ILWACO — Intermittent rain could not dampen the enthusiasm of art lovers from all over the region who wrapped up warmly to savor Ilwaco’s burgeoning gallery scene Friday.
The focus was on action rather than simply static displays as gallery owners in the central core and on the waterfront showed their wares.
At the Grays Harbor College, outreach specialist Bruce Bailey fired up the barbecue grill in the covered lobby while inside the Columbia Education Center his daughter, Community Education Manager Chelcie Bailey, showed visitors student artwork including a dramatic work called “Jellies” by Darcy Jennings adorning a corridor between classrooms.
Art teacher Carol Couch was available with a handful of her students busily creating watercolors of Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, as well as other scenes from the coast. “These are excellent students doing their own thing,” Couch said, describing the Community Education classes that are taught quarterly at the center. Remarkably, students complete a piece in each class, a process sped up by the cautious use of heat guns to enhance the important paint-drying process.
Across the wide parking lot on the waterfront, visitors thronged the Marie Powell Gallery at the Port of Ilwaco where Powell greeted guests with wine, finger food and introductions to her own striking artworks created on the Long Beach Peninsula and on her frequent trips to New Zealand.
In one corner, basket weaver Susan Spence of Long Beach worked on her tightly-bound rope and wool creations while describing the process to visitors.
On show were some bold painted images of birds and nautical scenes by Lorna Libert of Bellingham, who will attend the next First Friday Artwalk there on July 5.