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VAA Gallery features 3 Island Artists

Water. We’re surrounded by it. We swim in it, sail on it, kayak on it, commute on it and wonder at its ever-changing beauty. Island artists capture the theme of water and nature in ethereal oil and pastel paintings by Leslie Wu and wooden boat sculptures, filled with earthen objects by Tom Northington. Painter Mary Rothermel’s delicately painted sunset screens will hang from the gallery ceiling above the sculpture.

Wu moved to Vashon one year ago from Portland. Muralist and children’s book illustrator, Wu has shown her landscape paintings in galleries for 20 years. Inspired by N.C. Wyeth, Degas, George Inness and Sanford Gifford, her deep connection to water and boats is reflected throughout her work.

"Milagro," another body of work Wu sees as a different kind of portrait. Silhouetted figures dominate large canvases and nature’s elements are depicted within the figures. Wu may often be found kayaking around Vashon, camera in hand.

Long time Islanders and life partners, sculptor Tom Northington and painter Mary Rothermel show their latest collaboration "Tendering Balance." Northington sculpts intricate wooden boats; each represents a tender, containing ballast of personal found objects. Sculptures reside on wood bases artistically rendered to suit the boat’s ‘personality’ and each finished piece rests on spalted and finished madrone rounds. "They’re meant to be introductions to a poem or story," says Northington. "We wanted to stage the art in a theatrical way and have some fun with it," adds Rothermel.

Rothermel’s painted screens, inspired by childhood summers spent near the water, parallel the feeling of viewing sunsets over the water through a cabin screen door. Four subtle panels, painted on both sides, will be suspended from the Gallery ceiling between two rows of Northington’s sculptures.

Hear live music by Nonesuch (Marilyn Kleyn, flute; Nicholas Anderson, bouzouki; Steve Austin, fiddle), have a glass of wine and enjoy visiting with our honored artists, friends and neighbors at the opening, Friday, July 6, 6 pm.