Sunday, January 31, 2010

Out of the Forest: Wes Smith Talks at the Whatcom Museum

Wes Smith was the latest "brown-bagger" for the Whatcom Museum's Brownbag Lunch talk segments. He spoke to a crowd of 20-30 people about sustainable woodworking in the Northwest, explained a few of their projects from the felling of the tree to the finished product, and talked about the FIG (Family Interactive Gallery) and their beautiful installation.

A talk concluded with a visit to the FIG to have a question and answer session around the native alder touring forces.

Thanks for all who went! We had a lot of fun sharing a little of what we do with you!

Friday, January 29, 2010

John Simon Talk

John Simon speaks in front of Chuckanut Mountain Range while Andrew Vallee and Dederick Ward listen on.

Slightly belated, but hey, we're still getting better at blogging! The photo above is of John Simon and terrific work of his Chuckanut Mountain Range. Chuckanut Mountain Range was originally completed in time for our 2008 exhibition "Northwest Mountain Invitational." John said that if he had extra time, he would have added in more of the fall colors as the leaves continued to change but we would not have wanted him to change a thing! The work was one of the key hits of the show with many "almost" buyers. John visited the work several times throughout the two months of the exhibition and I had the pleasure of watching our patrons get lost in the wisps of fog depicted.

After the work didn't sell, Smith & Vallee Gallery decided to buy the work from John for re-sale. When Clayton James came to visit the exhibition he commented that it was a work that should not be owned by one person but instead a work in a museum, available to a broader audience. The gallery and friends of the artist pulled together funds and successfully donated the work to the Museum of Northwest Art. This is the first work by John Simon in their collection and at this talk, John discussed his art and his intentions for this work in particular. Great talk! Mark your calendars for our March solo exhibition of new work by John Simon!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

To bring in the new year (and decade!) we wanted to share just a few highlights and photos from 2009 from Smith & Vallee Woodworks and Smith & Vallee Gallery...

Wes (and Evan) clocking many, many hours at the Whatcom Museum's new Lightcatcher Building. Smith & Vallee Woodworks built curved native alder installation walls that framed the interactive components in the new Family Interactive Gallery along with a play area, benchs, and a sculptural snag tree.

Just part of the finished result (Whatcom Museum, Lightcater Building 2009)

We also built cabinets and a bartop for our good friend Iris Collinge's Edison kitchen. In this project we worked with reclaimed verticle grain fir from Edison's Deluth Timber. The straight lines of the cabinets are broken up by the undulating spaulted maple bar top.

Flat panels and slim pull tabs give this project a modern feel.

Spalted Whatcom County Maple bench with one continuous slab, grain-matched. A beautiful piece completed in October.

The Rose Cabin on Guemes Island. We worked with David Hall at HKP (Henry Klein Partnership) Architects to complete the reclaimed fir table and sustainable maple cabinets above. The perfect cabin retreat!

Smith & Vallee Gallery started off our year of shows with an exhibition curated by the North Cascades Institute featuring their artists. We benefited NCI and showed works that honor the Pacific Northwest.

April at Smith & Vallee Gallery : Gunther José Frank. Our good friend had a great, well received show.

Article above can be found in the Cascadia Weekly archives.

The combination of Dederick Ward and Keith Sorenson in May turned out to be fantastic.

Dederick Ward, Grasslands 2

June, 2009 : We showed ourselves, reiterating handmade furniture as art objects. Above, our big Black Walnut Table and Chairs. This tree was originally taken as a nut when the Holiday family moved from Indiana to Minnesota in the 1880s. The black walnut was planted in Minnesota but when the family moved a few years later they brought the small tree with them to Tuxedo, Washington. On the wall are four turn-of-the-century photographs of the tree at different stages of its life. They have been framed with the last bits from this amazing tree.

July 2009: Becky Fletcher. We love her work and our patrons do too (one of our most popular shows!)

August 2009: Todd Horton, "Future Perfect" with sculpture by David Eisenhour. Two of our favorite artists.

September 2009: Lisa Gilley, "The Road Home." We had been discussing and working on this show with Lisa for a little less than one full year. Lisa's undulating landscapes brought Skagit Valley to life. It was truly a top-notch exhibition -- Thanks Lisa!

October 2009: We "began again" with R. Allen Jensen.

Artworks in situ at Bob's infamous studio.

Objectification 2 was a great way to close our season. Above is the article Mike Scaringe wrote up in the Cascadia Weekly.

These are just some of the many! Thanks for a great year everyone!