An array of the region’s artists will showcase and sell their work Friday, March 30, through Sunday, April 1, at Hangar 30 in Seattle’s Magnuson Park.
This year, Northeast Seattle artist Dawn LaGrave, Montlake woodworker John Wehman and Southeast Seattle blacksmith Lauren Osmolski will be among the 110 local artists chosen to display their latest creations — from mixed media, painting and photography to garden art, ceramics, and fashion design.
LaGrave creates kaleidoscope images that incorporate her love of geometry, angles and symmetry. “They offer a different perspective of actual places and things, to which people may have a strong connection,” she explained.
While she had always loved doing crafts, it was LaGrave’s knowledge of computers that led to the discovery of the kaleidoscope application purely by accident.
“After playing around with the application for a week or so, I knew I had found my niche,” she said.
Her process begins with a photograph of an object that has good texture and color contrast. The photo is then turned into a kaleidoscope image using a computer application. A slice of the photo is selected and then replicated 16 or 20 times to create the final image. Several copies of the kaleidoscope image are printed and different elements are cut from each copy. The final piece is framed in a shadowbox.
At the Best of the Northwest show, LaGrave will unveil her clockwork creations, which take the kaleidoscope imagery a step further.
Wehman creates outdoor furniture whose classic designs originated 150 years ago. He has improved them for functionality and comfort and has cast them in a colorful palette.
“There are certain chair colors that really connect with our natural surrounds,” Wehman said.
He merged his creativity expressed through a previous career in video productions and the artistic satisfaction of woodworking.
“Woodworking allows me to express myself with my hands,” Wehman said.
After studying sculpture in Boston, Osmolski moved west to Seattle, where she began working with blacksmiths who were a part of this region's thriving art-metal movement.
Today, Osmolski has her own business as a full-time artist, creating unique metalwork for people's homes and gardens, as well as teaching at the Pratt Fine Arts Center.
Some of the tools that Osmolski uses daily to create are from the early 1900s, but through her training as a blacksmith, she is able to make her own tools as a job may require, just as smiths have done for centuries.
Inspired by nature, Osmolski brings cold, hard steel alive with shapely curves, light-catching textures and organic shapes.
The Best of the Northwest show will take place in Magnuson Park’s Hangar 30 on Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, from 10 a. m. to 6 p. m., and on Sunday, April 1, from 10 a. m. to 5 p. m. For more information, visit www.nwartalliance.com.
PAMELA REMBOLD is the executive director of the Northwest Art Alliance.