Art brings people together.
After more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Women Painters of Washington organized an artist reception for the “A View of the Lake” art exhibition on July 14 to recognize and celebrate the amazing works of nine female artists.
Women Painters of Washington was founded in 1930 to “empower professional women artists to create, exhibit and market their work while fostering art appreciation within their communities and beyond,” according to their mission statement.
Through the “A View of the Lake” exhibition, painters Lisa DeBaets, Yiota Georgas, Magali Lenarczak, Janci Mannington, Judith Marshall, Kristin Morris, Priyanka Parmanand, Carol Ross, and Susan Walker shared their unique perspectives of Lake Sammamish and surrounding areas using techniques from watercolor to threads.
Kristin Morris, who is in her 50s, is a painter based in Woodinville. She is passionate about catching the feeling of the moment through her paintings. As both a painter and sculptor, Morris conveys the story and emotions through her use of vibrant colors. Her painting, Testing the Water, was inspired by the refreshing feeling of putting her feet in the water during a hike.
“There is so much energy in water, so much potential,” said Morris. “When I see something exciting, I hope to share the experience with people through my paintings.”
Lisa DeBaets, also in her 50s, is a national award-winning visual artist who moved to Sammamish 10 years ago and started painting only seven years ago.
“I was so thrilled to have my paintings in the event… I never dreamt that I could ever paint [Lake Sammamish and I-90],” said DeBaets.
While she typically does watercolor, DeBaets is currently learning acrylic abstracts. As a new member of the women painters community, she is more than excited to connect with people and make friends who share her interests in artistry.
“It’s all about people for me,” DeBaets said.
The people present at the exhibition included not just the artists and guests, but also community volunteers. Without their help, the event would not have been successful. Barbara Jirsa, who is in her 70s, is a city hall volunteer who curates the quarterly exhibits in the Commons Gallery. She shared her appreciation for the community’s support, which allows the paintings to be presented in a professional way, including the displays, mounting, and lighting.
Jirsa said she hopes the small-scale and less formal exhibition makes it “freer” for artists to present their art pieces and for the community to appreciate their creativity while being able to connect with the artists in person.
“We have hosted a variety of exhibitions from the national level to state level, but it always comes back here, to remember there are so many local artists in the area,” said Jirsa.
For both the artists and the community, the exhibition is more than a place to showcase some of their art. It is also an event that forges a common bond over appreciation for the beauty of our shared landscape.
“Don’t be afraid to get out, enjoy the exhibition, enjoy arts, enjoy people,” Debaets said.