Arts and Entertainment

Bremerton goes with theme, Bainbridge opts out of First Friday on the Fourth

Above: Ron Harper at work in his Port Orchard studio drawing faster-than-light particles called “tachyons.” Left: The face piece of “Paint Free or Die” — “He FREES THE TACHYON HORDES OF BONDS AT LAKE.”  - Courtesy photos
Above: Ron Harper at work in his Port Orchard studio drawing faster-than-light particles called “tachyons.” Left: The face piece of “Paint Free or Die” — “He FREES THE TACHYON HORDES OF BONDS AT LAKE.”
— image credit: Courtesy photos

As the first Friday of July falls squarely on July 4 this year, art galleries in Bremerton have focused their exhibits quirkily around the Independence Day theme, and will be debuting with receptions that day.

Galleries on Bainbridge, including Bainbridge Arts and Crafts which recently received a $1 million endowment that made headlines, will be waiting it out, hosting their first Friday parties during the second week July 11 due to the nuttiness of the island’s Grand Ole Fourth celebration. Except the Roby King — they’ll be having two parties: their traditional shindig in line with the Island’s street dance 7-9 p.m. July 3 and another reception along with the other local galleries July 11.

Here’s what’s happening for First Friday in Bremerton — each artists’ reception will run from 5-9 p.m. July 4.

• Collective Visions

— 331 Pacific Ave.

Paint Free or Die.

That’s the title of the aptly independence-themed exhibit of new works from artist Ron Harper which fills the front gallery of Collective Visions this month.

For an artist who’s traditionally worked with paint on canvas, Harper has taken liberties in media and materials, dimension and perception and even more so with ideas in this show, which was fostered almost entirely around the idea of freedom.

“In a lot of ways, it’s really my own personal freedom to just f--- up a canvas,” Harper said of his new works as he unveiled them to What’s Up last week.

In media, Harper has broken out of the proverbial box of traditional paint to include everything from Crayon to Sharpie to chalk, to marbles soaked in paint and rolled on the canvas. He’s also freed himself from the traditional canvas, including some works on a brown paper medium as well. But he’s taken perhaps the most liberty in the ideas which this collection of work portrays.

It’s an exhibit you’ll have to absolutely free your mind in order to fully appreciate.

Harper aims for the personification of particle physics — giving personality and form to elements like hydrogen and helium — in a visual quest to somehow better understand the often sought after secrets of the universe.

“I hope (viewers) get something out of it, so that I’m not the only weird person out there ... I hope they get a sense of what I’m working to find out myself, which is that big thing,” Harper said. “I want people to get a mystical experience — and I’m gonna get a good one too while I’m at it.”

On one last liberating note, Harper will be introducing a revolutionary new pricing scale, offering his work at a 30 percent discount for buyers under the age of 30.

His exhibit “Paint Free or Die” will hang through July 28 at the CVG.

Info:, or call the gallery at (360) 377-8327.

• Artists for Freedom and Unity — 318 N. Callow Ave.

In true American cynic style, the Artists for Freedom and Unity will be featuring its artists’ takes on the end of the world as we know it in its show “Apocalypse When.”

“It just so happened that first Friday was the Fourth of July, which was perfect,” AFU art chair Gabe Lee said. “Because by the time dark falls that night, it’s going to feel a lot like the end of the world in Bremerton.”

As darkness falls July 4, Black Cats and Roman candles will burst overhead, smog and smoke filling the streets, as the city’s citizens congregate for the annual American celebration of independence, barbecue and small arms artillery.

Lee said the AFU show will also offer patriots something to do in between eating burgers and checking out the fireworks.

“Apocalypse When” will hang throughout the month. Look for work from AFU favorites Rose Smith and Patrick Moriarity in addition to Lee and others.

Info: or call the AFU at (360) 782-1329.

ALSO CHECK OUT: The Amy Burnett Gallery at 296 Fourth St., The Alan Posner Studio down the road at 245 Fourth St., Chuck Smart and M. Anne Sweet’s Studio 68 at 608 Fourth St. and Ploy Studios across the street at 609 Fourth St. Also check out local businesses in the downtown, Manette and Charleston art districts.

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