Judy Mortiz of Northwest Artists in Action teaches Mercer Island resident Kelly Shi about creating art with colored pencils during a pop-up demonstration on Jan. 26. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Judy Mortiz of Northwest Artists in Action teaches Mercer Island resident Kelly Shi about creating art with colored pencils during a pop-up demonstration on Jan. 26. Katie Metzger/staff photo

See artists ‘in action’ on Mercer Island

Northwest Artists in Action will host a second pop-up demonstration on Feb. 2.

Visitors at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center on Jan. 26 had a chance to see artists “in action” as they created landscapes with pastels, abstract art with acrylics and tigers with oil paint during a pop-up demonstration.

The artists, part of Northwest Artists in Action, create and display their work in public, as well as in venues around the Eastside.

Many of their pieces are currently hanging on the walls of the Community and Event Center. The exhibit will be on display in the Mercer Gallery until Feb. 22. and they’ll be back for another pop-up on Feb. 2, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“So many people have misconceptions about how art is done,” said Terri Davis, the director of Northwest Artists in Action. “We like to bring art out to the people, so they can ask questions.”

Her group sees art demonstrations as a teaching opportunity — to educate people about the intricacies of the artistic process and show them that they too can draw, paint and create, if they want.

Many of the artists have been painting for more than 30 or 40 years. Some said working in front of people made them self-conscious at first, but that faded with time and as their confidence grew.

“Some artists like solitude, but we’re comfortable with this,” Davis said. “That’s kind of a necessity for joining the group.”

Many of the artists in the group picked up painting as a hobby later in life, but all have years of experience now. They all support and help each other, Davis said, though they have different mediums.

“We all have different styles,” said group co-founder Vasana Monti. “None of our work looks the same.”

Davis is a realist painter. On Saturday, Ann Davenport was demonstrating her use of pastels, Sandi McGuire was doing watercolor painting and Judy Moritz was using colored pencils, though they all dabble in other mediums. Monti and Masako Thrower have even done sculpture.

“It’s very rewarding to let people see what I do,” Thrower said. “My favorite part is encouraging young people.”

This is Northwest Artists in Action’s first show on Mercer Island, and all of their art is available for purchase.

The pop-up events are hosted by the Mercer Island Arts Council, which hopes to do similar events in the future.

“We want to provide more opportunities for people to engage with the art, beyond just looking at it,” said Sarah Bluvas, the city’s arts and culture coordinator.

Find more information about the gallery and exhibit at www.mercergov.org/mercerislandgallery.

Pieces by Northwest Artists in Action are currently on display at the Mercer Gallery in the Community and Event Center. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Pieces by Northwest Artists in Action are currently on display at the Mercer Gallery in the Community and Event Center. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Sofia Gusu, 6, and Iana Gusu, 8, from Redmond, draw butterflies with water soluble colored pencils at a Northwest Artists in Action pop-up at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center on Jan. 26. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Sofia Gusu, 6, and Iana Gusu, 8, from Redmond, draw butterflies with water soluble colored pencils at a Northwest Artists in Action pop-up at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center on Jan. 26. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Vasana Monti and Terri Davis of Northwest Artists in Action paint in the lobby of the Mercer Island Community and Event Center. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Vasana Monti and Terri Davis of Northwest Artists in Action paint in the lobby of the Mercer Island Community and Event Center. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Mercer Island resident Betsy Eason does calligraphy with water soluble pencils at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center on Jan. 26. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Mercer Island resident Betsy Eason does calligraphy with water soluble pencils at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center on Jan. 26. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Betsy Eason makes Mercer Island-themed art at a pop-up demonstration for Northwest Artists in Action. Katie Metzger/staff photo

Betsy Eason makes Mercer Island-themed art at a pop-up demonstration for Northwest Artists in Action. Katie Metzger/staff photo

More in Life

‘Disney and Dessert’ fundraiser set for March 3 on Mercer Island

The event raises money for instruments, music coaching, workshops and performance tours.

Islander recalls filming ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Meredythe Glass was an extra in the 1939 film, and is possibly the last surviving cast member.

Mercer Island school news in brief, Feb. 6, 2019

MIHS junior perfect ACT; Reception on Feb. 11

Mercer Island Preschool Association wins 2019 MIYFS Philanthropy Award

MIPA has a strong partnership with the city, raising thousands each year for preschool scholarships.

‘Defense Ninjas’ instructor Fauzia Lala and COO Kate Warady demonstrate how to break a wrist grab in a workout room at Redmond’s DaVinci Academy on Jan. 15. Katie Metzger/staff photo
Women become ninjas in local self defense classes

Instructor and Mercer Island resident Fauzia Lala aims to empower women to protect themselves.

King County Library System (KCLS) is named the leading U.S. library with 4.8 million digital checkouts in 2018 for the fifth year in a row by Rakuten OverDrive. Photo courtesy of KCLS Facebook.
King County Library System exceeds 1 million digital checkouts in 2018

KCLS leads the record for the fifth year in a row

Mercer Island Art Walk is Friday, Saturday

Second opening added for month of February.

The Mercer Island City Council honored Kari Anderson (center) for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award at a council meeting in 2018. Also pictured is Jennifer Wright, MISD executive director of Learning Services (right) and Mayor Debbie Bertlin. Photo courtesy of Janet Piehl/Girl Scout Leader Troop 43142.
Eastside Girl Scouts earn Gold Awards

Girl Scout girls make a difference in their communities

See artists ‘in action’ on Mercer Island

Northwest Artists in Action will host a second pop-up demonstration on Feb. 2.

From left, keynote speaker the Rev. Harvey Drake, pastor of Emerald City Bible Fellowship in the Rainier Valley, poses for a photo with the 2019 winner of the Covenant Shores Spirit of Martin Luther King Award, Yosh Nakagawa. Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
Harvey Drake headlines MLK event

Covenant Shores held its annual Martin Luther King observance on Jan. 18

Mercer Island’s newest peace pole unveiled at Covenant Shores

The pole is placed near the campus sign, which is the first mile marker of the Rotary Half Marathon.

Schools news in brief

Kindergarten registration; The Bridge recognized