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The Arts Scene: A fine summer day in Ellensburg

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Finally the smoke cleared a bit to take a drive from Yakima to Ellensburg for Paint Ellensburg, a yearly event put on by Gallery One that invites artists to demonstrate outside on the streets. At the same time, the Ellensburg farmers market was happening, so downtown was bustling.

The first stop was Gallery One, where you can view artwork that is currently being auctioned off on paintellensburg.com. It was helpful to see how small or large the items were in person. Although the dimensions are listed on the website, you don’t have any concept until you see the work. For example, I thought Bob Fisher’s “Pond and Young Cottonwood” was larger, then I found it was the perfect size for a possible spot in my house. Now that I go back to the website, the dimensions make sense.

Bidding for the items culminates Sept. 26 when Gallery One will have a live auction on YouTube at 6 p.m.

Not only did Gallery One display the artwork now being auctioned off, there were two other exhibits.

In the Eveleth Green Gallery on the top floor is an exhibit by Robin and Scott Mayberry titled “Connect/Disconnect.” From the exhibit description: “Scott’s intricate pen and ink drawings look at the weight of nostalgia in everyday objects, and how images from childhood continue to symbolize the complexities of adulthood. Robin’s work in fiber and encaustic explores the echoes of history through rich layers, looking at the way the past paves the present even as it is forgotten beneath fresh experiences.”

In the hallway is an exhibit by John Hauth called “The Mystery of Is-ness,” where the artist uses cartoon colors, cartoon imagery and complexity in various degrees within a shallow space.

After a stop for lunch at The Pearl, which has outside seating, we were suddenly met with giant walking puppets. I talked to the director of Gallery One, Monica Miller, who introduced me to the large walking steampunk piranha with a cowboy on its back. Inside was Brian Kooser, who told me that since the 2020 Buskers in the Burg has been canceled, they decided to make a surprise appearance at the market.

As we walked around town, we enjoyed visiting with Artists in Action, finding Austin Smith, Rae Duck, Kelly Melin and Shirley Hackett demonstrating for passersby.

It was a bustle of activity, with everyone in masks and social distancing. All were friendly and welcoming on a warm summer day.

• David Lynx is executive director of the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley College. His column runs weekly in Thursday’s SCENE section. Learn more at www.larsongallery.org.

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