The Arts Scene: Vibrancy of the seasons on display at Yakima Valley Museum

Artist Bill Brennen has selected the theme of “A Year in the Valley” for his new exhibition at the Yakima Valley Museum. Brennen is the fourth artist in residence, a program sponsored by Doug and Laurie Kanyer. That he was chosen to be that artist for 2019, Brennen says, is “a great highlight in my 40-plus years of being an artist.”

When you walk into the Gilbert Family Gallery at the Yakima Valley Museum with its clean, white walls, you are met with paintings of the radiant greens, blues and browns of the Valley landscape. As you walk through the space, you can sense the different seasons in the imagery before you, and in your own memories of Yakima.

In a catalog produced by the museum, Brennen outlines the unique characteristics of the seasons. In spring, he writes that “the blossoming trees and hillsides bring the land to life with their emerging colors.” Summer shows “the sun ablaze and the foliage in its full strength and vibrancy.” In fall, the “hues of reds, yellows and various earth tones make the land burst with color.” And in winter, Brennen sees “the barren tree, landscape, and the glistening snow with cool shadows of blues and greys.”

As we leave summer behind for the arrival of fall weather, it can be jarring to see the winter images as you move through the exhibit, but Brennen captures the feeling with intensity. He says, “Art is an integral part of my everyday life. To see the natural beauty of the landscape with its ever-changing seasons is inspiring. I feel it is a privilege to have the opportunity to convey these visions and feelings to others through my work.”

Brennen received his degree in fine arts from Central Washington University in 1973. His work is seen in many locations around town, including Gasperetti’s, Kana Winery and Hotel Maison. You can view the exhibition “A Year in the Valley” at the museum through March 28.

• David Lynx is executive director of the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley College. Learn more at

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