Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Central Washington on display

Staff Writer | February 28, 2023 1:30 AM

MOSES LAKE — Central Washington, in all its beauty, is on display at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center.

The exhibition titled simply “Life in Central Washington” features the work of Yakima Valley Arts Association members. The show opened on Feb. 3 and runs until March 17.

“All the pieces in the show are pretty much inspired by our landscape,” said Museum Superintendent Dollie Boyd. “The work that we do here, the agriculture, the plants, the flora, the fauna.”

The artworks are in a variety of media; oils, watercolors and acrylics dominate, but there are a few notable exceptions. One artist, Ana Li Gresham of Naches, works in wood burning with vivid colors added. Subjects of Gresham’s pieces on display include apples and cherries – a vital part of the Central Washington scene – as well as a praying mantis and a canyon landscape. One of Gresham’s pieces, a 10-by-10-inch wood burn entitled “Life Cycle of a Sandhill Crane,” depicts the magnificent bird as eggs, a chick and a full-grown crane in flight.

“I'm familiar with wood burning, but she does stuff unlike any other wood-burning I've ever seen,” Boyd said. “It's really detailed and she adds color into it, which you don't get with a lot of wood burning.”

Gresham has had a show of her own at the museum in the past, Boyd said.

Not far away are a couple of mixed-media pieces by Tami Grant, who incorporates a feather into each of her depictions of not just birds but fish, frogs and even mammoths.

“Rabbitbrush Refuge,” a 12-16 acrylic painting by Joan Eckman, is a particular favorite of Boyd’s.

“I'm a big fan of rabbitbrush, which is weird to say because it grows everywhere around here,” she said. “You see it bloom in September and October. It's a really interesting plant, one of our native plants. People consider it a weed, I guess, but it's really beautiful when it blooms and it has this great sage aroma to it.”

“Where will the rabbit find refuge from the hawk, from the coyote?” Eckman wrote on her website about the painting. “Will this land thrive to sustain them? All interlocked. All one, combining with the other. The sage and flowering plants. The butterfly and bird; bee and beetle. All one; intertwined with each other. Will one thrive without the other?”

As usual, much of the art on display is for sale; some of it has sold already.

“So if you want to own some art that's unique to Eastern Washington, here it is,” Boyd said.

Joel Martin may be reached at jmartin@columbiabasinherald.com.

Correction: Dollie Boyd's title has been corrected in the story above.


Joel Martin/Columbia Basin Herald

This piece by Ana Li Gresham, showing the life cycle of a sandhill crane, was done by combining wood burning with acrylic paint for vivid color.


Joel Martin/Columbia Basin Herald

“Rabbitbrush Refuge,” by Joan Eckman, shows a plant that’s often dismissed as a weed but which represents Central Washington, according to Moses Lake Museum & Art Center Director Dollie Boyd. The painting is one of many on display at the museum through March 17.

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