Arts and Entertainment

Collective Visions' August show exemplifies eclecticism

Anna Hoey
Anna Hoey's 2D works make an eclectic mesh with Wanda Garrity's 3D at Collective Visions this month.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo/Hoey and Garrity

Artist Anna Hoey matches wits with Wanda Garrity’s 3D for an exercise in fine art miscellanea.

The showroom assaults me as I walk into Collective Visions to see Wanda Garrity and Anna Hoey’s dual exhibit Eclectic Perspectives.

It’s almost difficult to know where to start on this smorgasbord. Pastels and graphites, oil paintings and raku-fired pots, ink etchings and little ceramic creatures.

And that’s just the half of it.

To the right there’s a black and white wall with Hoey’s charcoal renderings buttressed by Garrity’s carbon-coated, black and white ceramics. To the left, a streak of colorful pastels with a baseline of shiny gloss-glazed pottery.

At first, it’s loud — borderline obnoxious. Then the subtle harmony between pieces begins to surface, and the show unveils itself as a symphony of sorts.

“Our whole goal was to show all the different styles,” Garrity said.

On the pedestals, Garrity, the Port Orchard-based potter, has four different styles of ceramics in the show —  traditionally fired functional stoneware along with the alternative-style firings of raku, saggar and carbon. On the walls, Hoey features almost 10 different styles of 2D work — from ink to charcoal, pastels to watercolors.

“I can’t seem to settle on one thing because it’s all so much fun for me,” Hoey said. “I think one day when I grow up, maybe I’ll focus on something, but right now, the exploring part is fun for me.”

Both Garrity and Hoey, 51 and 60, respectively, recently, within the past five years, joined the ranks of retirees now spending a majority of their time focused on art. For decades prior, Hoey worked as the coordinator of disabled student services at Olympic College while Garrity served as an organizing officer in the military.

As soon as they reached the point where they could make art full time, each artist made their way to Collective Visions Gallery in Bremerton.

“I’d always seen that gallery on the corner but didn’t know much about it,” Hoey said. “(Now) I can honestly tell you, I love that gallery. I love the goodwill feeling there.”

Hoey came to Collective Visions right away, while Garrity found her way after opting out of a different artists’ co-op in Gig Harbor. Both share the same adoring sentiment for the CVG.

Collective Visions is a place, they say, where this incredibly eclectic group of people comes together through the common bond of creating art in a virtually stress-free environment. The focus of the gallery is not so much on what you sell as it is on what you create.

It’s a supportive and relaxing atmosphere, which is a nice fit for Hoey — who said she’s still on the threshold of defining herself as a fine artist — and perfect for Garrity — who first started throwing pottery as a way to unwind.

WANDA GARRITY and ANNA HOEY's artistically encyclopedic exhibit — Eclectic Perspectives — will hang through Aug. 30 at the Collective Visions Gallery, 331 Pacific Ave. in downtown Bremerton. Info: www.collectivevisions.com or call the gallery at (360) 377-8327.

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