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Signed. Sealed. Delivered: BAC celebrates 65 years with dual exhibitions this month
Legally speaking, Bainbridge Arts and Crafts may be old enough to retire, but after 65 years the downtown Winslow art staple shows no signs of slowing down.
This month, in celebration of its vintage-but-not-near-elderly anniversary, the gallery is hosting two separate exhibitions that offer guests new and unique works of art and also highlight the principle concerns that have made it such a pillar of the island’s creative community for more than half a century.
“These two together really speak to what we’re about,” said Lindsay Masters of Bainbridge Arts & Crafts. “They highlight the community aspect of our gallery.”
The first of the two shows is “Artists on the Road,” featuring postcard-sized pieces custom made by more than 90 different artists exclusively for the BAC anniversary event. Working on the themes of “travel” and “forward motion,” over 200 unique cards were donated by artists, designers, architects, photographers and other friends of the gallery featuring subjects ranging from futuristic commuter scenes to more earth-bound themes.
“Half the people just did what they wanted,” joked Susan Jackson, BAC’s executive director. “We have subjects from outer space to Hawaiian porta-potties.”
Lindsay Masters explained that the themes were meant to illustrate the gallery’s own journey these past 65 years.
“It’s about where we’ve been and where we’re going next,” Masters said.
Each piece is symbolically priced at $65, with all proceeds going to support the galleries community programs and services.
“This is a great way for somebody to discover a new artist,” Masters said. “Or to snatch up the work of a more well-known artist for a good price.”
Both the art works and the 4x6 papers they appear on were donated to the gallery; the paper from Strathmore Artist Paper.
“I love the way it all looks,” said Susan Jackson. “We expanded outside of the people who we represent and it really shows the range and the depth of the artists who are here.”
The second show is “Circles and Squares,” and focuses on the work of local art students in the mediums of sculpture, ceramics, collage, jewelry and glass. Presented as a collaborative effort between BAC and the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, the show features the selected works coming out of the park district’s long-standing visual arts classes.
“It’s important to us that this is truly a community art gallery,” Jackson said. “I’m very pleased with it.”
Appearing in the show are works by Leslie M. Bland, Barbara Chandler-Young, Vivian Chesterley, Susan Haines, Margaret Gibbs, Madeline Kozlowski, Dana Marrs, Tiffany Meek, Belinda Payne, Kevin Payne, Ken Pinkerton, Tom Shepherd, Shelley Stoulil, Debbie Towery and Don Truscott.
Through the showing of student work and various community programs and fundraisers, Jackson says BAC stays true to the ideals that made them successful in the first place.
“We have to make sure that the community is happy and satisfied with us,” Jackson said. “We concentrate on a contemporary and cutting-edge artistic view, without being too crazy. We want unique items and we only feature works that are hand-made by the artist, no manufactured works.”
The emphasis on modern and local works of art has long been the mission statement for BAC, and Jackson is determined to maintain a modern aesthetic without compromising the small-town feel of the gallery.
“We’re a very different kind of place,” she said. “We’ve raised money for the library and for schools, and it’s important to me that we keep doing these things. The one thing I never want to be is a gift shop.”
Both “Artists on the Road” and “Circles and Squares” will be on display through the month of September.
BAC is located at 151 Winslow Way E. For more information about these and upcoming shows, as well as art classes and community events, visit www.bacart.org or call 206-842-3132.