Artist helps theater set stage

EVERETT – Lisa Flint arranges a blood-red silk rose across a black cloth in the Historic Everett Theatre’s display window.

The theater’s current production is “Voices from the Wall,” a play about those whose names are engraved in the long, black granite Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Her display has to be respectful, but it’s got to catch the eye of passers-by, Flint says while fussing with the cloth.

Switching gears because she has to grab a hammer, Flint swings open the door of the 105-year-old theater. She gestures across the elegant lobby and gushes with enthusiasm.

“Don’t you just love the grandeur? I just love this place. It’s so cool and so classic,” she says. “Just think of the history.”

Flint, who lives in Snohomish, has been a volunteer display artist at the theater for nearly a year, and she can’t get enough.

Run by the nonprofit group New Everett Theatre, the venue and the people who produce art there depend on volunteer labor to make it all work.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the theater,” said Davine Sholdez, volunteer coordinator. “And Lisa does a beautiful job.”

Flint sees her time spent volunteering at the theater as a way to be a part of what she calls the ongoing revitalization of downtown Everett.

“It’s fun to be in on the action. I have friends who travel from Bellevue to come to a show and go out for dinner. It’s fun to hang out here now. Everett is so cool,” she said.

And it’s fun to hang out with the theater people, she said.

“It’s a real diverse and eclectic mix of people, a bit edgy. They’re all artsy and there’s a lot of fun drama involved in everything we do,” she said.

Flint’s pretty artsy herself, and that’s why she is valued by the theater, said artistic director Victoria Walker. “We take some risks with our productions here, as does Lisa with her art.”

The owner of Black Current Canvas, Flint takes commissions from folks who want artwork to go with the feel of their homes. Currently she and her husband are refurbishing a contemporary modern house in a neighborhood near Everett’s Forest Park.

Recently in a kitchen drawer there, Flint found an old newspaper advertisement for the Everett Theatre. It felt a little like a sign that her volunteer work was the right thing to do, she said,

Along with managing the front entrance display cabinets, she puts together the lobby displays that detail actor’s backgrounds, and often has a hand in creating the posters. She also helped paint sets.

“We don’t have much of a budget, so I bring things from home and do as well as I can in the time that I have,” Flint said.

The theater is a great place for artists to volunteer, she said. In fact, Flint said she would like to see a regular flow of high school and college art students into the theater to help paint scenery.

“We need to get the perspective of young people, too,” she said.

A self-described Army brat who worked for many years as a hairdresser, Flint said she studied art in college, but later had to drop out.

She returned to her passion when she did some interior decorating for one of her hair clients who wanted a special sort of painting over his fireplace.

“He wanted some impressionistic pheasants. I just painted it,” she said. “Then I started doing murals, faux finishes and furniture.”

The ability to set the scene in homes translates easily to her volunteer work at the theater, she said.

Back out on Colby Avenue, Flint is finishing her window displays by tacking the black cloth like a shroud around the poster advertising “Voices from the Wall.”

“It’s got to have simplicity this time,” she said. “Respectful and informative.”

Reporter Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427 or gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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