Clothes Oft Proclaim the Man

There is a wonder-filled show at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, coinciding with this year’s celebration of Shakespeare in  the Woods.  Curated by Richard Stevens, the exhibit displays costume reproductions in the styles of the times in which Shakespeare lived and worked.  A click on any image will fetch a larger image, easy return to page.

Above is a Spanish Renaissance gown for Tamora, Queen of the Goths, in Titus and Andronicus.  Created by Tammie Dupuis.  Heavy fabric in many layers to help keep the body warm in a cold climate.  Opulent and jewel encrusted to indicate the status of the wearer.  Oola was smitten by this one.

Below are two costumes, roughly the same period, Italian.  Warmer climate, looser drape and lighter fabrics to let air flow around the body.  Created by Margo Loes, the gown is for Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet.

Two doublets for courtiers in Comedy of Errors and Love’s Labor Lost, and King Leone’s winter coat in A Winter’s Tale.

Succeeding generations have produced Shakespeare plays in the costumes of their day.  This costume is for a Stuart-era Orsinio in Twelfth Night, created by Carmen Beaudry.

 

Orsinio, Twelfth Night
Orsinio, Twelfth Night

Richard Stevens, gave a talk to visitors at the opening of this show.  Among the many cogent observations he made was this: that women could not perform  on stage in Shakespeare’s time so women’s parts were played by men.  And male actors would not stand for simpering women’s lines, so the Bard had to make strong women’s roles.

Here is a fanciful costume for Portia, the Merchant of Venice, who brilliantly makes the law work in her favor.  The fanciful costume is opulent and heavy with masterful detail.  (The costume’s creator is  not cited in the show.)

Of course there are magical characters in Shakespeare’s.  Richards is facing one of the Wierd Sisters above. Below is Prospero, from The Tempest, costume by Richard Stevens

Oola, as I said, had aspirations for being the Queen of the Goths, but that being unattainable, she was perfectly happy to play the Titania, the Queen of the Fairies, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, costume by Margo Loes. (Apologies, Margo)

Oola as Titania

Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is sponsoring outdoor performances of Much Ado About Nothing for the next 3 weekends. At the Opening Reception for this Exhibition of costumes we were treated to a couple of preview scenes.  Costumes are mid-20thCentury reinterpretations.

Much Ado About Nothing, Josh Sutcliffe as Benedict and Sharah Truett as Beatrice

Producer: Jessica Elliott

Director: Anna Anderson

Friday, Saturday and Sunday of July 21 through August 6.  Pre-show at 6PM, Performance follows 6:30PM.  Bring ground blanket or low chairs for seating.  You will be entranced.

Cost: FREE, though donations will be appreciated.

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is located at:

1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.​
Port Angeles, WA 98362

pafac@olypen.com
360-457-3532

The Gallery is open Thursday-Sunday 10AM-4PM.

 

Webster’s Woods at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

On the slope rising from the Straits of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Mountains there is a circular home called the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.  I use the word “home” advisedly because it is the place where once lived Esther and Charles Webster.  Now, thanks to Esther, it is the home for much beautiful art.

Port Angeles Fine Art Center
Port Angeles Fine Art Center

Surrounding the Art Center is Webster’s Woods, a special place to mosey and reflect.

Oola and I visited on a winter afternoon, and she really liked the address.  This has become one of our new favorite places. (Please click on any image to enlarge; they are well worth it.)

Webster's Woods
Webster’s Woods

One of the reasons I like this place is that, with few exceptions, I could not find the names of the artists.  The whole area seems more an expression of a community than of any single person.  It seems that each year, artists add new work, much of which returns to the environment over time.

There is a foot path — kinda — and you can roam it from any direction.

Webster's Woods
Webster’s Woods

Questions of monumentality and ego are absent — except by their absence.  This is about the earth, the people, and time.

You might meet others like yourself on the path.

quartet

Always there is a straggler, or maybe the rear guard, or maybe just a dreamer — about to be swallowed up.

quartet2

You will find wonderful work disintegrating into time and the earth.

Webster's Woods
Webster’s Woods
detail in Webster's Woods
detail in Webster’s Woods

I have seen blue ball sculpture before, but THESE blue balls are talking about a relationship with the trees — over time and through growth; and through stress when the wind blows from the Strait to the Mountains.

blueballs
Webster’s Woods

You may pass something by — Oola found these — only to discover later that they are beads hammered into the fallen tree.  This is my favorite of all that I saw in the woods that day.

redberries

Webster's Woods
Webster’s Woods

We found an open dell, and this elegiac group.

Webster's Woods
Webster’s Woods

We found sound wood, and the chance for communal performance.

Webster's Woods
Webster’s Woods

We found evidence that we had arrived at the correct conclusion from the wrong direction.

Webster's Woods
Webster’s Woods

I read that there will be more installations this summer.  Definitely we’ll be back.  I hope you get to visit, too.

PAFAC
1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
Port Angeles, WA 98362

pafac@olypen.com
360-457-3532

Sue Roberts at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

Didn’t Mom tell you not to judge a book by its cover?  Did your teacher say that art is about revealing inner reality?  Artist Sue Roberts upholds both these maxims in her pointed and funny show “Family of Sorts” currently at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center. (You can click on any image to see an enlargement.)

The Gun Family by Sue Roberts
“The Gun Family” by Sue Roberts

Attracted to “story” as I am, I was immediately drawn to this show (and gratified to see that artist has just ignored the vilifications which were heaped on visual narrative in my art school days).  Beyond the story, though, I was attracted to the painterly excellence applied to the ceramic work.  The artist doubles the intent of the work by skillfully adding semi-opaque 2-D layers which amplify the normal 3-D features of the work.  In the case of “The Gun Family”, the underpainting and overpainting on the surface gives a subtle and most appropriate grit-and-glitter result to this social commentary on interpretations of the Second Amendment.

The artist uses another technique which adds meaning to her stories:  Some of the work has a homespun look.

"The Pleaser" by Sue Roberts
“The Pleaser” by Sue Roberts

In “The Pleaser”  the costume conveys this meaning. But also, the dry and unsophisticated feel of the surface emphasizes by calling into question the complex maneuvering required for being a successful “pleaser”.

Compare that to

"Talons" by Sue Roberts
“Talons” by Sue Roberts

“Talons” which for the most part is polished with a coat of encaustic (a beeswax and resin concoction applied with heat).  The resulting seductive surface adds another layer of meaning to the “story”, especially where it contrasts with the unpolished “skin” of the talons.

"Oblivion" by Sue Roberts
“Oblivion” by Sue Roberts

In “Oblivion” the artist treats the ceramic surface with what appears to be more established glazing techniques.  The colors and surfaces are less subtle, the story more specific.  What contemporary person does not recognize this chap who is oblivious to his world and to the oblivion in the falls ahead?

If you are in the area, go see the show.  It is up until March 15, 2015. There is a master class with the artist on March 14.  Find out all about it at pafac.org.

1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
Port Angeles, WA 98362

360-457-3532

Leave time to see the sculpture garden!  More about that to come