See new collections at Mercer Island’s First Friday art walk

Baskets woven by the Naga people will be exhibited at Clarke and Clarke on Sept. 1 At Mercer Island’s First Friday art walk. Photo courtesy of Ginny Clarke

SZ Gallery and Clarke and Clarke Art and Artifacts will host their First Friday art and wine events from 5-8 p.m. on Sept. 1.

Clarke and Clarke, at 7605 SE 27th St., Suite 105, will feature “wearable arts of the Nagas,” the hill peoples of northeast India, and will serve Gascogne wine and bonbons. Suzanne Zahr’s gallery, at 2441 76th Ave. SE, Suite 160, will show the work of Mercer Island artist Juliana Kang Robinson in her show, “Migrations.”

The Naga people are known for their textiles, basketry and jewelry. They had no written language of their own when they were encountered by the British in 1879. Today, they are governed by the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland.

“Drawing from a diverse range of historical materials we have acquired over the past 20 years we will be presenting a collection of fascinating and extraordinary pieces,” said gallery co-owner Ginny Clarke.

All of the items in the collection will be for sale, and include a neckpiece made of brilliant turquoise blue glass trade beads with a “tassel” of red beads and handmade brass bells, creating a “delightful musical quality.” Other pieces are a woven headdress, a shell-decorated body cloth and three large carrying baskets.

Kang Robinson’s pieces are also available for purchase. “Migrations” focuses on the concept of motion and movement, particularly on the marks of migration left behind on the surface of things, according to Zahr’s website.

She uses nature as her muse, and the layers within her work are meant to mimic the beauty found in natural movements over time not seen by the naked eye, such as the lunar orbit or the ebb and flow of ocean waves. Her background in printmaking, as well as living in the Pacific Northwest, both inspired her mixed media approach, particularly with using wood.

Born in South Korea, Kang Robinson received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work can be found in collections nationally and internationally, and she has taught drawing, painting, printmaking at multiple colleges. She currently lives and works on Mercer Island.

“Migrations” will run from Aug. 1 through Oct. 31, with another First Friday Art Walk open house on Oct. 1.

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“Schooling Volcanic spray” by Juliana Kang Robinson