ArtsWest is excited to announce its latest gallery exhibition, Evolution of a Diva. A range of lively work exploring collage, athletic women, and Mother Nature, this three-person show will feature Seattle artists Mark Kaufman and Patricia Ridenour, and Renton artist, Barbara Benedetti Newton. Mark Kaufman’s collages combine vintage print media and illustration to create clever and boldly graphic juxtapositions. The hand-crafted (cut and paste, done with a knife and adhesive), paper and ink evoke a harmony and tension between nostalgia and humor. His illustrations have appeared in publications nationwide including the New York Times, The Stranger and National Lampoon. Certificates of merit include The Society of Publication Designers, Print magazine, Graphic Design USA, American Corporate Identity and the Art Directors Club of New Jersey. Patricia Ridenour uses computer software to combine photographic images of synchronized women swimmers with the ethereal space of water, sky and clouds. This powerful and arresting work is part of her Surface series which won first place in the 2010 International Photography Awards. She is a recipient of several Washington State Arts Commissions including Metro Bus Shelter Installations, which offer images from Surface. An award winning photographer and photography instructor, her work is in the permanent collection of the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington DC. Barbara Benedetti Newton has worked exclusively in colored pencil for more than a dozen years. Since 2002 she has shifted her focus to soft pastel. These pieces straddle a place between figurative landscape and pure abstraction capturing the light, color and mood of the natural world. She began her career as a fashion illustrator in Seattle and later, San Francisco. After buying a filbert farm on Vashon Island, she took a 20 year hiatus from her artwork to raise her family and a flock of wool bred sheep. In 2000, she co-authored Colored Pencil Solution Book. Her work has been published in American Artist, International Artist, and The Artist’s magazine. Evolution of a Diva brings together three diversely gifted artists with visually compelling work that has evolved over many years. The exhibition runs August 30 through October 8. Meet the artists September 8, 6:00 to 7:30 pm.