I have lately been researching the history of the Larson Gallery from its inception in 1949, and I have noticed how active the Yakima Valley Artists Association was during those early years. They not only exhibited and sponsored exhibits at the Larson Gallery, but were also involved in installing exhibits around Yakima.
The artists association had been fairly dormant for a while, so a group of artists decided to start it again around March 2019.
In September 2019, they contacted me about meetings they were having at the Harman Center and were inviting all artists to join.
Their mission statement reads, “Yakima Valley Artists Association is an organization of and for artists that offers a supportive network, through the sharing of inspiration, knowledge and opportunity, so that artists throughout the Yakima Valley may continue to advance in artistic excellence and to promote their work throughout the community and beyond.”
Lately, as most other groups, they have been meeting on Zoom. “We have been meeting monthly to support one another, swap tips and techniques and enjoy each other’s company,” Kate Bowditch told me.
Bowditch said the group is holding its first “Plein-Air of 2021” on Sunday, titled “Plein-Air by the Window,” in which they’ll paint a view from a window, then share it by Zoom.
They also are running a virtual show titled “2020 Remembered” on their website, yakimavalleyartists.com. To introduce the online exhibit, they state “2020 — A challenging year of fires, floods, marches, elections, and a viral pandemic with its sobering loss in life, health, livelihoods and physical touch. ‘2020 Remembered’ shows artwork illustrating horrific events along with the resiliency, growth, and creativity allowing people to adapt and cope.”
The exhibit shows work by Kate Bowditch, Cheryl Bush, Anna Garman, Joan Eckman, Mary Jepsen, Kris Knight, Linda Lee, Ashley Morris, Lorene Morris, Dave Nelson and Louis Toweill.
The hope of the Yakima Valley Artists Association is that this exhibit will be on display at Oak Hollow Gallery as soon as it is possible.
• David Lynx is executive director of the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley College. He writes this weekly column for SCENE. Learn more at www.larsongallery.org.