Art from the “Persian Garden.” Photo courtesy of SZ Gallery

Art from the “Persian Garden.” Photo courtesy of SZ Gallery

New year, new art at Mercer Island galleries

The Mercer Gallery at the Community and Event Center will also feature new exhibits in 2019.

The first downtown art event of 2019 on Mercer Island will be held on the second Friday of the month.

The SZ Gallery will host an artist reception in the “Persian Garden,” featuring artistry by Monir and Mehdi Ghanbeigy, during its Second Friday art and wine reception from 5-8 p.m. on Jan. 11.

“Persian Garden” is an exhibit telling culturally rich stories of Persian culture through contemporary and classically-influenced pieces. Monir and Mehdi Ghanbeigy from Iran have created multimedia artwork together since 1970, combining Mehdi’s detailed work with Persian miniatures and painting, Monir’s background in ceramics and pottery, and their mutual love and appreciation for the history of Persian art. Handcrafting their own clay, glaze, and even their kilns from scratch, their ceramic pieces have a distinct quality that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Down the street, Clarke and Clarke Art and Artifacts is celebrating 2019 with the premiere of “A Powerful Perspective.”

This group show features the stunning works of Chris Baumgartner, Sharon Carr, Valaree Cox, Karen Dedrickson, Noble Golden, Agnes Lee and Susanne Werner. The eclectic and vast variety of mediums represented include: Baumgartner’s Rice paper collage with sumi ink, Carr’s exuberant and vibrant colored oils and cold wax, Cox’s nod to mid-century in abstracts of complex colorations in acrylics, Dedrickson’s Kintsukurio method and Sumi-e painting on mulberry paper and Golden’s paper and mixed medium embellished vessels and framed paper weavings. Lee’s Visual Abstractions of Poems on canvas, and Werners’ inspired desert rock formation colors in mixed media and encaustics also are featured.

Each of the artists has an individual viewpoint, a capacity of maintaining relative importance and implementation of a strong technique. They have each submitted works of their choice and that they feel best represents their method, technique or style.

The Mercer Island Visual Arts League (MIVAL) also will host an artists’ reception from 5-8 p.m. on Jan. 11 for its new show, “Winter Blues.” See www.mival.org for more.

More art news

View works by the Northwest Artists in Action (NWAIA) Guild, a group of seven artists specializing in fine art media such as oil painting, watercolor, and pastel in the Mercer Gallery at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.

The show will run from Jan. 7 to Feb. 22, with an artists’ reception from 6:30-8 p.m. on Jan. 10.

NWAIA artists create and display art on-site, allowing viewers to see and discuss the artistic process in real time. Learn more about the group on Facebook or their website.

The artists will be “in action” during two pop-up demonstrations at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 26 and Feb. 2.

This article was updated on Jan. 11 to correct the times and dates of the pop-up demonstrations.

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