Three Days Away Bainbridge Island…Meet Cynthia Sears, Founder of Bainbridge Museum of Art (BIMA)! And, Mark Your Calendars…

Three Days Away – Bainbridge Island: We snuck away to Bainbridge for two days of rest, relaxation and adventure the first week-end of this month. As you know it is one our go-to’s when our feet get itchy or we want to run away! The first week-end of the month is a social one on the island – full of the arts and free events. We were excited to get away and partake in all the activities – our Valentine’s present to each other! I highly recommend this particular week-end get-away for a relaxing, easy, and entertaining few days away!

We did our usual and lunched at Copacabana at the Pike Place Market, soon to have added new space, and took a leisurely walked around. It was still busy and lots to see even in the drizzle. We set sail at about 3pm on the ferry. It is such an easy get away; and, one that in just 25 minutes of the calming ferry boat gets you far, far away. We stopped to grab a few lunch supplies and on to the Best Western Bainbridge Island Suites, (a favorite place for us: clean, great rooms and perfect location). Upon our arrival we read up on what was going on this week-end. The hotel always has great free publications and magazines to get you in know. Currents is a must read with calendar!

The First Friday at the Bainbridge Art and Crafts Center is always worth attending…nice wine and nibbles and wonderful exhibits. This time it was a show of detailed etchings of mostly trees by Elizabeth Reed Smith: Offerings. Most are in black and white but her colored ones are spectacular, I particularly loved the ones she did in using negative space. Smith Reed has recently died and the show was a tribute and showing of her works. They were beautiful, so intricate, line-after-detailed-line one could hardly imagine the effort, skill and patience needed to complete such precise, lovely, complicated work.

One of the colored etchings of Elizabeth Reed Smith.

There is a new Antiques Mall next door and down the stairs in the basement…Milo Melo worth a browse!

Next morning: We were off the Bainbridge Island Museum of the Arts (BIMA), free admission, to take in the newest exhibits and try to get into Cynthia Sears every other month presentation of the hand-made books she owns and shows at the Museum’s Sherry Grover Gallery. In the alternate month, there is a showing of the books based on theme artist or other discussions.

I have been a Cynthia Sears fan for very long time…I meet her at the first or second showing of this gallery (each show is designated as a chapter – this is Chapter 10) and fell in love with her collection and this little gem of a gallery! I have tried to interview her; but, our schedules never synced up so I was thrilled we got in to the workshop/lecture. More will be added to the calendar – these sell out so sign-up early! Informal and wonderfully off-the-cuff discussions of works selected for show and tell, Sears is full of knowledge and insights! Many audience members are artists and connoisseurs of the art form, others are just like us…groupies! She was also the founder of BIMA which opened three and a half years ago – here is their 3.5 anniversary publication!

Cynthia Sears wraps up her wonderful – wonder full show and tell!

It is such fun and so interesting. Sears believes this art form often takes on highly serious subjects and “promotes conversations about interesting and sometimes difficult topics. Hand-made books allow you to explore at your own pace as you turn the pages and ponder what is being said and how the artist is expressing it…before having to put into words your feelings and thoughts.” Sears sees these books, unique and awesomely artistic, as catalysts for uncovering important feelings and thoughts and then leading to needed conversation. We got to hold and read some beautiful, artistic expressions of complicated paper-engineering and explored some interesting political themes and ideas expressed through the books we were shown. Docents are at the Gallery and also let visitors see books up-close. Info on location, hours and contacts, check when the next docent talk will be. They are free but space is limited and they fill quickly!

Here is an article on Sears and this Gallery on a website devoted to Puget Sound Book Artists.

Chris Maynard’s Featherfolio, Give and Take, showing in the MESA Gallery, Toni Hall Orientation Gallery, March 11 – June 04, 2017 is a must-see. It is unique and beautiful! (Chris Maynard, internationally known for this work, spoke this Sunday, March 19, and it was a marvelous presentation on feathers, birds and his work . The rumor is he will be back in May worth the trip over the water – so call 206.242.4451 and get information.)

The other current exhibits are now installed and you can check them out here before you go. Open daily from 10am -6pm.

Hand cut from feathers (this called Give and Take) show Chris Maynard’s works of feather cuts which amaze – must-see show!

Next, we went to the free First Saturday art lectures: Artist’s Insight Series, again at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts. This month was artists Gillian Bull, Pamela Wachtler-Fermanis, Donna Leavitt and Leigh Knowles Metteer for a retrospective talk and reflections on the work being exhibited of their friend and artist Elizabeth Reed Smith mentioned above. It was a striking memorial to the artist, the person, her life and eloquent, detailed work!

The next first week-end of the month event was an evening of improve by the Edge, a group of Bainbridge resident who perform the First Saturday of the month. This is a great, funny upbeat show of spontaneous improvisation with audience participation. We were extra lucky in that Not Applicable, the Bainbridge high school group, joined in the fun and the night was richer for it! Quick thinking, funny, smart comedy went down that night much to our enjoyment.

We headed home Sunday missing the last of the first week-end events First Sunday chamber music. Hope you catch it if you get a week-end away here. We plan to the next time we get the urge to get up and go…Spring and Summer month’s promise sun to do it in…added bonus…the art walk is a much bigger deal in those sunnier months with more participation by merchants and other galleries.

Mark Your Calendars: With an extra hour of sunlight and spring hopefully coming soon…fingers crossed…now is the time to check out what’s around town and plan some Short Forays and A Few Days Away!

The Frye has a fun exhibit: The Pig Went Down to the Harbor at Sunrise and Wept by Jim Woodring. He made the pen and ink drawings for this show with a 5 foot pen! Always free and free parking…great café…with good soups for rainy days!

City Arts Magazine, is out in print on newsstands and in public libraries. The on-line version has it all – for art and cultural events. This link brings you to all the categories of upcoming events. This link brings you to their new interactive calendar page that lets you get insider info on some best bets, roll the dice for an evening of spontaneous fun; or, allows you to pick and choose your own adventure!

Triple AAA has its on-line magazine Journey Washington State with their suggestions and great info about traveling.

AAA Journey March and April Issue…looking forward to the spring one!

The latest Issue of Journey Puget Sound can be found here. Lots to explore in this issue! Discounts to fun places to visit, financial resources for tax time/retirement, and what’s going on: Sandhill Crane Festival celebrates the migratory return if these birds March 24th-26 in Othello. Terracotta Warriors: Guards for Eternity, April 8th – September 4th, features the world renowned life-size statues from First Imperial Dynasty of China at the Pacific Science Center. The Dirty Dan Seafood Festival will be happening April 23 in the Fairhaven Community in Bellingham celebrating their notorious and colorful pioneer; and, that is just a sampling.

I think the magazine Northwest Travel & Life has much to offer for ideas and information the website http://nwtravelmag.com/ will introduce you; but, a subscription may be a good investment! (Which includes the highly recommended Annual Issue: 52 Get-Aways: Our Picks for the Best of the NW in 2017 – it is great!).

The Seattle Symphony is doing lots of live scores to movies and will do a Prince tribute in May! “Known for stretching the boundaries of music and seamlessly tying together multiple genres of pop, funk, R&B, folk-rock, hip-hop, jazz, soul, new wave and psychedelic, there is no comparison to Prince’s distinct sound. Now, hear his iconic music performed as never before with the Seattle Symphony…”, May 9th, 7:30pm, tickets.

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