Thursday, April 26, 2018

Olympia Arts Walk 2018

"These Three Things" metal sculpture by Lisa Geertsen, courtesy of the artist.
Lisa Geertsen A Show of Hearts
by Alec Clayton
Published in the Weekly Volcano, April 26, 2018
Seattle metal sculptor and blacksmith Lisa Geertsen will be the featured artist at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts during Olympia’s Arts Walk Friday and Saturday, April 27-28. Her show will continue until June 22.
She will be showing about 40 pieces from the “Show of Hearts.” The works are sculpted metal hearts — not Valentine’s hearts but the organs that beat in the chests of humans and other animals. Many of them are wall-hanging pieces, and others are free standing. They range in size from one to five feet in height. There will even be one as small as three inches that she will be wearing as a pendant around her neck at the opening.
She began the series in 2005 and hopes to create 100 pieces before moving on to something else. She says she’s about halfway to reaching that goal, and works from the beginning to current pieces will be included in the show.
I began this project with ‘Release Your Heavy Heart’, an interactive sculpture I made for a fundraising event,” Geertsen says. “This spawned the idea of the heart series. These works stem from words ... song lyrics, common phrases, books, poems, names of plants, things I hear people say ... I begin with the words and interpret them into metal. This is my challenge and I love it.”
Geertsen’s work ranges from architectural fabrication to site-specific sculptures. She is the owner of Firelight Forge. She is a blacksmithing instructor and Metal and Stone Sculpture Studio Manager at Pratt Fine Arts Center since 2007.
Outside the Center, Student Orchestra of Greater Olympia’s “Pet the Instruments” will perform, while a Hand’s On Children’s Museum activity will take place in the Black Box.
Olympia’s spring Arts Walk is two days of art, entertainment and a wide mixture of activities in hundreds of venues all over downtown.
Saturday will be the dedication of the Music Out Loud Mosaic, mosaics embedded in the sidewalks honoring local music legends Vern Eke (design by Jennifer Kuhns), Steve Munger (design by Nathan Barnes) and Bert Wilson (design by Michele A. Burton). There will be a walking tour of the mosaics beginning at noon Saturday at the corner of 4th Avenue and Chestnut.
Possibly the largest and most exciting art exhibit during Arts Walk will be new paintings by Debra van Tuinen, truly one of Olympia’s best loved visual artists. She will be showing 50 or more recent paintings, many as large as 88 inches in height. They are bright and vibrant abstract paintings based on natural phenomena such as waterfalls and waves washed upon a beach, depicted in free flowing areas of nuanced colors applied in wide and rhythmical strokes that vary from transparent washes to places where the paint builds up into heavy, opaque edges. These paintings will be shown along with works by Bab Coble at Waterstreet CafĂ©.
In Sylvester Park there will be a free speech area. Smooth jazz guitarist Vince Brown will perform at The Mouse Trap and other venues. Artist Faith Hagenhofen will show work at Pete Lea’s Automotive. Chris Maynard will show his intricate feather creations at Capitol Florist. China Star’s art will be at the Brotherhood Lounge. Mia Shulte’s beautiful abstract paintings will be on display at Fosbre Academy, and all this is but a tiny fraction of what’s on tap for Arts Walk.
The famous Element of Spirit Luminary Procession will be Friday night at 9:30 and the Procession of the Species Saturday at 4:40 p.m. Complete details and a map to all activities and exhibitions are available at
Arts Walk, April 28-29, various venues downtown Olympia

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