SEQUIM – The Blue Whole Gallery will be a special stop on the First Friday Art Walk, offering cakes and wine to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
The gallery, at 129 W. Washington St., is celebrating the anniversary with an exhibition, SEQUIMAGES, a collection of works by member artists curated by veteran members Mary Franchini and Lynne Armstrong.
The gallery will also open the Shirley Foss Room, dedicated to a former member who made a significant contribution, including funding the scholarship for local high school students.
Cupcakes, cheese and wine will be served at the gallery beginning at 5 p.m. Friday during the art walk. Visitors will receive tickets for door prizes donated by various artists.
First Friday Art Walk Sequim is a free, self-guided tour of local art venues in Sequim from 5-8 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.
Each month has a color theme. This month, the theme is white.
“White represents inclusive acceptance, optimistic opportunities, hope, open minds, pure and thoughtful actions, friendly impressions and blank canvases receptive to any positive vision,” said Renne Emiko Brock, organizer of the First Friday Art Walk.
Blue Whole is naming a special room for Foss, who died in 2012, because of her many contributions to the gallery, said Barbara Boerigter, gallery founder and close friend of Foss.
Foss was an early member of the Blue Whole Cooperative when it opened in 1997, Boerigter said.
“She was a generous woman,” her friend said.
After living in Anchorage for more than 30 years, Foss and her husband retired to Sequim. The couple had no children and after his death “the gallery had benefited from his commitment”, Boerigter said.
Towards the end of her life, Foss was not mobile enough to come to the gallery, “but she called every morning to make sure someone was there at 10 a.m. when we opened,” her friend said.
Foss shared his estate between the gallery and the Sequim senior center, Boerigter said. The gallery invested the amount, which it refused to disclose, and which served as the basis for scholarships.
Foss’ works will be exhibited at the gallery. One will be in the SEQUIMAGES exhibition and another elsewhere in the gallery, according to Boerigter.
The gallery grew rapidly after opening.
“We took over June 1 and opened June 14,” Boerigter said.
“It was a lot of hard work for everyone involved.”
The members numbered 14 when the gallery opened. By the end of June, it had 40, according to Boerigter.
During his tenure, the gallery exhibited the work of 210 artists from the region, Boerigter said. A few years ago, it topped $1 million in sales, 75% of which went to artists, with the rest going to operational expenses.
Surviving 25 years “is extraordinary for a co-op,” Boerigter said, adding that she believes her success is down to the way the artwork is presented.
“It’s a very professional presentation,” she said.
Other special events on the Art Walk:
• Forage Gifts and Northwest Treasures121 W. Washington St., will host an open house celebrating its sixth anniversary with local art, edibles and giveaways.
• Sequim Museum and Arts, 544 N. Sequim Ave., will feature photographer Keith Ross with “A Glimpse Inside Keith’s Frame of Mind,” a collection of his best works, including bald eaglets, puffins, owls, and a wide variety of birds and wild animals. Her work will be at the Judith McInnes Tozzer Art Gallery.
His images and the story of the rescue of a pair of bald eaglets were published in Scholastic Magazine and distributed nationally to schools nationwide.
He is also the creator and administrator of the Facebook group Sequim Outdoors.
Ross will be there from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday and again from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday with a 10-foot screen and a laser projector showing a slide show to music.
• Pacific Mist — Books, cards and gifts, 122 W. Washington St., will host artist Diane Fatzinger and Olympic Peninsula writers.
Fatzinger of SticksNStones will present his “Wee Pebble Art” – an original and one-of-a-kind “little little piece of art” created using pebbles, driftwood, twigs, ferns, seashells and sea glass.
Linda Myers will represent the many authors of the Olympic Peninsula Authors Group at the Pacific Mist First Friday of June Art Walk.
• Sequim City Civic Center152 W. Cedar St., is the venue for the city’s Arts Advisory Board event.
From 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the First Friday Music Jam will take place in the City Council Chambers.
From 5 to 8 p.m. in the Karen Kuznek-Reese Gallery, an exhibition of watercolors with a reception by Peninsula Art Friends is planned.
At 6 p.m., Sequim Ballet will perform “Peter and The Wolf” in the Civic Center plaza.
• Cellars Rose des vents143 W. Washington St., will host live music with Rainshadow String Band from 6-8 p.m.
• Cedarbrook Lavender Gift Shop120 W. Washington St., will feature farm-fresh lavender creations, treats and vintage decor items.
• Sequim tea and spices139 W. Washington St., features unique artwork including glass, pottery, artwork and photography by local artists, plus tea blends, fun teapots and mugs, and culinary gifts .
• Rainshadow Cafe157 W. Cedar St., will have live music with Dawn & Steve from 6-8 p.m.
To participate as a location or artist on the official First Friday Art Walk Sequim map, listing and website, contact Brock at 360-460-3023 or [email protected].