Arts and Entertainment

Art show floats into Oak Harbor

Whidbey Allied Arts artistis displayed their works in the El Cazador restaurant in Oak Harbor this week, in a show timed to coincide with the Navy’s secretive warfare symposium.

“Planes are going pretty fast,” noted Jeanne Valdez, describing sales at the three-day event. Indeed, by the third and final day of the sale on Wednesday, nary an airplane was left hanging on the walls in the restaurant on Highway 20.

But there was plenty of other art created by 15 of the group’s 30 artists who mostly live on North Whidbey but represent all areas of the island.

Valdez, formerly a pottery maker, now paints in watercolors and oils. Her warm pictures of ferries and other scenic wonders are always popular, as are the delicate collages crated by Sue Swendsen with layered fibers. Swendsen expressed satisfaction with the sale of her work. “Yesterday was very good,” she said. The group gives 15 percent of sales proceeds to its scholarship fund.

Erin Lien, a photographer, had an attractive display featuring photos from a recent trip to Spain. “I don’t know if any of mine have sold,” she said, obviously more interested in the art than the money. Her husband is a Navy pilot and she teaches photography at Skagit Valley College.

Valdez described the show in the Mexican restaurant as one of Allied Arts’ “floating galleries,” which they hold several times during the year in various locations. “We get out art out in the community,” she said. “A lot of people want original art and we can do it — we’re reasonable.” Prices were indeed reasonable, with original art generally going for $150 or less.

Allied Arts also hosts a major art show in Coupeville in July and in Oak Harbor in December. When there’s not a show, they’re busy creating art for the next show or local galleries, and learning how to improve their work.

“We learn from each other,” said photographer Lien.

The group welcomes experienced and and novice artists, young or old. For information, call Jeanne Valdez at 675-7624.

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