Cascadia Art Museum didn’t wait for the governor to issue a statewide stay-home order.
The Edmonds museum, focusing on the modernist era of Northwest art, closed temporarily March 12 to help protect its visitors and volunteers, and slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Though the museum is closed, it recently launched two video series — Virtual Visits and Studio Cascadia — to keep museum visitors interested in the artwork exhibited there. A new video is posted to the museum’s website each week.
“We’re trying to provide some art in their lives right now,” said Leigh Ann Gilmer, museum executive director. “This is a time when art really matters because it helps us connect, it helps us process, it helps us to see the beauty in things.”
There are five Virtual Visits videos up on the website, each about 5 minutes long. Museum curator David Martin and docents Tom and Shelley Hanrahan act as our virtual tour guides.
In one video, Martin talks about artist Mac Harshberger, a renowned illustrator from Tacoma known for his Art Deco style and elegant forms. Harshberger’s work is on display in “The Lavender Palette: Excerpts.”
In another, docent Shelley Hanrahan features a painting found in the “Northwest Collects” exhibition. We meet Emma Kaan, from Boston, Massachusetts, whose oil painting “Summertime” from 1905 is a Barbizon school example.
In yet another, docent Tom Hanrahan talks about Buffalo, New York, artist Claire Shuttleworth, who worked in oils, watercolor and pencil. The watercolor “Late Afternoon, Crécy” shows her interest in the Post-Impressionism style. Her work also is displayed in “Northwest Collects.”
“We’ve gotten a great response,” Gilmer said. “People love seeing a glimpse inside the museum and it’s also a nice distraction from the news that they’re hearing every single day.”
The Virtual Visits videos were filmed at Cascadia Art Museum before Gov. Jay Inslee issued his order. Gilmer herself is behind the camera.
The Studio Cascadia videos feature artist-in-residence Mona Fairbanks. An art teacher for 25 years, Fairbanks will show how to make an art project for each of the seven elements of art: line, shape, texture, value, form, space and color.
“I’ve been wanting to do (videos) for a long time,” said Fairbanks, who also serves on the museum’s education committee. “It lit a fire under us to get something out there now because so many of us are staying at home.”
Although she teaches grade school in the Edmonds and Shoreline school districts, Fairbanks stresses that these projects are intended for all ages.
In addition to teaching you an art project step-by-step, the videos show examples of how artists on exhibit have incorporated elements of art into their work. Accompanying each video is an interactive lesson that you can download.
While there’s just one video up on the website so far, all seven lessons are already available.
The 15-minute video explores lines through hand art. Whether thin or thick, dotted or sketchy, you’ll test out all kinds of lines with this project.
An example of line art at Cascadia is Charles Dana Gibson’s “Untitled,” from circa 1905, found in “Northwest Collects.” We learn that Gibson uses lines in ink on paper to create shape, depth, value and form.
The Studio Cascadia videos were filmed after the shutdown, so Fairbanks does it all herself. Her husband presses “record,” and off she goes.
Fairbanks then drops off a flashdrive so museum staff can edit the video before it goes up on the website.
“Obviously, I am not a videographer,” Gilmer said. “It’s an entirely new skill set for all of us at the museum. We’re making it work however we can right now.”
Fairbanks said teachers from Maplewood Parent Cooperative in Edmonds have let her know they had their students make the hand art.
All three current exhibitions — “Northwest Collects,” “John Carl Ely” and “The Lavender Palette: Excerpts” — have been extended because of the shutdown. Gilmer said they will be around for at least a month after the museum reopens.
Find the Virtual Visits and Studio Cascadia videos by clicking on the “Virtual” tab at www.cascadiaartmuseum.org.
If you stream
Cascadia Art Museum is hosting a free Hygge Tea Light Jars workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 9 led by artist Lynn Hanson via Zoom and Facebook Live. Hanson will show you how to paint patterns on Japanese paper and then adhere your designs to a glass jar. “Hygge” is a Danish word for all things homey and cozy. Materials for this workshop will be available for pick-up from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on May 8 at the museum, 190 Sunset Ave. S., Suite E, Edmonds. Registration is required. Go to www.cascadiaartmuseum.org for more information.