Congratulations to BAC’s 2017 scholarship winners!

As springtime unfolds and students everywhere are dreaming of summer, many graduating high school seniors are dreaming of heading off to college. For some, studying art will be a big part of that journey.  BAC is proud to lend support by awarding three separate scholarships each year to seniors who plan to continue their art studies.

Art by Lily Forsher. Gallery photo.

We’re pleased to announce the 2017 scholarship recipients: Matthew Derry, Pauli Family Scholarship ($2,000); Maya Nathan, Rosalyn Gale Powell Scholarship ($1,000); Lily Forsher, Pauli and George Dennis Scholarship ($1,000).

Art by Matthew Derry. Gallery photo.

Scholarship submissions are judged by volunteer professional artists representing Bainbridge Arts & Crafts. Their decisions are made on the basis of mastery of medium, creativity, presentation, and essay. This year’s judges Elizabeth VanDuine and Carolyn Terry did not have it easy, as they reviewed portfolios and essays of 12 diverse, exceedingly talented applicants.

Said one of the judges of Matthew Derry’s work, “(He has) mastered some techniques that many adults will never come close to mastering.”

Another comment, on Maya Nathan’s work: “You are clearly intelligent and witty – it shows both in your lovely illustrations and prose.”

And on the work of Lily Forsher, “I am especially drawn to the faces because they are amazingly expressive…”

Art by Maya Nathan. Gallery photo.

In a world where studying art is sometimes considered frivolous, receiving an art scholarship can be a powerful affirmation for young people who want to further their creative development—whether as a career path or as a piece of a bigger picture.

Anneke Karreman, recipient of last year’s Pauli & George Dennis Scholarship, shared the impact the award has made on her.

“This year has definitely been life changing for me and I have learned a lot. I would like to combine art and creative thinking with the social sciences, and social justice, with an inkling to work with nonprofits. I greatly value how creativity is a huge part of my thought process, and will continue to value the positive impact my experience in art has had on my life.”

This year’s scholarship recipients will be recognized at Senior Awards Night on June 10 at Bainbridge High School. BAC offers heartfelt thanks to the Pauli Family, the Dennis family, and to the Rosalyn Gale Powell Scholarship benefactors for their enduring gifts.

For more information on BAC art scholarships, click here.

“Excerpts of Reality” Through the Lens of Art Grice

Art Grice, Animal Architecture Series, 2004. Photograph.

When you learn something about an artist’s background, you might learn that they have been following a straight path in their artistic lives that they knew they would follow all along. They’ve always been passionate about painting, or have had their hands in clay since childhood. Sometimes you’ll learn that a particular artist has honed and mastered their craft while following many other creative pursuits.

Accomplished photographer Art Grice, whose retrospective show, A Walk in the Dark, runs through May at BAC, is one such artist. While he has had a camera in his hands for most of his life, he’s always had his mind and hands involved in other creative ventures, too.

Growing up in the Bay Area of northern California, and drafted into the U.S. Army in 1964, Art’s early creative life was largely technical. From electronics school at The Presidio—the Army base in San Francisco, to drawing infographics as a “battalion artist” in an Alaska missile base, Art finished his service and was hired as an illustrator for a machine company, painstakingly drawing machine parts in “exploded” views. Art convinced his boss that photographing the parts rather than spending a week drawing them would be much more practical, and thus he became the company’s photographer. That was the last time he worked for someone else.

Art Grice, Window Series, 2014. Photograph.

Throughout a life of designing and building houses, furniture and boats; starting up a photography gallery in Vancouver, B.C.; hosting speaking engagements with world-class photographers; and teaching and speaking about photography himself, Art kept his eye focused through his lens.

Art Grice.

“There’s something about photography,” says Art. “It’s like an excerpt of reality, with the viewer standing in your shoes in the scene. Believability is the most powerful tool in photography.”

Art’s retrospective show features images and writings from an upcoming book to be published later this year. Describing it as a personal history of his photographic journey from the 1960s to the present, Art says, “I’d like my kids and grandkids to see what I’ve been up to all these years.”

Art has no intention of putting the camera down, however. He says, “I like to understand how we humans interact with and perceive the world. We mess with everything and manipulate things.” Keep a lookout for Art Grice on Bainbridge Island, documenting excerpts of reality, and see what you might see from his shoes.

A Walk in the Dark opens at Bainbridge Arts & Crafts Friday, May 5, with an opening reception from 6-8pm.

 

Completing the Picture in Many Strokes: One Artist’s Story

“BAC has greatly influenced my path as an artist. By giving me professional experience at a very young age they jump-started my career, recognized my potential and gave me a platform on which to grow.” ­– Wesley McClain, BAC artist

Today’s the day! It’s Kitsap Great Give day, and we are so proud—and grateful—to be participating in this countywide day of giving! It’s also the last day of our Annual Fund Drive, and we’ve loved sharing stories of how your support to our organization inspires, educates and enriches our community.

As a nonprofit gallery providing art education and outreach, we believe that every program we run is like one brush stroke of our bigger picture, and sometimes those many strokes can have a cumulative impact on just one person. We’re excited to share one last story with you about how BAC encouraged one person’s artistic path. Bainbridge Arts & Crafts artist Wesley McClain—whose art first graced our gallery when he was a 9th grader—is just one such example.

Wesley McClain.

Wes McClain loved to draw and create from an early age, which, of course, is true of most young kids. But, says Wes, “I’ve always seen art as a core part of my identity. I remember wanting to be a filmmaker or animator pretty early on. I used to come home from elementary school, turn on the Turner Classic Movie channel and watch whatever was on. That’s where I discovered Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion monster movies. …I was also drawing a lot then.

“Later, in middle school, I was obsessed with Lord of the Rings and the behind-the-scenes features that showed how everything was made. Those are early memories of really considering the reality of working as an artist.”

Even for this dedicated young artist, however, Wes didn’t experience showing his art outside of home or school until participating in one of  BAC’s  Student Art Shows, which are held every May. “I remember feeling proud to have my art on display. By high school, art was already such a big part of my identity that I don’t think I seriously considered doing anything else.”

Knowing art would remain a passion in his life, Wes applied for and was awarded an Art Scholarship through BAC; three are awarded each year to high school seniors who plan to continue their art studies in college. “Receiving the Pauli Family Scholarship was a huge honor and definitely helped give me the confidence to go to the school of my choosing,” says Wes.

Critique 2 (detail). Monotype.

Since that first year at the Student Art Show, Wesley McClain has come into his own as a printmaker, digital artist and animator­, and has been shown in our galleries multiple times. His dedication to his craft earned him an Amy Award in 2015, an honor bestowed bi-annually to an emerging visual artist from Bainbridge Island under the age of 35 whose work demonstrates a sense of quality, creativity, exploration, and dedication.

Reflecting on the impact BAC has made on his career, Wes says “I was presented with opportunities that challenged me to rise to the occasion and mature as an artist. I owe a lot to the people at BAC. They’ve been a hugely positive influence on me.”

Help us continue to make this real impact in the lives of artists, teachers, students and our greater community. Please donate right now at Kitsap Great Give and your gift will be amplified. Be a part of our bigger picture as the only nonprofit art gallery in Kitsap County that supports working artists’ livelihoods through year-round exhibitions and sales, while also providing completely free art education and outreach to schools, seniors, and the healthcare community.

Thank you for your support in making art happen!

Driving Home. Digital painting.

 

Exercising Hands and Hearts Through Art

Residents of Wyatt House enjoy monthly visits from BAC teaching artists. Gallery photo.

Through our posts in the last few weeks, you’ve learned about the wide variety of art, education, and outreach programs we implement across Bainbridge Island and Kitsap County. We hope you’ve been inspired to help complete our big picture by making a generous donation during our drive! Read on to learn about two of our important art outreach programs.

“This program has helped (seniors) to remember and experience their youthful side that many have forgotten. The smiles and joy they express are beyond words. I applaud Bainbridge Arts & Crafts and its artists for bringing this wonderful program to the seniors of Bainbridge Island.”
Linda Wakefield, Bainbridge Senior Living staff member

Art After 60 and Art in the Lobby provide therapeutic art opportunities for the most vulnerable in our community, enabling them to stretch their creative muscles, gain respite through creativity, and connect with others.

It’s well documented that senior citizens who regularly engage in creative pursuits experience reduced stress and increased well-being. Making art exercises the mind, the hands, and the heart, all especially important to the quality of later life. For seniors living in assisted living facilities, away from their families, creative projects can become even more meaningful.

This is exactly what Art After 60 is about: improving local seniors’ quality of life by taking visual art activities to them, and using instruction time as an opportunity to foster social engagement. Once per month since 2008, our teaching artists have visited three Bainbridge Senior Living facilities: Madison Avenue House, Madrona House, and Wyatt House.

Creating together fosters friendship and connection. Gallery photo.

“I have been fortunate to see how much the Bainbridge Arts & Crafts’ Art After 60 project has inspired so many of our seniors over the past years,” said Bainbridge Senior Living staff representative Linda Wakefield. “Throughout those years this program has reached a great number of seniors and given them an opportunity to be creative, express themselves, and form healthy relationships with other seniors and artists.”

Similarly, our Art in the Lobby program brings interactive therapeutic art activities to hospital patients, families, and staff to provide relaxation and stress relief through creativity. Research has shown that the process of making art enhances patients’ recovery, health, and wellness—much like it does for our senior community. Since 2007, Art in the Lobby has placed artists in the Harrison Medical Center Bremerton lobby once a week during the summer to lead demonstrations and hands-on art activities free of charge.
Teaching artist Robin Charters describes how the benefits from a single session at the hospital can have an effect on more than one person. “A young man in full scrubs came by where I had set up a demo table with pastels. He stopped, sat down and immediately started drawing a simple daffodil. When he was done and ready to leave I encouraged him to sign it. He hesitated, but eventually did. He didn’t want to keep the painting and was off quickly.

“A bit later a woman who was waiting for her husband to come out of surgery was admiring the daffodil painting. I asked if she’d like to have it; it was almost time for me to leave. She looked at me and asked, ‘Really??’

“‘Of course’, I replied, and told her who made it. She was so pleased and immediately said she would frame it and hang it up at home. She walked away with her painting, so happy. That young man has no idea what he did that day, but I do.”

BAC teaching artist Fred Truitt (left) guides a resident in his creative exploration. Gallery photo.

Bainbridge Arts & Crafts operates on the principle that people of all ages, abilities, and economic means benefit from and deserve creative opportunities. Making art of any sort—whether it’s a picture, a line of music, or a story—grounds us in humanity.

Join us in our commitment to that principle, and support these important programs by donating today.

Pledge through Kitsap Great Give, and your gift will be amplified, thanks to the Kitsap Community Foundation and United Way of Kitsap County. 

 

 

 

 

 

When Art Plays a Part in Wellness

“BAC’s art on our walls makes our patients feel more at home. It’s a reminder that there is beauty in the world despite the troubles they are currently facing. The art is uplifting.”

 – Berit Madsen, MD, Director, Peninsula Cancer Center

Two paintings by artist Brooke Borcherding brighten Peninsula Cancer Center’s reception area. Gallery photo.

 

Throughout our Fund Drive—now about halfway through—we’ve shared stories about the programs that your gift supports. Through these programs, art plays many roles besides that of wall décor. Here’s an example:

In the last weeks of his life, an elderly man losing a battle with cancer found a place where he felt a sense of peace and belonging in the unlikeliest of places: his cancer treatment facility—or, more specifically, in front of a piece of art that hung on the facility’s wall. Throughout his many visits, the gentleman had come to love sitting in his wheelchair right in front of that painting, which depicted a peaceful forest landscape with golden sunlight filtering through the trees. As he gazed into the scene, he would declare to his caregivers and his daughter who brought him in for his treatments, “That’s where I’m going. That’s where I belong.”

That painting was hanging in Peninsula Cancer Center (PCC), in Poulsbo, Washington, just one of several organizations and healthcare facilities throughout Kitsap County that take part in our Art Rental Program, in which a selection of original artworks are thoughtfully curated and installed by our staff on facility walls. The works hang for a period of six months, then rotate out for a fresh selection.

Art in public places adds life to any environment, but it can really make a difference in a healthcare setting. That’s not lost on oncologist Berit Madsen, co-founder of PCC, whose goal has always been to provide a warmer, brighter place for her patients to receive care than the usual sterile hospital setting. “Patients love the art,” says Dr. Madsen. “We get comments all day long about the positive environment which it fosters.”

Dr. Madsen learned about BAC’s Art Rental Program years ago from Catherine Michel, the interior designer she hired to design the Center. Catherine herself had been Dr. Madsen’s patient in 2001, and the two became close friends. Catherine, also a fine artist, suggested reaching out to BAC to get help “filling the space with real art.” Says Catherine, “We didn’t want to just hang posters in the corridors, we wanted something meaningful, and art can reach so many more people on these walls.” Since then, the works of many BAC artists have inspired and comforted PCC patients. Some artists themselves have been patients. In fact, two of Catherine Michel’s pieces were hung at PCC this week.

Interior designer/BAC artist Catherine Michel (left) and PCC director Dr. Berit Madsen chat about their years of friendship and collaboration. They are seated in front of two of Catherine’s artworks—both BAC Art Rental pieces. Gallery photo.

This program is yet one more piece of our bigger picture as the only nonprofit art gallery in Kitsap County that supports working artists’ livelihoods through year-round exhibitions and sales, while also providing completely free art education and outreach to schools, seniors, and the healthcare community.

You can ensure that this meaningful program continues to benefit patients, their families, facility personnel—and of course, the artists themselves. Please donate today and help us complete the picture that shares the nurturing and curative power of art.

 

Annual K-12 Teacher Grants Delivered Across Bainbridge Island

Sakai Intermediate School art teacher Maggie Hitchcock (left) receives her grant check from BAC executive director Lindsay Masters.

 

BAC provides annual funding to Bainbridge art teachers to supplement their supply and programming budgets, and to give teachers the means to complete student projects over the remainder of the school year.

“Art teachers are creative and ingenious by nature, and they put those skills to work every day to develop innovative, exciting art projects on extremely tight budgets,” BAC Executive Director Lindsay Masters said. “Year after year, teachers tell us that their BAC grants come along at just the right time, enabling them to carry out art education programs and restock fundamental materials such as clay, paper, paint, and brushes.

“As a longstanding visual arts nonprofit, we’re extremely proud to be able to support our teachers, students, and schools through these grants.”

2017 funds were distributed during the first week of March to Blakely Elementary, Ordway Elementary, Wilkes Elementary, Sakai Intermediate School, Woodward Middle School, Hyla Middle School, Odyssey Multiage Program, and Eagle Harbor High School. Remaining funds will be distributed to Bainbridge High School in May, in conjunction with the annual BHS Student Art Fair. Grants ranged from $100 to $600 per school, depending on the number of students served.

And the Amy Award goes to…Adam Bentz!

Bainbridge Arts & Crafts and Arts & Humanities Bainbridge are delighted to announce the recipient of the 2017 Amy Award for Emerging Artists, furniture artist Adam Bentz. Congratulations to this deserving artist, who will be presented with a $4,000 cash award at a private reception in May.

Learn more about Adam on our Amy Award page.

How a Refugee Supports a Refuge

HDietrichPortrait

Artist Henry Dietrich. Photo courtesy Tom Lonner.

If you’ve visited our gallery anytime within the last five or six years, it’s likely that you’ve spotted an ever-revolving display of paintings by mid-century painter Henry Dietrich. Their bold colors and the sharply delineated contours of their subjects are hard to miss.

German-born Dietrich started his art career at age 16, immersing himself in drawing and painting. He enrolled in a prestigious Berlin art school in 1935, but during the rise of the Third Reich, half-Jewish Dietrich was told he would not be allowed to continue his studies. Finding refuge in Shanghai—China being the only country he could enter without a visa—he met his wife-to-be, Martha, in 1944. The couple set out to make a new life in the United States in 1948, following which Dietrich produced a staggering 500 paintings until his death in 2000.

Henry Dietrich paintings

Newly delivered works of Henry Dietrich arrive in our annex.

Despite his clear talent, distinctive artistic voice, and the prolific nature of his work, Henry distrusted galleries and gallery representation. Thus, much of the work he produced remained unsold. He made his living as an illustrator for The San Francisco Chronicle.

Bainbridge Island couple Tom Lonner and Elizabeth Ward became great friends with the Dietrichs while they too lived in the Bay Area at the time. Upon Henry’s death, he bequeathed more than 400 of his paintings to them.

With the recent settlement of Martha Dietrich’s estate, we are pleased to present some of the last remaining works of Henry Dietrich’s, some of Martha’s favorites, which she kept on her own walls until her passing.

The couple pondered the fate of such a large collection, wondering if they could make a bigger impact by facilitating the sale of Henry’s works. Elizabeth, a board member of West Sound Wildlife Shelter (WSWS), decided to give that organization the opportunity to sell the art and use the proceeds to support their operations. While the organization was grateful, they were not set up for the business of selling art. Enter Bainbridge Arts & Crafts.

West Sound Wildlife Shelter receives 50% of proceeds from sales of Dietrich works.

West Sound Wildlife Shelter receives 50% of proceeds from sales of Dietrich works.

Nurtured by the Lonners, an incredibly fruitful partnership was forged between WSWS and BAC, two longstanding local nonprofits whose missions are markedly different but equally worthy. From the walls of our gallery, hundreds of Dietrich’s works have found their way to collectors and institutions around the country, with Bainbridge Arts & Crafts and West Sound Wildlife Shelter benefiting from the sales in equal measure.

With the recent settlement of Martha Dietrich’s estate, we are pleased to present some of the last remaining works of Henry Dietrich’s, some of Martha’s favorites, which she kept on her own walls until her passing.

Bainbridge Arts & Crafts sincerely thanks Tom Lonner and Elizabeth Ward for their enduring gift, and we celebrate the work of our partner, West Sound Wildlife Shelter.

Books for books: BAC’s 14th annual Art Book Drive

BAC Book DriveIt started back in 2004: Bainbridge Arts & Crafts, a nonprofit gallery, received a generous donation of art books. The Bainbridge Public Library—using more art, design and architecture books than any other branch of the Kitsap Regional Library system—was in need of new books for those departments. BAC offered the donated books to gallery browsers in exchange for a donation of their choice, with one hundred percent of the proceeds to be donated to the library for purchase of new art books. The exchange proved a success, raising $4,000.00 that year.

The program has been ongoing ever since, with the help of a generous community which answers the call for book donations at the kickoff of the Art Book Drive every February. This year’s call for donations is on right now. BAC invites anyone to donate books about art, architecture, and design, and they’ll be placed on shelves in the gallery where anyone can purchase the well-loved volumes for a donation of any amount. Selected books and every penny of the proceeds are gifted to Kitsap Regional Library to expand its collection. Since the program’s inception, the book drive has generated over $16,000.00 for the Bainbridge Island branch’s collection of books on art, architecture, and design.

“I can’t say enough about the benefits of this program for our community,” says Bainbridge Island branch manager Rebecca Judd. “Kitsap Regional Library is able to purchase titles we wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. Thank you to everyone who has donated books to Bainbridge Arts & Crafts and thank you to BAC for sponsoring this annual Book Drive.”

While donations are encouraged right now to build up the collection, you may bring in your gently-used or unwanted art and design books to Bainbridge Arts & Crafts anytime throughout the year, or browse the shelves and discover something new to add to your collection.