“Stilt” by Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jason Johnsen is part of their invitational show at the Schack Art Center in Everett. (Derek Klien)

“Stilt” by Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jason Johnsen is part of their invitational show at the Schack Art Center in Everett. (Derek Klien)

See the work of 26 glass artists at the Schack Art Center

Husband-and wife-glassmakers invited two dozen of their friends to participate in the exhibit.

It’s something of an artistic party.

The Schack Art Center invited Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen, two glass artists from Bow, to exhibit their works in a show that opens today.

Although the show is named the “Willenbrink-Johnsen Invitational” in their honor, they invited other glass artists to show in the exhibit.

The result is a chance to see the works of 24 other glass artists — “two dozen of their closest friends,” is how gallery director Carie Collver described it.

Some may remember seeing some of Willenbrink-Johnsen’s work in the Schack’s “Pets on Parade” show earlier this year where she created vignettes of dogs.

Willenbrink-Johnsen and her husband Jasen Johnsen have been a personal and artistic team for 23 years.

“I think it helps that we really love each other a lot,” Willenbrink-Johnsen said of how the two artists have forged their professional relationship.

She admits she can be picky with what she invisions, where her husband might be more easygoing. She described his workmanship as impeccable and hers as “a little messier.”

“I think it’s important to be a little messy — it’s raw and being true and to the point,” she said. “It’s not like trying to clean things up to perfection where you lose spirit.”

The pieces they create are all pretty collaborative, she said. Seven of their works are displayed in the show.

Many of their creations involve birds, including stilts, owls and even a 3-foot-long peacock.

“For me, making art is a pure state,” she said. “It’s always about feeding your curiosity — what you love. That’s always birds and animals and nature.”

They are just one of a number of couples whose work is displayed in the show. There are so many, in fact, that Collver said she could have named the show “Couples.”

Some of the others are Jeremy Bert and Jen Elek, Shelley Muzylowski-Allen and Rik Allen, and Raven Skyriver and Kelly O’Dell.

Everybody in their own right is a fabulous artist,” Collver said. “They all stand on their own. We’re so lucky in the Northwest to have so many gifted artists.”

The Schack exhibit is part of a regional celebration of glassmaking from Oct. 17-20 called Refract, involving museums, open studios and a series of events.

It’s the first year for the event. “We’ll definitely do it again,” Collver said.

Two events are scheduled at the Schack Art Center. First, glassblowing demonstrations by Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen are on Oct. 17. The following day’s demonstrations are by Dante Marioni and John Kiley, both of whom have exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.

“Both days incredible artists will be demonstrating here,” Collver said. “I’m so excited to have them here.”

Upstairs at the Schack, there’s a second exhibit — the works of six Emerging Artists in Residence from Pilchuck Glass School.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

If you go

The Willenbrink-Johnsen Invitational, featuring the husband-wife glassmaking team of Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen as well as the works of 24 other glass artists, can be seen from Oct. 3 to Nov. 2 at the Schack Art Center, 2921 Hoyt Ave. in Everett. An opening artists’ reception is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 10. The art center’s hours are: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. More at 425-259-5050 or www.schack.org.

Glassblowing demonstrations: The Schack Art Center is participating in a regional event, “Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience” from Oct. 17 -20 with two glassblowing demonstrations. Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen will demonstrate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 17. John Kiley and Dante Marioni will demonstrate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 18.

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