ArtsWest February Exhibition Spinning Straw Into Gold


From February 1st through February 26th ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery presents the new exhibition Spinning Straw Into Gold featuring artists Ellen Picken, Kate Fluckinger, and Sam Chapman with Betty Hageman’s mixed media installation in AMP at ArtsWest. Seattle Premiere Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight will play in ArtsWest’s theater in conjunction with the exhibit.
Ellen Picken will showcase her oil paintings with styles and scenes reminiscent of 18th Century Europe’s Romantic Era. Picken’s stark palettes of warm color and delicate details signify her many years spent in Spokane and Northeastern Washington. With a BFA from Eastern Washington University, Picken has participated in exhibitions all over the country. Presently, she is preparing for an artist residency in Berlin, Germany partially funded by Artist Trust.
Also featured is West Seattle artist Kate Fluckinger’s encaustic abstracts. Fluckinger uses pigmented beeswax and oil paint to enhance bold palettes and dynamic lines in each of her works. Enlightenment guru Voltaire once said, “Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.” Fluckinger’s passion-filled works express a kind of meaningful chaos similar to Voltaire’s ideology. A graduate of Evergreen State College, Fluckinger continues to explore new approaches to creative expression at Pratt Fine Arts Center.
Local artist Sam Chapman will feature a collection of mixed media collages highlighting images of family, Italian Renaissance art, flamingos, and turbo jets. A fun contrast of feathers, rocks, pine needles, found paper, nails, and other clever objects are all adhered by gold paint. Chapman’s works embody a true sense of creative freedom and examine the fragility of human life. Chapman received several awards for his works including First Prize for the Annual Snohomish County Juried Art Show. He is currently represented by Patricia Cameron Gallery in Seattle.
In AMP at ArtsWest Hageman’s Soil Horizons/Personal Horizons explores time within the layers of sediment and personal history in her mixed media installation of dirt, crushed coral, and dried leaves amidst personal artifacts and stained then painted canvas.
ArtsWest is to host an Artists’ Reception for the opening of Spinning Straw Into Gold on Thursday, February 10, from 6:00 to 7:30pm during the 2nd Thursday ArtWalk. Lively conversation and light hors d’oeuvres will be provided courtesy of ArtsWest. Admission, as always, is free.

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