Artfully Edmonds: Community = Collaboration = The Art of Generosity

GetAttachment.aspxI can’t imagine not attending Art Walk Edmonds (AWE) which, each month, raises the stakes on community and “The Art of . . .“ discovery.

This month the AWE team has set up an opportunity for community-wide generosity with its “awe = Community That Cares!” campaign covered in last week’s column.

So, this week’s column begins with a reminder:

Please remember to bring your canned goods or pantry items to the exhibit-spaces displaying the “awe = Community That Cares!” signage.

Once you’ve dropped off your donation to an Art Walk Edmonds participating art space – there’s so much to discover!

artwalk logo
Thursday, Nov. 20 5-8pm

This month I am starting my stroll of Art Walk at the Windermere exhibit organized by Nancie Wood. Here’s why that space caught my eye this month:

Joseph Ungari Hits Town in a Big Way!
Windermere Real Estate Edmonds
201 5th Ave. S. #210

Joseph Ungari, who has two-months worth of shows lined up at Edmonds galleries will launch his first exhibit this month at Windermere Real Estate Edmonds.

In spite of the time and effort to organize back-to-back showings, Ungari agreed to an exclusive interview last month with “Artfully Edmonds” (AE) and I know that you will want to learn more about what inspires Joseph Ungari (JU), a truly gifted artist.

Joseph Ungari from his Facebook page: “Rockin’ it”
Joseph Ungari from his Facebook page: “Rockin’ it”

AE: Where have you been all our lives?

JU: [Laughs] Right here. I’ve been a painter since I was 14. Since recently retiring from a successful career as an industrial designer, and design management consultant, I have an opportunity to pursue my artist vision fulltime.

I was born in Seattle and spent my young adult life here, graduating with MFA in Design from the UW. My career took me both around the US, and to international locales leading design teams at Maytag, Philips, and Nike. I was also vice president of design at T-Mobile, and various agencies as well.

Throughout my corporate career I painted, and my work was shown in galleries across the United States – and beyond!

AE: I notice that your Windermere exhibit pieces consist of oils on canvas. What other media do you “do”?

JU: I have always only painted in oils, although I’ve tried other media, I always come back, as the subtle layers and glazes just cannot be matched in any other medium (I believe).

AE: Who has influenced, or mentored your art form?

JU: I discovered my early “influencers” during my college years at the UW with painters who were showing their work the ’60’s and ’70’s. I appreciated originality in abstract art and the muse (with a larger purpose) which seemed to lead to something larger than just copying a still life in front of them.

Michael Spafford, Howard Kottler, Edward Praczukowski, Michael Daley were my early influences, as were the classic surrealists . . . even their hyper-realism was ‘original’ within surrealism, which was something I appreciated.

AE: And today?

JU: Today I follow ZZ Wei and other NW artists, but all of my work comes from my personal imagination, with visual influences found generally from my memory or from low resolution photos.

AE: What is your “Finding the Artist Within” like?

JU: It’s important to me that art be creatively ‘original’ to really matter… like the difference between a cover band, and a recording artist. One is not better than the other, but the key is ‘what are you trying to say?’ If you cannot answer that, then I urge painters and other media developers to master their craft to a point where they can forget about technique and finally release their subconscious within their medium.

A singer can never be great if they are still worried about pitch and the lyrics, or where to place their fingers on the frets.

Ungari’s work, “End of the Line”

My topics vary, they could be mash ups of landscapes with technology like power lines, or wind farms . . . or close ups of circuit boards. I like revealing what’s behind the slick veneer of product design. We like our phones but hate the towers, we like our snazzy products but cannot be bothered with the electronics within…it’s like the reality of the real workings of the world must be covered up. Decades of being a designer to ‘cover up the engine’ have created within me an urge to now do the opposite. Now I’m revealing what’s behind the curtain to discover its own aesthetic.

AE: Where does that lead you?

JU: Today I’m looking closely at those power lines that we want to bury under the street, that trigger ‘visual pollution’ in us rather than ‘beauty’. I like reinterpreting such scenes to bring out their own cool factor. Finding beauty in the non-sanitized version of life is a clear goal now…perhaps this is the opposite of the halcyon ‘painter of light’ approach, making everything ‘pretty’, a more dystopian approach.

The evolution from dedicated mimicry, to technique study, to “flying solo with confidence” – creating original works, happened in my early ’20’s. I have not looked back.

AE: What part did your early home life play in your development as a person – as an artist?

JU: Since I started painting at age 14, my high school years were about music lessons and sports. I actually never took painting lessons, which may have helped me transcend to originality faster perhaps, rather than being locked into continuous study of technique of others. I had great support at home, with the entire family tolerating the bad smell of turpentine (odorless not invented yet), albeit they complained! I remember having 6′ abstract canvases in my bedroom on easels, and my father showing my how to properly stretch a canvas on a frame.

AE: You seem to have gravitated to Edmonds – what does our community offer you?

JU: Although we have traveled the world extensively, and we now call Woodinville our home, Edmonds is the closest town with the kind of vibrant art community that we would like to be a part of.

My wife Wendy is originally from Edmonds so we have a close affinity to it, and love the dedication this community has towards developing artistic endeavors.

AE: Well, of course, that is always nice to hear. I’d like to thank you for giving My Edmonds News the opportunity to introduce your work to the Edmonds community. I’m sure that your journey will interest many art collectors, as well as emerging artists. For that reason I’d like to include your website
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WhimSea Boutique
405 Main St.

And with that — We’re off to see what Art Walk wonderfulness Katie Jones (KJ) has in store for us at WhimSea.

AE: Katie?

KJ: For November’s Art Walk Edmonds WhimSea Boutique is hosting a group of artists who paint using different mediums such as watercolor, oils, and acrylics. We’re very excited to be hosting them and they are very excited to showcase their talent. So, come on by if you have a chance that evening and check them out!

If you can’t make it to November’s Art Walk their work will be on display in our boutique from Nov. 20 to December 4. Store hours and exhibit-space is open Tuesday thru Friday from 11a.m.-6 p.m.; and 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays
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Dragonfire Neighborhood Gallery
529 Dayton

It’s a Grand Opening Celebration!

Edmonds’ newest gallery celebrates its Grand Opening during this month’s Art Walk with brilliant displays of photography, sculpture, digital creative work, and paintings.

Featuring “The Art of NASA”, beautiful photography by Randal Southam, and Rick Cheng’s digital masterpieces.

We hear that Dragonfire Neighborhood Gallery’s Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony is on Thursday – so much is going on at Dragonfire!
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"Art" at Ombu Salon
“Art” at Ombu Salon

Ombu Salon + Spa
550 Main St.

Tranquil canvases help to set an artful scene at Ombú Salon + Spa this month. Featured artist, Caroline Rousseau, brings a collection of works inspired by living life near water for this month’s Art Walk Edmonds.

Her nature-inspired abstracts and landscapes of the West Coast are born from her love of “the sensual experiences of travel and living life around water.” Caroline works in layers, using diverse media that include oils, acrylics, water colors, ink, photography, and print. They have been described as quiet and energetic, playful and disciplined, imagined yet rooted in a sense of reality.

“Connecting with nature, water, and color on canvas brings a quiet closeness, a visual calm, and at the same time, vitality,” said Caroline, “it’s love.”

Caroline Rousseau’s Northwest paintings, influenced by living near the water. Rousseau’s website features “The Artist’s Studio“

In its invitation to visit Ombu Salon + Spa during Art Walk Edmonds and throughout the month, the staff notes that it is an awe = Community That Cares participant, “Let’s make sure everyone in Edmonds has food on their table this Thanksgiving.”
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Gallery North
401 Main Street

“A Pacific Northwest Tradition Since 1961”

Every month I look forward to hearing from Gallery North by way of their video format gallery tour. This month is no exception as the gallery features the elegant works of Gallery North Member Artists including Wei Chen, Mary Bess Johnson, Penny Berglund, Joan Bowers, Kevin Creekmore, Joyce Donaldson, Eve Ingraham, Catherine James, and many more talents in the gallery presentation,

See you downtown Thursday between 5pm and 8pm – I’ll be the one lugging a grocery bag of food items to drop off at “awe = Community That Cares!” businesses and galleries.
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BakerNick Baker ~ Putting music and young people together for fun times

Local musician Nick Baker received a special gift this past week from Mrs. Peppin’s third grade students at Maplewood Elementary School – the gift of gratitude!

Baker played a lively repertoire of songs, and “Artfully Edmonds” was asked, “Guess which of Nick’s songs was the overwhelming favorite among the young students?”

Hmm . . . the answer?

“It’s an Edmonds Kind of Day, was mentioned on over half of the colorful fan letters he received,” Kathy Passage, his manager and #1 fan told us. Nick composed the music and wrote the lyrics as the theme song for the Edmonds Today video magazine on My Edmonds News TV.

Here’s a video peek at Nick entertaining the Maplewood students.

Nick is currently on a performance and book tour, following his recently released book, “Turtle” which is available at the Edmonds Bookshop, 111 5th Ave. S.
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iStock_000014395757SmallHoliday Highlights

Kaleidoscope Dance Company
Shorewood Peforming Arts Center
17300 Fremont Ave. N
Shoreline, WA

Gift of Dance

Sunday, Dec. 7
Silent Auction ~ 2:30 p.m.
Performance ~ 3 p.m.

Gift of Dance

Join Kaleidoscope Dance Company as they present the Gift of Dance, an afternoon of original, new modern dance works choreographed by youth ages 7-17.

This vibrant show, described by the Seattle Weekly as “refreshing,” shares a message of peace and cooperation, especially meaningful during the holiday season. Their creativity was inspired by the work of master choreographers such as Jiri Kylian, Paul Taylor, and Alwin Nikolais. The dancers engage in a collaborative process in multi-age groups, using choreographic forms and devices to create work that is deeply personal yet universal in its appeal to audiences of all ages

Kaleidoscope is the longest-running modern dance company in Seattle, founded in 1981 by Anne Green Gilbert.

Delicious, home-baked concessions are available prior to the show and during intermission.

Tickets: and at the door
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Olympic Ballet Theatre
Edmonds Center for The Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

The Nutcracker

Dec 19 ~ 7 p.m.
Dec 20 ~ 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Dec 21 ~ 5 p.m.

Olympic Ballet’s Nancy Gottwald reminds us of the performance dates for “The Nutcracker”, a dazzling dance through glittering fantasy and the magic of the holidays. Return to the enchangment of Clara’s Christmas Eve dream world – or start a tradition for the youngest members of your family.

“The magic of the Season comes alive with Olympic Ballet Theatre’s exciting full-length traditional production of The Nutcracker that brings to the stage a growing Christmas Tree, a Booming Canon, and Mother Ginger and her jubilant Buffoons! OBT will showcase our amazing students and upper level pre-professional students alongside renowned guest artists.

Olympic Ballet Theatre also presents abridged matinees of The Nutcracker for school and community groups, one-hour long, which includes a special education feature, “The Introduction to the Magic of Theatre“ , a demonstration of lights, props, scenery, and costumes.

For tickets and more information contact OBT at: or the OBT Box Office: 425-774-7570 M-F 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

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10801778_524892130946967_8546159210240854375_nEdge Performing Arts & Dance
Shoreline Conference Center
18060 1st Ave. NE, Shoreline

Yes, Virginia, a Musical and
Under the Mistletoe: A Holiday Revue

Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.
Dec. 20 at noon and 4 p.m.

Edge Performing Arts & Dance brings the community a great double feature for the holidays; one with a cast full of children and one with adults.

Both shows will inspire you with the happiness and warmth of the holiday season. Great for all ages!
Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for Children/Seniors!

Visit the company’s online box office for ticket information:
or call 206-747-7380.

Emily ~ Square jPeg— By Emily Hill

Emily Hill, a long-time resident of Edmonds, is the author of two novels and one short story collection. She is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or venue featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her at


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