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Three Artists-Three Mediums

August Flowers by Cheryl Fugii Zahniser
August Flowers by Cheryl Fugii Zahniser

VAA’s February Gallery exhibition will showcase works of three regional artists, from intricate feather basketry and larger than life oil still lifes to vibrant, textural abstracts. Gallery opening is 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Feb 3, with complimentary appetizers and live jazz by Vashon musicians; horn player Richard Person and pianist Jim Hobson.

Emerging Vashon artist, 13 year-old Mary Lawrence, will exhibit new abstract oil and mixed media paintings. Inspired by literature and everyday life, Lawrence credits art teacher Gail Labinski for introducing her to painting. She starts with a slab of paint on and keeps going until ‘it starts to talk to me.’ Lawrence paints with anything and everything from wires to Popsicle sticks. "I think most young people today are having a hard time connecting with the world…I find I’m able to ‘jump to the center of things’ through paint," says Lawrence. She hopes to attend Tacoma School of the Arts.

C.A. Michel coils feathers (pheasant, guinea, peacock) with linen and wool, in both Native American and African basket-making techniques. Growing up with a seamstress, she says a spiritual thread runs throughout her work. The Seattle area artist has worked in sculpture, painting, mixed media and fiber art for more than 20 years. Her work has been seen in exhibitions throughout the U.S. "I take materials that women have used throughout time and create sculptural, tactile pieces," she says.

West Seattle oil painter Cheryl Fugii Zahniser, will show large floral still life works. She enjoys the architectural elements that result from painting large. "I think about scale and look for lift, spots of color and shape. I work mainly alla prima-putting down large areas of color first, then adding detail." The former Nordstrom executive says her corporate career enhanced her art by exposing her to creative people and provided extensive travel opportunities. She also works in glass and does large charcoal drawings.