http://www.plateauartsalive.org/ Each month the artist reception’s at Arts Alive! Center for the Arts has grown in social popularity. It is good to see that talented hard-working artists are getting the recognition they deserve. It is also good to meet and get to know the actors behind the stage at Arts Alive, the volunteers and Board members, and the people in the community who come out for this special occasion to support the arts.
The artists presenting their work this month of July (four of them) are all very different in their mediums making it quite an interesting show. The duo team of photographers, Carol and Bruce Smith, the watercolorist Diane Franchini, and sculpturist Chris Casey were kept busy all evening talking to their admirers and answering questions.
The Smiths of Enumclaw offer an eclectic range of intriguing photographs spurred by their imagination and curiosity of the world around them. Carol says the photos she takes are inspired by what she sees, sometimes on a day excursion or travels to foreign lands. “It’s the moment I capture,” she says. The Smiths met and married about eight years ago, both bonded by their love of photography. Both have work exhibited that makes you ponder and wonder; capturing special memories. A passionate hobby since their youth, working together they turned professional and show their work, not only at Arts Alive!, but upcoming shows such as the Lavender Festival, the Sequim Skeet Fair and Salmon Days. Their works can also be seen at
The tiny sculptures called Kids on Rocks is a nostalgic and charming collection created by Kris Casey of Covington, done entirely by hand-building, not on a potters wheel. “I try to capture the carefree and happy spirit of my grandkids, “she says. Her sculptures reminds us when our own children climbed on top of a big rock and proudly declared “look what I did!” And she captures their exultant joy as they reach the top of the rock on the tiny little faces of each figure. Casey has been a potter for 20 years building functional pots, bowls, plates until her hands began to trouble her from all the intense muscle work. Now she is content hand building her pieces which is less stressful. Basically self-taught, Casey eventually studied under George Rodriguez , who was featured in Evening Magazine as a rising artist whose exhibits are shown at the prestigious Foster Gallery and the Bellevue Art Museum.
Diane Franchini, a retired Enumclaw School District English teacher, launched her artist career six years ago. She began her first classes at Arts Alive! under the gallery’s art teachers Elaine Lynest and Lorrie Maras; and she has been showing her work in the Arts Alive! gallery since then. To further her arts training, Franchini later attended Taos Intensive Studies in New Mexico and also did an internship at the Kiowa Institute. The results are magnificent and remarkable. “I was able to break out of the notion that everything I did had to be photo-realistic and become more free to express myself,” she says. The outstanding Franchini watercolors have a an impressionistic look to them; and some of her watercolors almost seem like oils, an unusual effect hard to create. Franchini makes her own frames and mats for her work preferring color in the background that highlights the drama of her work.
The works of the artists featured this month are displayed in the showcase windows of the gallery. Take a moment and look as you pass be; or take a longer moment and browse inside Arts Alive! The collections are constantly changing!