Arts and Entertainment

What’s Up for First Friday in Bremerton and Bainbridge

A look at September’s First Friday Art Walk exhibits

BAINBRIDGE

• South Sound Fire at The Island Gallery, 100 Madison Ave., 6-8 p.m., Sept. 5

After taking a few summer months off, The Island Gallery is getting back into the swing during September with an exhibit of South Sound Fire.

A gallery well-versed in showing the fine art, wood-fired ceramics, The Island Gallery welcomes work this time around from a different island of the Puget Sound — ceramics from the Harstine Island kiln of John Benn and Colleen Gallagher.

Harstine Island is a small, unincorporated community on an island of the same name in Mason County, located in the pocket of Puget Sound just North of Olympia. In the typical communal atmosphere of wood-fired ceramics, artists from throughout the South Sound have come to the island, spending days on end firing at a converted boat-building workshop with Benn and Gallagher.

Both South Sound artists are 27-year veterans who met in their college years at the University of Puget Sound and discovered an organic connection. The mantra of their kiln — fired by local timber filled with ceramics made from local clay which they’ve dug — is likewise organic in nature.

“We submit the work to our kilns to be reborn as a permanent object that records the touch of our hands and the fire and ash that have transformed it,” the pair writes in their online artists’ statement.

Check out their work this month with that of four other South Sound artists and one from Seattle at The Island Gallery.

Info: www.benngallagher.com, www.islandgallery.net or call the gallery at (206) 780-9500.

• Kathe Fraga at Gallery Fraga, 166 Winslow Way, 6-8 p.m. Sept. 5

Half a block down Winslow Way get a look at what Kathe Fraga, half of the husband-wife team that runs the contemporary-style Gallery Fraga, has been up to.

In her first show of 2008, Fraga evokes the hand-painted, timeworn walls of old Parisian mansions with new work in her French Wallpaper Series. Her paintings are made up of acrylic and ink and plaster on canvas, finished with lacquer and surrounded by ornate fold-frames, inspired by the beauty and romance of the objects of old, like wallpaper panels distressed with age, vintage kimonos, hand-worked embroidery.

That influence comes from Fraga having lived amongst such things in beautiful old cities in places not only France but also Denmark, England and South America, which is said to be clearly felt in this show.

Expect soft paisley and florals, and birds, and rustique. And have a chat with the artist about it all over a glass of wine on First Friday.

Info: www.galleryfraga.com or call the Gallery at (206) 842-1150.

ALSO CHECK OUT: A trio of artists, Amy Roberts, Sharon Strauss and Karin Schminke, at The Gallery at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, 151 Winslow Way; Roby King Galleries at 176 Winslow Way; A is for Artists Gallery at 123 Bjune St. and other local businesses.

BREMERTON

• The Story of Chuck Smart at Ploy, 609 Fourth St., 6-10 p.m., Sept. 5

Downtown Bremerton-based artist Chuck Smart derived this aptly titled show from one of his newest paintings, a city-scapish piece which he called “Luminous Realities.”

The air of the piece reminded him of New York City with its tall tenant buildings, graffiti-ridden urban sculpture and traffic signs including those words “Luminous Realities” written in subway-like font.

The new work became the face piece of a show that actually illuminates more than a few different realities about the artist and his work from the past few decades. The show was exhibited at Maria Mackovjak’s Old Town Custom Framing Gallery in Silverdale during July and now lives in downtown Bremerton.

Check out Chuck Smart’s artistic life on display throughout the month.

Info: www.chucksmart.com, www.ploystudios.com.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Artists from the EDGE “Living with Doom” at Collective Visions Gallery, 331 Pacific Ave., Steve Suski’s solo show at the AFU, 318 N. Callow Ave., The Amy Burnett Gallery, 296 Fourth St., and more local businesses in the downtown, Charleston and Manette art districts.

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