Artfully Edmonds: January blows in with art shows and performances

"A Closer Look" by Michele Usibelli, available at the Cole Gallery.

By Ellen Chappelle

Despite the blustery chill of the dark days of January, the arts are awake and hot in Edmonds! And you can be a part of the fun! Here’s a creative handful of ways to start off 2012 with something artistic – and perhaps begin a new habit that will enrich your whole year!

Edmonds’ own Cole Gallery celebrates five years in business this month with a gala event on Jan. 14. As art galleries across the country close their doors at a mournfully rapid rate, the bustling scene at the Cole Gallery comes as a welcome blessing to the staff and artists.

Still specializing in Northwest artists, the gallery now shows the work of over 45 artists from Alaska to Arizona in all mediums, including sculpture and jewelry. “We have gone from being a lovely little community gallery to being nationally known. The fact that we sell paintings to people all over the country has been a big and wonderful surprise,” gallery owner Denise Cole said. “I am proud that through our efforts we are helping artists to earn a living with their art. Every sale is significant.”

Cole Gallery celebrates fifth anniversary.

Cole Gallery’s art instruction and supply component has also grown. “We went from having maybe one class or workshop a month to now having multiple weekly classes and workshops almost every weekend.  It’s pretty exciting!” Cole exclaimed. “Over the past few years professional level art supply stores have closed, one after another. We are now the only store of its kind north of Seattle and south of Mount Vernon on the I-5 corridor.”

You can help Cole Gallery celebrate at their 5th Anniversary Gala event on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 6-9 p.m. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, wine, music and, of course, spectacular art with over 70 new pieces brought in for the anniversary. The Gallery will also hold an anniversary sale, with 10 percent off all original art purchased from Jan. 14-21.

"Hummingbird" by Kathleen A. Johnson, available at Gallery North.

Gallery North welcomes the new year with “A Little Levity: Color, Light, and Laughter,” a collection of paintings and photographs that speak of lighthearted and warm subjects as we face the chill of winter. The exhibit, which runs through January, will include all original and new oil, watercolor, acrylic and mixed-media paintings. Resident artists will also be exhibiting special pieces for the show.

You are invited to meet the Gallery North resident artists at the Artists’ Reception on Sunday, Jan. 8, from 1-4 pm. Refreshments will be served and artists will be available to discuss their work.

In operation for more than 50 years, Gallery North is one of the longest running artist cooperative galleries in the nation.

Julie Hoang, Julia Griffin and Carollani Sandberg in “The Peregrine Sonata."

Serendipity. Fate. Coincidence. “The Peregrine Sonata,” the new play about to open at the Driftwood Players, is about those significant moments when people touch one another’s lives and inadvertently cause a sudden shift in focus or direction. And lives are forever changed.

In an example of life mirroring art, it was a similar happenstance that led playwright Amanda Aikman to her collaborator, film-composer Mason Kaye. They met walking side-by-side at a church camp in Seabeck, Wash., this past summer. Aikman mentioned the composer character in her new play and the problems she had portraying her internal struggle. Right then and there, Mason volunteered to compose the music for “Peregrine.”

“It has been a long-distance collaboration,” says Aikman. “It’s been fascinating to work with him, as he takes the human language of emotions and translates it into the universal language of music. I love what he’s composed for this play.”

Music underscores the theme of connectedness as the various stories and characters gradually become intertwined. Everyone is affected by everyone else. “Our lives are like a stone flung into a lake. My hope is that everyone who sees “The Peregrine Sonata” will reflect on the many ways that the ripples of their life have affected people for the better and made our world a little warmer.”
“The Peregrine Sonata” will take the stage at The Wade James Theatre January 13-15. Tickets are $12 and available through Driftwood’s box office.

David Hidalgo and Louie Perez bring their beloved acoustic music to ECA.

Meet the musical masters behind the music of roots rock group Los Lobos as songwriters David Hidalgo and Louie Perez bring a special acoustic performance to Edmonds Center for the Arts on Friday, Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Hidalgo and Perez started writing songs together when they were in high school, before they ever became members of “just another band from East L.A.” aka Los Lobos. As the main songwriters in one of the world’s most solid and long-lasting roots-rock enclaves, they’ve accumulated an outstanding collection of tunes and their recent CD “The Long Goodbye” is that collection of previously unreleased recordings with songs ranging from acoustic American folk to classic country.

Tickets are available online or by phone at 425-275-9595. Ticket prices are $35-$40 and $15 for youth.

Edmonds' own Kristin Olson returns to play baroque music in concert.

Baroque oboist Kristin Olson returns to her hometown of Edmonds with other Northwest natives — Nate Helgeson, baroque bassoon; and Laura Bohn, soprano — to present a recital of baroque music from Italy, Germany and England entitled “Evening in a Baroque Palace.”

Olson and Helgeson, a native of Eugene, Ore., are Masters candidates in the new Historical Performance program at the Juilliard School in New York and are co-founders of this new Pacific Northwest baroque ensemble.

Bohn, a native of Seattle, graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and has been performing recently throughout Europe with VocalLAB Nederland.

While studying at the Juilliard School, Olson and Helgeson discovered their shared Northwest heritage and conceived of creating a long-term series of concerts in the Seattle-Portland area. They are excited to be joined by Bohn, a dynamic soprano and friend of Ms. Olson since their time together as students at the California Institute of the Arts. Accompanying the soloists will be John Lenti on the lute and Kyobi Hinami playing the harpsichord.

The performance will be on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th St. S.W., Lynnwood.

With a background in theatre and journalism, Ellen Chappelle is perfectly poised to covers the local arts scene for My Edmonds News. She also keeps busy writing and editing for artists and small businesses, publishing an informational site for dog owners and creating handcrafted jewelry. Please keep her posted about all things artistic in Edmonds by emailing her at

  1. Love the Artfully Edmonds column – it is very well reported and full of useful information.
    P.S. Thanks for sharing the information about Gallery North and selecting my painting to represent the January show. We have an intention of making January bright and happy at Gallery North and would like everyone to come join the fun at our reception this Sunday and at the Third Thursday Art Walk.

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