Artfully Edmonds: Newfound talent brings artist TV fame and student following; plus arts around town

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Chris Minor at work.

When journeyman finish carpenter and cabinet maker Chris Minor turned 50, he found himself in a pattern of behavior he didn’t like. After a day at work he came home, poured himself a beer (he’s a beer connoisseur), and flipped on the television. Night after night, this pattern continued until finally he decided to do something about it.

He had just returned from a trip to Japan with his beloved to visit her family. While there, he was inspired by Uncle Yasu, who carved beautiful wooden figurines that he shared with family and friends.

Printmaking had always fascinated him, so when an opportunity to take a printmaking workshop came up, he took it. (Shout out to the visual arts Arts Now program at Edmonds Community College.)

Chris Minor Art Walk poster.

Armed with his new knowledge, Minor’s routine changed. Now, he returned home from work, poured himself a beer, and began creating linocut wood prints. After four or five years of this, he was ready to show his work. The Edmonds Arts Festival seemed like a likely place. He entered three pieces and was surprised when all three pieces were juried in. He was surprised again when one of his pieces won first place in the print category.

I’m not at all surprised.

Minor is pretty nonchalant about his talent, and he’s happy to share what he’s learned about the process. He now teaches a printmaking class each November at Cole Gallery. His classes fill up. “I’ve always been a little shy, so I didn’t know how teaching was going to go, but it’s been really great,” he said. “I had a really clear idea of the material I wanted to present. My students seem to enjoy the class — the feedback’s all been pretty positive. I’ve got them pulling their first print in the first hour. They create some pretty cool stuff.”

Hank Williams print by Chris Minor.

Minor’s more traditional wood cuts of Japanese scenes seems better appreciated by the general public, but I love his skeletons. Yes, you read that correctly. He creates the most amusing, whimsical images, often of skeletal country music icons, or of zombies inside an Edmonds urban landscape.

KC Fox, set designer for the popular television program “Criminal Minds,” discovered Minor’s prints on display at ARTspot and was intrigued.

Fox was disappointed that she couldn’t take his class, but bought six of these prints to be used in decorating the apartment of character Emily Prentiss, played by Paget Brewster, who loved them as well. Fox also bought for her boss a large skeletal Johnny Cash striking a slightly irreverent pose. (Can’t show you that one.) Tune in to the show on Feb. 28 and March 7 and you’ll see some of Minor’s work in the background.

Minor’s work on the set of Criminal Minds, which airs Wednesdays on CBS.

I find it gratifying and somewhat ironic that creating art, instead of watching television, has landed Minor on national television.

This year will be Minor’s first year with the Edmonds Studio Tour in September, and he’s looking forward to it. Minor prefers to work in series. A recent trip to England will probably be the inspiration for a new series of village exteriors, particularly pubs. I can’t wait to see those.

“I’m really grateful to the whole Edmonds art community. Everyone I’ve talked to has been super helpful and supportive. If I lived in the middle of Montana or somewhere, I’d just be giving the stuff to friends. None of this would be happening without help. Especially running into Tracy Felix [ARTspot] and Meredith Arnold [Artworks].”

I’ll be watching “Criminal Minds” Feb. 28 and March 7 to catch a glimpse of Minor’s woodcuts. The set designers blew one up to 4 x 5 feet, so it should be visible in scenes set in Emily Prentiss’ apartment.

But the lesson to learn here might be that if you watch too much TV, you’ll miss your chance to be on the other side of the camera!

You can see more of Minor’s creations at https://mydeadart.com.

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Thursday, March 1
6 – 7:30 p.m.

Economic Impact of Arts and Culture Study
Public Open House

The Plaza Room
(Above the Edmonds Library)
650 Main St.

If you love the Edmonds arts vibe, this is a gathering you cannot afford to miss. The results are in, and a summary of the findings will be presented. The City of Edmonds needs your feedback. Attend this open house to make yourself better informed about the importance of arts and culture in our community. This information will be the basis of future long-term decisions concerning Edmonds’ critically important plans to nurture and grow the arts in our community.

To receive an advance electronic copy of the survey, send your request to [email protected]

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Saturday, Feb. 24
Noon

Edmonds Bookshop Author Event

Poet Frances McCue will read from her collection
Timber Curtain

Edmonds Bookshop
111 5th Ave. S.

Timber Curtain occupies a space between ramshackle and remodel. It starts with the demolition of a house — Richard Hugo House, the Seattle literary center where Frances McCue worked, lived and mourned her husband. From there, McCue’s poems spiral out to encompass icebergs, exorcisms, the refugee crisis, and the ethics of the place-myths we create for ourselves. Like the Seattle skyline, poems erase and recombine into a landscape forever saturated with ghosts. Frances McCue is a poet, writer, teacher, and arts instigator. From 1996–2006, she was the founding director of Richard Hugo House in Seattle and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Washington. Learn more at www.edmondsbookshop.com/

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Phoenix Theatre’s “Bowling” runs through Feb. 25

Phoenix Theatre’s “Bowling” runs through Feb. 25

Phoenix Theatre’s “Bowling” runs through Feb. 25

Now – Sunday, Feb. 25
8 p.m.

The Phoenix Theatre
More Fun Than Bowling

By the hilarious Steven Dietz – writer of last year’s hit Becky’s New Car

Directed by Eric Lewis

2673 Firdale Ave
(Firdale Shopping Center)
Edmonds

Need a good laugh? The latest Phoenix production (opening on Groundhog Day) has got you covered.

See my review here.

Jake was once a promising pianist, but a foul ball broke his fingers, which subsequently healed into the perfect bowling grip. Jake now owns a bowling alley, but spends much of his time sitting on a hilltop where two of his ex-wives are buried. (Both women died due to tragic bowling accidents.) As Jake replays the key frames of his life, he is frequently visited by his daughter Molly, who has become adept at talking women into marrying her father for love and free lane time. But who is that mysterious stranger dressed in black and holding a gun lurking in the shadows? This play runs through Sunday, Feb. 25.

Tickets here. 

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Now – Sunday, Feb. 25
Thursdays – Saturdays 8 p.m.
Sundays – 2 p.m.

Driftwood Players Present:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Directed By Elizabeth Herbert

Wade James Theater
950 Main St.
Edmonds

Scout, a young girl in a quiet Southern town, is about to experience dramatic events that will affect the rest of her life. This play illustrates the social issues of her time. Scout’s father, a lawyer, is defending a young African American wrongfully accused of a grave crime. This dramatization of the touching classic tale is a meaningful work of art relevant to our society today.

My review is here.

Ticket and more information.

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Ethereal Windows by Tracy Felix.

Now through March 27

Artists Reception
“Portals” – Tracy Felix

Art Festival Foundation Gallery
Frances Anderson Center
700 Main St.
Edmonds

Portals is an apt descriptor of Felix’s large, vivid, geometric focused color field paintings. Works that seek to draw the viewer into the spaces inhabited by her ethereal, atmospheric effects.

Learn more: www.edmondsartsfestival.com/foundation/arts-festival-gallery/

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Michael Feinstein

Michael Feinstein

Saturday, Feb. 24
7:30 p.m.

Edmonds Center for the Arts Presents: Michael Feinstein

Michael Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American songbook to the world. His work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.

Tickets and more information at www.edmondscenterforthearts.org/events/eca-presents-michael-feinstein.

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Sunday, Feb. 25
5 p.m.

Anima Allegra: Happy Soul – A Clown Show For The Entire Family

Edmonds Center For The Arts
410 4th Ave

Anima Allegra is a truly unique performance of a new wave in Russian clowning tradition. This synthesis of pantomime, clowning, dance and circus acts, Anima Allegra is performed by the best clown mimes of Saint Petersburg. It brings together both the traditional European clowning method and the new vibrant physical performance style. Fun for the whole family!

Tickets here.

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Thursday through Sunday
March 1-4
3 – 5 p.m.

The Edmonds-Woodway Players Present:
The Whole Darn Shooting Match

by Jack Perry — Directed by Bruce Mindt

Edmonds-Woodway High School Theater
7600 212th St S.W.

Enjoy an afternoon of theater and support this fine local high school drama program.
Set in the crazy world of advertising, the offbeat characters of the creative room are pitted against an efficiency expert who’s recently become CEO, the office boy, and anyone else who gets in their way.

Learn more here.

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Saturday, March 3
10 a.m to 2 p.m.

Cascadia Art Museum

Mid-Century Modern: Precedents and Regional Influences

Co-sponsored by Docomomo WEWA and Cascadia Art Museum

Edmonds City Hall
121 5th Ave N.

An opportunity to learn about the influential and progressive design professionals working in Michigan, some of whom had ties to the Pacific Northwest.

This program begins at 10 a.m. at Edmonds City Hall where Brian Conway, Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer, will discuss the influential and progressive design professionals working in Michigan at the mid-century. The lecture will conclude by 11:30 a.m.

At noon and 1 p.m., David Martin, curator of the Cascadia Art Museum, will lead tours of the museum’s Northwest Design at Mid-Century exhibition, which showcases a variety of works and objects that define the Northwest aesthetic at mid-century.

For more information and to register: historicseattle.org/event/mcm/

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Aldo López-Gavilán joins Harlem Quartet.

Thursday, March 8
7:30 p.m.

Edmonds Center For The Arts Presents:

Aldo López-Gavilán and the Harlem Quartet

ECA
410 4th Ave. N.

Cuban piano prodigy Aldo López-Gavilán joins the Harlem Quartet in this dynamic cross-cultural collaboration. The program will consist of Latin jazz and classical repertoire, as well as original compositions by Mr. López-Gavilán.

Arrive early and watch:

Los Hermanos/The Brothers
Time: 6-6:40 p.m.

An exclusive first look at the forthcoming documentary feature Los Hermanos/The Brothers, followed by a Q&A with Ilmar Gavilan, Aldo López-Gavilán and the film’s director Ken Schneider.

Born in Havana, these virtuoso musicians are brothers — long separated by geopolitics. Ilmar left for Moscow at fourteen, sent by the Ministry of Culture to study classical violin with a Soviet master after he outgrew his Cuban teachers. He never lived in Cuba again, ultimately landing as a hard working musician in the U.S. Younger brother Aldo grew up mentored by Cuba’s impressive jazz and classical pianists, his extraordinary talent easily achieving renown on the island but stymied from attaining wider fame by the U.S. embargo. He too left Cuba — for the London Conservatory — but returned to his home country to make a life. After 30 years, a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations offers the brothers the opportunity of a U.S. concert tour together. But just as they hit their stride, Fidel Castro dies and Donald Trump is elected, threatening the future of their dreams.

The film is free and open to the public.

For concert tickets: www.edmondscenterforthearts.org/events/eca-presents-harlem-quartet-aldo-lpez-gaviln

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Now through Monday, April 9

Call For Writers
EPIC Group Writers

EPIC Group Writers is currently accepting entries for their 6th annual writing contest. Entries may be submitted on any theme in poetry and prose. Submissions will be judged in two categories – Adult, and Youth (ages 13 through 18)

For information: www.epicgroupwriters.com

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Saturday, March 10

9:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Olympic Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive – Auditions

Frances Anderson Center
700 Main St.
Edmonds

Auditions will be held for persons interested in enrolling in Olympic Ballet Theatre’s 2 and 4 week summer intensive instruction.

For further information, visit www.Olympicballet.com

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By Jacqueline Tribble

Sunday, March 11
1 – 4 p.m.
Awards – 2 p.m.

Gallery North’s Annual
Small Works Show

401 Main St.
Edmonds

Juried by noted Seattle artist Barbara Noonan, this year’s show features 175 paintings by 75 artists from 10 states. In addition to the artists’ reception and awards presentation, an Art Walk Edmonds Third Thursday event will be held March 15, from 5 to 8 p.m.

For more information: www.gallerynorthedmonds.com.

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Saturday, March 24
10 a.m.

Artist Trust Presents: A Free Workshop
Artists Statements and Resumes

Edmonds Plaza Room
650 Main St.
(Above Library)

Artists of all disciplines, and at any stage in their career, will learn the basics of writing successful artist statements and resumes. By the end of the workshop, attendees will have the start of a resume and statement to use on their website, portfolio, or for grant, residency, or fellowship applications.

About the instructor:

Katy Hannigan is a Program Manager at Artist Trust. She’s worked for Shunpike, where she managed the Arts Business Clinic program, and prior to moving to Seattle, Katy worked for a nonprofit that advocated for the arts and cultural communities in Massachusetts. She has an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University and a BA from College of Holy Cross.

To RSVP (required) visit this link.

— By James Spangler

When not actively scheming about ways to promote the arts in Edmonds, James Spangler can be found (highly caffeinated) behind the counter of his bookstore on 4th Avenue.

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