Friday, March 23, 2012

We're moving!

ArtsNow event and class reviews and information are going to be posted on the Edmonds Community College blog Follow us here for great information about our program and the rest of the college as well!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mission Possible!

By Buddy Todd
Programming Assistant for ArtsNow/uLearn

On Saturday, Februray 11, I attended a session of "Grantwriting for Non-Profits" taught by Joyce Mork-O'Brien. As a local artist, who frequently finds himself working for and with non-profits, I wanted to understand the current funding landscape and the pitfalls and shortcuts that are available, if any.

Mork-O'Brien, a freelance grantwriter, opened the exporation with the "good new and bad news". The bad news, she said, is that when money gets tight, Arts and Education are always the first to lose funding (all of us were there to represent Arts and Educational organizations). The good news is that the American people are the most generous in the world when supporting non-profit organizations. Therefore, with patience, determination, and willingness to jump through the right hoops, it is possible to secure funding to help your non-profit flourish.

This no-holds barred, yet positive, style made Mork-O'Brien a highly effective instructor. She treated heavy and sometimes bleak subject matter with respect and humor. She had priceless handouts containing resources, both online and print, and where exactly to find them. In addition to grantwriting, she spent a good deal of time advising us on how to deal with the root problem: funding. Grants are important and can be quite viable as a financial resource, but it is incredibly important to diversify your non-profit's income with other fundraising sources. Again, those priceless handouts were very useful.

Though we were all representing Arts and Education, our class was still diverse in terms of organizational maturity, specificity of purpose, and fundraising experience. The floor was frequently open to questions, and Mork-O'Brien excelled at taking open and vague questions and condensing them into the need of the asker. Like a laser beam, she focused on the actual need, answered it, and expanded it to apply to most everyone in attendance.

In addition, Mork-O'Brien gave us brief assignments throughout the session to keep us engaged and to reinforce our learning: websites of real, grant-offering foundations and actual grantwriting proposals which she had us apply our new-taught concepts to assess the strengths and weaknesses.

As artists, money seems to always be that vaporous thing that eludes us all. However, a class like this helped me to understand that financing can be had, but, like anything that is worthwhile, you must be willing to work at developing it. This was no sit back and listen lecture class. This was an interactive experience that left us all a little wiser, yet optimistic for the journey ahead.

This class is going to be offered again in the Spring! Don't miss it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

ArtsWalk December 15, 2011 presents "Abiding"

Written by Buddy Todd, ArtNow/uLearn Programming Assistant

Last night, in the ArtsNow Gallery, at the Edmonds Conference Center, we presented an artists' reception to debut our "Abiding" Exhibit, as part of the Edmonds Art Walk. In addition to meeting artists, Cheryl A Richey and Lin McJunkin, guests were treated to the holiday jazz stylings of the T.J. Kottsick Quartet. It was both soothing and exciting to see the creators in person and to listen to them discuss their inspirations of choice against a musical background of talented musicians. Wine, coffee, and snacks were provided by the artists and gallery.

"My Artistic journey is fueled by my desire to experiment with ways to explore and understand nature's mysteries and wisdom (including my own)" - Cheryl A Richey (Nebula, pictured above)

Richey, whose wall hangings are also inspired by poetry, particularly haiku, views her work as discovering the nature of the individual elements at work, both singularly and collectively. Her mediums begin with the use of acrylic paints, but frequently incorporate charcoal, stains, and water. Sometimes non-traditional mediums are subsumed: sand, string, and spackle. The result is often abstract, which gives the viewer the freedom to interpret and respond, but Richey will sometimes manipulate her mediums into revealing specific images, frequently birds, which, seen through this context, is really moving and fraught with melancholy and motion. Her palette consists of a lot of low key primary colors with supports all of the organic shapes and textures. The gallery is very open, and luckily so, because one really appreciates Richey's lush work when viewed up close and can see the canvas and wood techniques and mediums at play.

"Heat is not only an essential tool in forming my work, but it’s also the focusing concept of my recent work about global warming." - Lin McJunkin (Orange Sea Form, pictured above)

McJunkin, whose 3D works are composed of glass and metal, takes her inspiration from nature as well. As a science educator, McJunkin is very concerned with the state of our planet and the effects of humanity on it. Understanding this, her works represent a dichotomy: she takes metal and glass, which are very urban-type mediums, and through molds, torches, and kilns, reveals organic forms that are sea-like and earthy. Even the colors come across as faded and milky, as if the pieces were plucked from the ocean.

TJ Kottsick (right, on saxophone) performing as part of the Edmonds Community College Jazz band for November's ArtsWalk. (photograph taken by Buddy Todd)

The band, The TJ Kottsick Quartet, provided a soothing and entertaining background with their jazz standards and holiday improvisations. Their music carried beyond the gallery glass doors and drew guests in bursts and streams the entire evening.

The entire experience was somehow conscience provoking: the four humourous elements (earth, air, fire, and water) were equally represent by the art, which provokes a feeling of delicate balance. It was once frequently thought that disorders and illnesses were due to an imbalance of these elements; but through Abiding each one equally, harmony can be achieved.

If you missed out, you will have another opportunity to attend the next reception, which will be on January 19 from 5-8pm. The pieces will be featured in the gallery until February 10, 2012.

The ArtsNow Gallery is located inside the Edmonds Conference Center: 201 4th Ave N, Edmonds, WA 98020.

Friday, December 9, 2011

EDGE Goals

Artists Poem by Theresa Ann Moore

So many creative people are considered to be weird.
People hesitate to question, a surreal answer is feared.

Whatever makes them unique causes abstract views.
Artists create relationships with textures and hues.

They would rather intently paint or sculpt in seclusion…
Than be a member of a society with educated illusions.


Those of us who consider ourselves to be artists have an impulse to become transformative. This need to create and produce works does not begin with a need to make money. We seem to have an ability to look at something and see what is could be. And we transform it.

Developed by Artists Trust, the EDGE program, which starts January 13th, seeks to take the transformative and make them seen. EDGE seek to build like-minded relationships between the insightful and the creative. As an artist, you can market your work; with the EDGE you can obtain the skills.

The EDGE program goals are:
  • To equip artists with the relevant and necessary skills to achieve their personal career goals.
  • To develop peer support and exchange among artists.
ArtsNow/uLearn is generously offering partial scholarships to those seeking to bring their transformations to light. Classes start January 13. Email or call 425-640-1243.

Friday, December 2, 2011

History of EDGE Program at ArtsNow uLearn

In 2002, Artist Trust embarked on a mission to create and develop a program specifically designed to cultivate professional skills for visual artists. With the generous support from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the EDGE Professional Development program was born! EDGE brings a hands-on, practiced curriculum and sythesizes it with instruction by true professionals in the field. Students participate in presentations, panel discussions and enriching assignments.

In 2003 and 2004, a closed nomination process was used to select EDGE's first participants. With guidance from an advisory comittee of professionals and artists, Artist Trust piloted the program through these early stages. Since then, participation has opened up to an application process.

In 2007, the program was expanded to reach artists in Bellingham and Tacoma. It was at this time that ArtsNow/uLearn partnered with Artist Trust to bring EDGE to Edmonds Community College. In 2008 and 2009, Artist Trust extended the program to filmmaker and writers.

In addition to offering this incredibly viable and worthwhile program, ArtsNow is pleased to offer partial scholarships to encourage artists to take advantage of the resources and knowledge that awaits them with EDGE Professional Development Program.

There are only 16 spaces available and scholarships are limited. Contact ArtsNow/uLearn at or by calling 425-640-1243 to apply.

Check out our Video here!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ekphrastic Ecstatic Redux

ArtsNow Gallery Presents "Deep Spaces" fiber art and poetry by The Floating Mountain Poets

On Thursday, November 17, 2011, The Floating Mountain Poets returned to the ArtsNow Gallery, located at the Edmonds Conference Center to present their poems that were inspired by the fiber art exhibit: "Deep Spaces". This was a night of dreamy, clever intimacy.

The night began with performances by the jazz band from Edmonds Community College in the Chrysanthemum room at 5pm. Guests and artists were free to roam about the bright space and take time to examine the highly detailed fiber pieces. These lush, textured, and vivid pieces were well lit and the corresponding poetry was displayed alongside the pieces that inspired them. As you moved around the space, you were able to leisurely soak in the visually stimulating pieces and then provoke your imagination with the corresponding poetry.

The gorgeous and well executed jazz music provided a splendid background for guests' journeys.

At 6:45 and 7:30, small groups were led to pieces throughout the gallery by several of The Floating Mountain Poets who quietly performed their original works. It was a subdued, yet penetrating, experience to visually ponder these pieces and hear the souls of the poetry as well. Two experiences stood out to me: "Just Harry": fiber art by Martha Wolfe; poem written by David Jones and "Fossil #8" fiber art by Lisa Flowers Ross; poem by Dobbie Reese Norris.

"Just Harry" (pictured above), is a close up of a young man who seems to gaze at something unseen to our right.  The expression on his face is serene and he is covered in a hooded jacket with a scarf locked around his neck. His bottom lip seems to stick out a little bit which makes him appear either sad or contemplative. His eyes are partially unseen beneath his unruly bangs. His caucasian skin is pale, and his clothes are low-key colors, which suggests melancholy. Jones' poem, of the same name, brings depth to the melancholia, particularly with the line "What your eyes have seen my son / defies what can be put on paper". However, Jones' piece later says "you must be the spring, the renewal / of all the good in the world" which feels as if the warmth, beneath the melancholia, will be revealed in the brighter promise of youth.

The other experience that stood out to me, "Fossil #8", was the most mixed media piece in the gallery. Ross makes use of pattern and texture as we see multiple intricate layers of various fossils. The fossils are prints, sewn-on teeth, and shells that have been painted. Multiple dyings and meticulous stitching have been used to form horizontal lines which give it a layered earthy look. The overall effect is of generations of creatures who lived, died, and buried to make way for the next. Norris' poem, of the same name, brings an emotional level to the experience: "Time strata / file for the record ... Life matters less / Than the moment of being alive / I was here." All of these detailed bones suddenly became preserved personalities, suddenly each one took hold of its own backstory. It made me feel small because I wondered: which gorgeous critter would I be, when my life becomes "filed for the record"?

Not all pieces held such deep themes, there was whimsy and fun to spare in the experience as well, with 22 fiber art hangings with their accompanying poems.

The jazz band continued to play beautifully until the event's 8pm close time.

This was the second night where we were able to experience the poetry being read by the artists, but the whole exhibit will remain at the ArtsNow Gallery at the Edmonds Conference Center until December 9. The center is located on the corner of 4th and Bell in downtown Edmonds and is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday - Friday.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ephrastic Fantastic!

Written by Buddy Todd, Programming Assistant for ArtsNow/uLearn
Like sticking your hand into warm rising bread dough, losing yourself in art is easy when you engage several senses at once. Like sweet and salty, beauty and cleverness, or warmth and soft, the more parts of yourself you surrender to an experience, the further you can travel within your own mind. Here’s your chance for a spectacular art experience, called Ekphrastic Ecstatic!: Deep Spaces and poetry by The Floating Mountain Poets.
Deep Spaces, a touring, juried fiber art exhibit is hanging in the ArtsNow Gallery at the Edmonds Conference Center. The pieces have been contributed by artists locally and from as far as Australia. These fiber creations stand out on their own right: the clever use of fabric texture, color dying, and mixed media pattern creates intricate universes of story and emotion.
The Floating Mountain Poets are a Seattle based, eclectic group of writers and creative wordsmiths. They were shown slides of the pieces prior to their arrival to Edmonds. With these colorful and varied pieces, the poets were able to extract themes, emotions, and stories. Using captivating and hypnotic language, they expanded these essences into poetry that were performed as part of Arts Crush and Edmonds Thursday Arts Walk on October 20. Written copies of the poems are displayed by the pieces that inspired them.
The result, called Ekphrastic Ecstatic!, becomes a unique blending of poetry and visual art. This will suspend you and is available to experience from now until December 9, in the ArtsNow Gallery at the Edmonds Conference Center.