Artists and community members gathered to support the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Art’s Art Gallery for its opening reception on Jan. 17 of the “It’s the Water” Fine Arts Postcard Exhibition.
The “It’s the Water” exhibition marked the Gallery’s third postcard exhibition. It is made up of postcard-sized artwork contributed by local artists. 76 artists contributed 295 postcards interpreting the theme, “It’s the Water” this year. The theme is from the now shut down Olympia Beer’s slogan.
“In my mind, it achieves two things,” said Gallery Coordinator Nathan Barnes, “It raises money, but it also builds community, which benefits the artists, the gallery, and the community.”
Though the exhibit has been open to the public since Jan. 13, the opening reception marked the beginning of an auction benefitting the Gallery. Attendees signed up at podiums, received a bid number, and wrote their bids on cards underneath the desired artwork. “I got involved because I thought it was a good venue to support the college and put more of my work out there,” said Bernie Mitchem, who contributed five postcards to the exhibit for the first time.
In his opening remarks, Barnes thanked the three volunteers and the 76 artists who brought the exhibit to life. “I want the artists to benefit from this opportunity, to meet other creative types, to have fun, and to get their names out there,” said Barnes. “Hopefully, people are learning these names on the walls and appreciating these individuals for their work in the community.”
“Art is a part of what makes us feel enthralled and the fact that the pieces are original speaks to me,” said Jeanne Hamilton, who has participated in all of the Gallery’s previous postcard exhibitions. “There’s such a variety of beautiful works in the room.”
Walking through the exhibition, there is a variety of different mediums and interpretations. Patricia Gallagher, who considers herself still new to the community created mosaics out of shattered glass. “Somebody was going to throw it away but I rushed to stop them and told them I would use it,” said Gallagher, “Mosaics are my new medium and the postcards are different waterfalls I’ve seen since I moved to the Pacific Northwest.”
“When I think of water, I think of oceans and the earth so I added in little abstract elements,” said SPSCC human resource consultant Lynn Dignan, who contributed to the exhibit for the first time.
Barnes said he was “struck by the humanity in the room” and “all of the ghosts, the things we don’t see” that goes into the pieces. “With 76 different artists contributing, the exhibit becomes an animal of its own,” he said.
The “It’s the Water” Fine Arts Postcard Exhibition is open Monday through Friday from 12 – 4 p.m. The auction will continue until the closing reception on Feb. 21. “I think it’s a great introduction for people buying art for the first time,” said Barnes, “It’s original, affordable art that make great gifts.”