Artists explore the soulful and mysterious

June 7, 2011

By Laura Geggel

While they were looking at colleges last spring, Sammamish artist Ken Kisch and his daughter stopped their car at a graveyard in the middle of Baltimore.

Sammamish artist Andrea Prudente created ‘Surrender,’ an image of a woman floating in a room, for the art exhibit ‘Mysteries of the Soul.’ By Andrea Prudente

He found a limestone headstone that caught his interest, and he took a photo. When he learned artEAST Art Center and UP Front gallery were having a show titled “Mysteries of the Soul,” he was one of 30 artists who submitted a piece, and one of 10 to be displayed.

He called his tombstone photograph, “Ascension.”

“It’s a photograph of a gravestone with a tree positioned behind it,” he said. “The tree’s branches are coming up from behind and reaching up toward the sky.”

The other Sammamish artists — Allie Choco, Jessica Farren, Marne Jensen, Mary Masterson, Carol Paschal, Andrea Prudente, Daphne Robinson, Janice Ryther and Al Zold — have contributed to the show with work that delves into the hidden recesses of the soul and self, curator Susan Walker said.

The show — an intriguing exhibit that would fill the rotating Collective Works gallery at UP Front — was Walker’s idea.

“I just really wanted to do something soulful and mysterious, and just see what kind of artists would respond to that kind of a call,” she said.

A jury of artists judged each submission on technique and, for lack of a better word, mystery.

The show has everything from an ethereal girl — spinning like a spirit on the beach with flowers in her little hands — to the aging tombstone.

“That is the mystery of death,” Walker said.

Kisch’s daughter will attend Harvard this fall. He said he looks forward to exploring the graveyards of Boston, which polka dot the city and its parks.

“I have a fascination,” he said. “It’s not a morbid thing, but I want to try to acknowledge the past, and particularly the people of the past.”

The gallery invites the public to the free show, which runs through June 26.

The Collective Works gallery is sponsored by the city of Issaquah, Issaquah Arts Commission, 4Culture and the Sammamish Arts Commission.

A simultaneous show is decorating the art center’s walls. The 2011 SAMMI Awards Art Collection celebrates the “Decade of Inspiration” after 10 years of the awards.

If you go

‘Mysteries of the Soul’ opening reception

  • 6-8 p.m. June 10
  • ArtEAST Art Center and UP Front
  • 95 Front St. N.
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One Response to “Artists explore the soulful and mysterious”

  1. David L. Ryther on July 16th, 2011 5:53 pm

    I am very interested in knowing where I can see the work of Janice Ryther.
    Partly for the obvious reason of being curious about and proud of the creative
    efforts of a fellow “Ryther” but also wanting to know more about this art form.
    My Wife and I just returned from exploring the Sami culture in the far North of
    Norway. Is there a connection?

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