“Noon Stroll” by Jeanne Edwards of Port Angeles is among the new pieces in “Showcase in Bloom,” the celebration of local artists at Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery in Port Townsend. The new exhibition opens this week and continues through May. (Northwind Art)

“Noon Stroll” by Jeanne Edwards of Port Angeles is among the new pieces in “Showcase in Bloom,” the celebration of local artists at Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery in Port Townsend. The new exhibition opens this week and continues through May. (Northwind Art)

‘Showcase in Bloom’ brings new art to Jeanette Best Gallery

Artists from all over North Olympic Peninsula

PORT TOWNSEND — With more than 60 new works, “Showcase in Bloom,” opening this week at Northwind Art’s Jeanette Best Gallery, is a larger-than-ever exhibition celebrating regional artists, said its manager, Ken Hulick.

Makers who work in clay, oils, photography, metal, textiles, watercolors and other media are among the 24 Showcase Artists. All were chosen earlier this year to be part of the Showcase program. Scores of their works are on view year-round in the rear space at the Best Gallery.

“Showcase in Bloom” is an expansion, a step forward into a new season.

“After three years of challenges for everyone in the arts community, this exhibition is all about color, light and joy,” said Michael Vince Snyder DuBose, Northwind Art exhibits director.

The new show will fill both the back and front rooms of the Jeanette Best Gallery at 701 Water St. in Port Townsend. The gallery’s hours are noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays.

“Showcase in Bloom” brings the newest works into the front room today through May 29. In addition, the first Saturday Art Walk in Port Townsend keeps the gallery doors open, with free refreshments, until 8 p.m. this Saturday.

More information about this and other Northwind Art activities, including classes at the Northwind Art School at Fort Worden State Park, can be found at https://northwindart.org.

The art in this exhibition varies widely in subject matter, medium and price, Hulick noted.

“We want to have art that is accessible to everybody,” he said.

The Showcase Artists, selected by consulting juror Gloria Lamson, come from a variety of backgrounds. Many have had careers in fields other than art and are now reveling in the creative process.

“I love to paint humanity,” said Jeanne Edwards of Port Angeles.

“A painting contains a living experience — always moving with beauty and the descriptive quality of light.”

The artists find inspiration in the deep woods and high mountains, in kitchens and on patios and among fellow creatures from the Salish Sea and the color-drenched sky.

Larry Crockett of Port Townsend, for his part, paints simple pleasures: a tart beverage, a steaming mug, three olives splashing into a martini glass.

“My objective is to evoke a fond memory … something that causes a smile,” he wrote.

Egor Shokoladov of Port Angeles mixes media — oil, watercolor, a 14th-century technique called etching — to express his thoughts.

“I am particularly inspired by humor,” he wrote, adding that he seeks to “bring positive vibes into the world.”

“My style has a noticeable European shade,” said Shokoladov, a recent immigrant from Belarus.

Joyce Hester of Port Townsend wrote that being an oil painter allows her to go “someplace else,” perhaps hiking on a mountain trail with the sun low in the sky.

“Some call it daydreaming. I call it art making,” she said. “Want to come along? Come on — let’s get out of here.”

The Showcase Artists, who hail from Port Ludlow, Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Bainbridge Island and Sequim, also include Vivian Chesterley, Stephen Deligan, 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, Kim Simonelli, Linda Tilley, Jeanne Toal, Diane Walker and the artist team of Craig Britton and Brittany Whitaker.

These artists were selected at the beginning of the year by consulting juror Gloria Lamson of Port Townsend. The 2024 Showcase Artists will be chosen after the application process begins this fall. Information will be posted at https://northwindart.org.

The Showcase program began some 15 years ago, when the Northwind Arts Center was in a snug storefront on Jefferson Street in Port Townsend. This spring, in both rooms of the capacious Jeanette Best Gallery, the participating artists have more space than ever to bloom.

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