Mercer Island galleries to debut new exhibits at First Friday art events

The receptions will be held from 5-8 p.m. on June 1.

This Japanese panel will be featured at Mercer Island’s First Friday art and wine event on June 1. Image courtesy of Ginny Clarke

This Japanese panel will be featured at Mercer Island’s First Friday art and wine event on June 1. Image courtesy of Ginny Clarke

Mercer Island’s downtown galleries will feature impressionist and figurative oil paintings at their First Friday art and wine receptions from 5-8 p.m. on June 1.

Clarke and Clarke Art and Artifacts, at 7605 SE 27th St. Suite 105, will debut “Impressionism Meets Abstract Meets Artifact,” an exhibit that runs through June 30. The gallery will have bubbly and bonbons at its opening reception on Friday.

It will continue to feature abstract art by Karen Dedrickson, Valaree Cox and Sharon Carr, but will add Christine Hella Cott, an impressionist painter, to its “fabulous female foursome.” She is a published novelist and self-taught painter who has been painting since 2008. Her work has garnered several juried show awards in the Northwest, including the “Best of Kitsap” award in 2015 and first place in the Maritime Division of the Washington State Fine Art Show in 2017.

From its gallery artifacts collection, Clarke and Clarke will be offering a six-panel Japanese folding screen from the Taisho Period (1912–1928), depicting “Gibbons at Play” amidst vegetation. In you can’t make it to the gallery and want to learn more about art, tune in to the final episodes of the KCTS-9 series titled “Civilizations,” sponsored by the Clarkes. It’s a survey of the history of art, from antiquity to the present, that is enlightening to artists.

Join Suzanne Zahr’s SZ Gallery at 2441 76th Ave. SE Suite 160, for an “evocative evening” with inspirational art pieces, complimentary refreshments and seasonal bites. The new exhibit, “Vanitas,” features figurative oil paintings by Erin Milan and will run until Aug. 1.

This series of paintings is titled after the Vanitas paintings by Dutch artists from the 17th century, which contrasted luscious displays of food with symbols of death and decay, such as a rotting piece of fruit, a fly or a skull. Each piece is a meditation on nourishment, desire and the inevitability of loss. Paintings include female nudity.

See www.ethnoarts.com and www.suzannezahr.com for more.

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