If you’ve been strolling downtown this week, you probably noticed the flurry of activity and that a new business is opening at 111 4th Ave. N. Maybe you’ve noted even that a new mural is being installed.
That’s Edmonds artist Andy Eccleshall up on the ladder painting the trompe l’oeil mural of a bookcase outside soon-to-open Spangler Book Exchange.
Store owner James Spangler, along with ARTSpot co-owner Tracy Felix, revealed to Artfully Edmonds that Eccleshall was commissioned to paint his newest Edmonds mural on the facade of Spangler Book Exchange just this past month.
Felix, along with Spangler and Eccleshall, is working on branding design for the new bookstore and explains, “the design will set off carefully chosen titles meant to inspire and set the tone of the new bookstore.”
Trompe l’oeil is an art form that capitalizes on illusion – sometimes the illusion of depth, though painted on a flat surface; or the illusion of space, such as a trompe l’oeil painting of an open window looking out over a pastoral scene but painted in a small room, thus giving the illusion of expansive landscapes. Translated from French, trompe l’oeil means “to deceive the eye.” The idea is for the painter to create the perception of dimension and reality – even a whimsical take on reality.
Eccleshall is a master at trompe l’oeil, but his projects take on many other art forms as well. In the most recent months he took a commission from Ivar’s Restaurant on the Seattle waterfront, employing the technique known as “pentimento” from the Italian “to repent.” This technique recreates a work that was covered up or painted over. In this case, as a renovation of the Ivar’s location went forward, signage from a 1915 Seattle store, “Galbraith – Bacon & Company,” was discovered and Eccleshall was called in to recreate the original signage.
The trompe d’oeil of a bookcase is Eccleshall’s fourth mural commission for downtown Edmonds, adding to “Changing Times,” which won the Mural Society’s Members Choice award in 2013; “The Brothers,” completed in 2011; and “Edmonds Mills 1893,” commissioned in 2010.
News of the project leaked onto James Spangler’s Facebook page with hints on design concepts proffered to Eccleshall on June 23. Eccleshall began his newest downtown Edmonds mural this past Monday, June 29. Want to catch a luminary at work? Eccleshall will be working afternoons through the end of the week at the new location.
Spangler is very excited about his new location on 4th Avenue because of its placement on what is referred to as the Arts Corridor, which connects Edmonds Center for the Arts with downtown Edmonds. Although the Mural Society is no longer active, this newest mural proves, once again, the vitality of the arts in Edmonds.
But how did the project come together? That is what Artfully Edmonds (AE) wanted to know, so we contacted James Spangler and Tracy Felix for an exclusive interview:
Pull your chair closer and listen in as we interrupt this uber-busy team and their flurry of activity for an Artfully Edmonds interview:
AE: How did the inspiration for the mural’s design develop?
James: The inspiration for the mural came from pictures Tracy Felix and I had seen of a large-scale installation outside of a Midwest library. We were really impressed with it. We wanted to give Spangler Book Exchange a new distinctive look, creating something noteworthy that would be beautiful on the new 4th Avenue Arts Corridor.
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AE: Please describe in detail what trompe L’Oeil is, and is supposed to achieve? Realism? Playfullness? Or . . . ?
James: It’s realism. Trompe l’oeil is a painting that creates the illusion of three dimensions.
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AE: Under what circumstances did you first meet Andy Eccleshall?
James: Tracy and I have both met Andy at various Cole Gallery art receptions. We were impressed by his large-scale paintings, and with him as an artist.
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AE: What are you looking forward to most from making the move from Lynnwood and ReRead Books, to downtown Edmonds with the opening of Spangler Book Exchange?
James: We’re looking forward to being a part of the vibrant downtown Edmonds scene. For the first time in years we have the opportunity to really be part of a merchant community.
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AE: How long will it take Eccleshall to complete the mural?
James: It will be done by July 3. [That’s fast! – AE]
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AE: When will Spangler Book Exchange be open for business?
James: We’re hoping to be open around the 10th of July.
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AE: When is your Grand Opening Party?
James: We’re still trying to figure that out. We plan on doing something for the July art walk, but that will probably not be our grand opening party.
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AE: What words of welcome to your new store would you like to extend to My Edmonds News readers?
James: The anticipation is growing. As we keep loading up our bookshelves and unpacking boxes, people keep popping by and expressing excitement. We can’t wait to get to know the new readers from the Edmonds area and welcoming our Lynnwood veterans to our new location!
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While chatting with Artfully Edmonds last month about changing locations after 26 years in Lynnwood, Spangler responded to our query, “It was pure economics.”
He then observed that two things have happened since his advertised “Epic Book Sale” meant to liquidate a portion of his inventory before the move to Edmonds: First, many of the longtime customers to his Lynnwood store mentioned that having his store in Edmonds will make it easier to stop by – revealing their own Edmonds addresses. Second, the stop-by-and-say “Hi!” crowd is so much better in Edmonds, revealing that his former store on 196th Ave. SW was more of “a drive-to location, except for the occasional Edmonds Community College student.”
Artfully Edmonds would like to thank James Spangler and Tracy Felix for taking time out of running their respective businesses, moving, and designing in order to share their news.
The phone number for Spangler Book Exchange is 425-775-2377.
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650 Main St.
Oil and oil pastel artist Marsha Lippert’s work is currently on display at the Edmonds Library, 650 Main St. through July 30. Working in one of several techniques, Lippert typically uses realism, semi-impressionism and impressionism when creating a painting.
“For over 35 years I have worked in the pastel (soft) medium and also painted with oil pastels,” says Lippert. “Landscapes painted in the studio and en plein air have been the subject matter for some of my paintings. I have also painted figures, but they are usually placed in a particular situation. Cloudscapes and skies continuously attract me and present a challenge to create a painting that is peaceful and inviting to the viewer.”
A native of Seattle, Lippert worked in elementary schools as Artist-in-Residence, mentoring high school students and facilitating murals and classroom instruction in several school districts.
She is a juried member of Women Painters of Washington (WPW), Seattle Co Arts and the Art Stall Gallery in the Pike Place Market. Recent exhibits include Sidney Museum and Arts Assoc. (2014 solo artist); November Art Stall Gallery, WPW Columbia Tower Gallery & Traveling Show (2013); Edmonds Art Walk, Interiors of Edmonds (2011).
Edmonds Library hours are Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
For more information about the Edmonds Arts Commission visit www.edmondsartscommission.org.
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Monday, July 20
Mini Arts Summit
Edmonds Plaza Room
650 Main St.
The Edmonds Arts Commission is inviting the community to attend its Mini Arts Summit on July 20. In making the announcement of a follow up to the approval of the 2013 Arts Summit and Community Cultural Plan, the commission notes that this is a perfect opportunity to “learn about current progress of Cultural Plan Work Groups, share ideas, and take away information to help advance community goals for arts in Edmonds.”
Read Artfully Edmonds for updates as the summit draws near. In the meantime the city invites you to call 425-771-0228 or email your questions and suggestions to [email protected].
— By Emily Hill
Emily Hill is the author of two novels and a short story collection. She also writes the Lynnwood Lifestyle column for Lynnwood Today. Emily is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her at [email protected].