ISLAND ARTIST SCENES
San Juan Community Theatre and the San Juan Islands Museum of Art were pleased to present a joint production. Our two organizations collaborated during their lull in normal operations to produce a series of mini-documentaries highlighting local artists. Enjoy!
In our first installment of this limited series viewers will meet RaVae Luckhart, a San Juan Island resident and abstract expressionist painter whose bold paintings spring forth, inspired by the music RaVae listens to while painting and as a reaction to each stroke of the brush as they come.
Join us as we visit with RaVae in her home studio and learn more about her work and process.
Danielle Dean is an artist and educator whose “photography is born out of a series of meditations.” She works in dialogue with places of natural phenomena and environmental rhythms. Dean’s goal is to immerse us in these meditations, ultimately examining our own connection to our environment. How the natural world sustains us is critical to our well- being.
She earned her MFA at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and her work is included in public and private collections. Recent exhibitions have been at Bakalar and Paine Galleries, Blue Sky Gallery, San Juan Islands Museum of Art, Amazon Headquarters, and the Aperture Foundation. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2019 MassArt Fellowship to The Studios at Mass MoCA, Blue Sky Gallery’s 2018 Artist Residency at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and a teaching residency at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India.
As a kid, Tom Small carved everything within reach. Tom grew up near Kirkland where his early visual impressions included drawings of buildings on his father’s desk, skeletal frames of buildings under construction, and trees against the sky. He went on to study casting, welding and wood carving at the University of Washington. Looking to deepen his relationship with the wilderness, he purchased property atop Cady Mountain. On these acres of old growth forest, Tom built his shop buildings and family’s home. He began working with galleries in 1985 and many of Tom’s larger works have been commissions featured in spaces both public and private, across North America.
Take a look at Tom in action at his home workshop as he creates gorgeous stone sculptures.
What draws her to beads, Robin explains, is their “infinite variety” and the many ways to incorporate them into creative projects. As she further explored the history, usage and background of beads and beading, she could appreciate them on a deeper level. Put simply, Atkins says, “I learned that beading is more than a craft, but art and history as well.” Robin has taught workshops from Seattle to Reno to Houston to Budapest. She has been given the honor of judging several regional and national beadwork and other competitions. In 2003 a call went out to bead artists around the world to submit photos for Showcase 500 Beaded Objects, released in 2004 by Lark Books. From over 2500 entries, three of Robin’s beadwork pieces were chosen for the book, one of which was on the front cover.
Some of her published books are Heart to Hands Bead Embroidery, Beaded Treasures, Spirit Dolls, How I Made Rosie, The Uncaged Hen, and The Complete Photo Guide to Beading.
About her art, “For a person who works improvisationally most of the time, it may surprise you to know that art for me is about visual communication. The odd thing is that the communication is first and foremost from my heart to me. It’s my inner, hidden self which speaks through the work of my hands.”
Paula West is a studio potter originally from Connecticut and a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Studio Art. After Paula moved to San Juan Island, she set up her small, home-based ceramic studio in 1993. For the next ten years she honed her craft and sold her work at regional art and craft shows while working part-time. In 2005, Paula dedicated herself to full-time studio work–opening her studio and showroom to the public.
Merging function, craft, and art; her work is thrown on the potter’s wheel or shaped from rolled slabs of porcelain and stoneware clay. She explores texture, contrast, and line, creating whimsical motifs, geometric patterns, and carved surfaces using Sgraffito and Mishima surface decorating techniques. Her pots are meant to be used; their true beauty expressed through functionality. Paula’s work is collected by locals and visitors alike and can be found gracing many homes and restaurants. She has shown in national juried exhibitions and her studio is a regular on the San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour.