Tremain and Goodman worked together on the “Still Here” project, of which Northwind Art was a sponsor. They built a relationship with the Chemakum people, a tribe that had been wrongly listed as extinct. They made large-scale portraits that were hung at Chimacum High School and published in a book, “Still Here: Portraits of the Chemakum,” about the tribe’s living members.
Tremain hopes the exhibit will help bring the “outside” in. As poet Mary Oliver wrote in her famous poem, “Wild Geese,” the artists want visitors to experience how “the world offers itself to your imagination … announcing your place in the family of things.”