MARYSVILLE — The Red Curtain Art Center, located at the former Dunn Lumber building at 1410 Grove St. in Marysville, sported its refurbished look as it hosted a dozen vendors for the Marysville Arts Coalition's "Autumn Artistry" art show on Friday, Nov. 8, and Saturday, Nov. 9.
Marysville Arts Coalition Chair Beckye Randall had promoted the show as focusing on art more than crafts, but more than a few of the vendors on site made artwork out of their handcrafted goods, which was enough to attract fellow artists such as Marysville's Dot Stanton, a watercolor painter who visited the show to check out its wares, including the mixed-media artwork of Arlington's Fran Kaufman.
"I call myself a mixed-media photographer, because I'll start out with photographs that I've taken, and then mix and match them with paints and Photoshop," said Kaufman, who's even found a use for the spare photographs that she develops from various photo shoots, by turning them into the artistic covers for miniature notebooks.
Kaufman has only been exhibiting her photography artwork for a little more than half a dozen years, and was first inspired to take up her hobby by the birth of her grandchildren.
"Once they got old enough to tell me, 'No more pictures, Grandma,' I knew I needed to start photographing something else," Kaufman laughed. "What I love is getting up close to something, and showing its hidden colors and textures. Other people might look and just see rocks, but I see all the details."
Marysville's Jim and Debbie Beem also see the details of rocks, and for the past two years, the rockhound couple has been polishing and mounting stones for jewelry and display.
"We'd been interested in rocks for a long time," said Jim Beem, who credited the Marysville Rock & Gem Club with connecting him and his wife Debbie with classes and instructors.
"We told one of our teachers they should be selling their stuff, it was so good, but they turned it around on us and told us that we were good enough to sell our own stuff," Debbie Beem said. "It was a scary prospect, but when we went to La Conner, all these people told us how pretty our work was. We learned so much of that from the Marysville Rock & Gem Club. They're a huge local resource in the field."
Gail Thein came all the way from Mount Vernon to bring a touch of craftwork to the "Autumn Artistry" art show, by showcasing her beaded necklaces and bracelets, and she enjoyed what was both her first time working with the Marysville Arts Coalition and her first time in the Red Curtain Art Center.
"It's really nice, the way they've got this all set up," Thein said of her surroundings. "I started beading more than 15 years ago on a dare. A friend and I had agreed to take a class together, but she chickened out, and here I am now," she laughed. "It's very satisfying work. I love all the colors, and the chance to try out new techniques. It offers all sorts of different ways for you to express yourself."
Randall acknowledged that the "Autumn Artistry" event was not as well-attended as the Marysville Arts Coalition's spring "It's Raining Art" show in the same space, but she speculated that might have owed at least in part to tighter deadlines preventing them from securing permission from the city in time to host area alcohol vendors.
"At our spring show, we raised roughly $3,600, but for this show, we only made about $2,400," Randall said. "We plan to continue with two shows a year, one in the spring and one in the fall, so we hope we'll have better luck next time in getting some local distillers and brewers on site. We already got good feedback on the crafts table that we had out for the kids."
Randall explained that the "Autumn Artistry" event aimed to offer attendees opportunities to shop for holiday gifts, in the midst of a theme and décor that were designed to celebrate the colors and beauty of fall in the Pacific Northwest.
"The Marysville Arts Coalition is a community-based volunteer organization that works to find opportunities for community members to participate in the arts," Randall said of the group, which includes five Board members and more than half a dozen core volunteers. "Our longer-term goals, which depend on acquiring funding, include purchasing public art for the city, becoming a funding source for arts organizations and individual artists, and helping to present festivals and other annual events that promote Marysville as an artistic city."
Proceeds from the "Autumn Artistry" art show and sale will help fund opportunities to promote the arts in Marysville.
For more information about the Marysville Arts Coalition, log onto www.facebook.com/MarysvilleArts. For further details on the Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts — a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which is more focused on arts education through its classes, training opportunities and productions — log onto www.redcurtainfoundation.org.