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Our Mission Showcasing dedicated, professional artists, Vermillion offers art, wine, beer, cocktails, and a daily seasonal menu in a unique, comforting setting. Located in the bustling Pike/Pine corridor and part of a new concept of hybrid gallery spaces, we offer the culture and appeal of an art opening every night without the crushing crowds.
The Evolution of a Northwest Artist
OPENING THURSDAY, November 10, 6-8 PM
(show runs through Dec. 3, 2011)
Featuring work by Byron Randall,
Joe Reno & Ree Brown.
These three local artists (two still living) have similar overlapping timelines but didn't meet each other at the time. This is a retrospective of how time and place influenced their styles and life decisions/philosophies.
Byron Randall: Hard Rock Painter, 1918 - 1999. This work provides the opportunity to see through one man’s compelling lens on the world from a lifelong journey of artistic vision and devotion to the transformative power of creativity.
“I think that in time, my (and your) creative effort will overcome the forces of evil that menace peace-loving mankind." - Byron Randall, 1967
Born Oct 23, 1918, in Tacoma, Washington, Byron Randall was raised in Salem, Oregon where he worked as a waiter, harvest hand, boxer and county jail cook to finance his art studies which culminated in his first major show at the Whyte Gallery in DC at the age of 20 and a 1939 Newsweek article referring to him as the “ First discovery of the new art season.”
Randall vigorously recognized the influence his Oregon upbringing had on his artistic style. This important sense of “ place and self” —and the vibrant everyday lives he encountered throughout his life and extensive travels—would continue to inform his views of knowing the world, driving his professional, political, and personal, creative aesthetic.
An avowed Communist (cover illustrator for the 1948 Communist Manifesto), Randall joined the Merchant Marine’s, while being involved in the Communist inspired Marine Cooks and Stewards Union. Moved by shipboard scenes and travels to Hawaii, South Pacific Islands, Australia, and New Zealand, Randall continued to paint in the early 1940’s before heading off to Eastern Europe in 1946, where he produced post-war paintings and prints of Jewish refugee children and the rebuilding of the Warsaw ghetto.
During this time he switched his alliance to socialism, providing Randall with a world-view that translated beautifully into the colorful expressionism that dominates all his mediums – oils watercolors, lino-cuts, prints – as he created imagery reflecting his love for landscapes and people, and his distrust for the capitalistic powers threatening the existence of both.
In 1967, Randall wrote “painting is a language and that language is a product of society, disturbed or healthy.” How fitting these words are for today, in a world that once again has been thrown into tumult, with protests filling the streets worldwide as the voices of the many attempt to drown out the power and greed of the few.
To call Joe Reno "eccentric" is an understatement. A self-proclaimed "genius" and highly prolific artist, Reno paints morning noon and night. He's lived in the same Sunset Hill house since 1950. His work has been widely published and reviewed, and can be found in the collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery, The Museum of Northwest Art in LaConner, the Bellevue Art Museum and Ballard High School from which he graduated in 1962.
His paintings often feature galactic figures symbolizing the many people dying in wars, he said, “This way their souls aren’t diminished into nothing,” he said. “They’re in the moving vortexes, in the clouds and in the sky.”
Although he was much younger at its peak, Reno spent time with the artists involved in and inspired by the Northwest School and recounts numerous stories and anecdotes about Jay Steensma, Morris Graves, Guy Anderson and Wes Wehr.
“Each human being on this planet is my audience. When I paint, I’m writing a letter to every human being telling them to be happy and not be evil. When I hear of people dying I think I failed them because my art did not reach them.”
Joe Reno is basically an artistic documentary waiting to happen. He spends a lot of time thrift shopping and plays guitar for a project he calls "The Voomers." He's unashamedly on a quest for fame, perhaps in a maniacal sense.
Thanks to Anne-Marije Rook from Ballard News Tribune for photo, quotes and certain facts.
Ree Brown is a self taught outsider artists who has shown at Vermillion in the past and he's such an guileless, gentle treasure that we wanted to invite him back.
To this day he is reluctant to call himself an artist, however, he has become a prominent figure in his own right after being encouraged by Jay Steensma, who took some simple sketches he'd drawn while working the cash register at their University District antique shop. Steensma brought the sketches to New York City in the late 80s, which led to a solid representation at MIA Gallery and Garde Rail Gallery in Seattle.
Ree has always been outspoken politically as can be seen in this short video documentary below:
OMG! Who Arted? Saturday, 11/12/11 8pm FREE
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence - The Abbey of St.Joan are having a party to determine the winner of an art contest for the "Condom Saviour" packaging! All entries have been submitted but the party is open to everyone!
The winner will be determined by how much money a particular submission can raise through direct donation and silent auction. Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned popularity contest, huh?
This is an all-age contest and event. There is no cover charge. Donations at the door will be gladly accepted. Artists under 18 will need a parent's or legal guardian's permission to enter.
All proceeds from "OMG! Who Arted?" go the Sisters' "Play Fair!" program.
In 1982 as San Francisco's health scene had hit crisis levels, registered nurses Sister Florence Nightmare and Sister Roz Erection joined with a team of Sisters and medical professionals to create "Play Fair!", the first safer sex pamphlet to use plain sex-positive language, practical advice and humor to educate people on the responsibility of their sexual health.
The Abbey of St.Joan continues the duty of teaching the message that everyone has a responsibility to themselves and their sex partners to stay safe and Play Fair. "Condom Saviors" and "Passion Packs" carry supplies and helpful information, all of which are free for the asking.
The Conversation w/ John Boylan
Tuesday, 11/15/11. 7-9pm FREE
This month: In Search of the Fifth Estate.
Boylan - "The idea of a fifth estate is an extension of the old fourth estate, a popular name for the press. (In the United States, the first three estates are the three branches of the federal government; historically in Europe, they were the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners, as in the House of Commons.) The fourth estate is often seen as a check on the power of the other three, but we know how that goes. Enter the fifth estate, seen as an engaged, aroused, interconnected, and organized and vocal citizenry."
"So what does that effective civil society, that fifth estate, look like? Is it people camped along the fringes of the SCCC campus? Or is it something more? I’ve long had ambivalence about the value of taking to the streets. Maybe it’s latent American puritanism, but street actions just seem too easy: you just show up, and maybe you carry a cardboard sign. Where’s the work, the hours spent on telephone trees, the canvassing, the substance of social organizing? Politics, the affairs of the people, takes hard work. Doesn’t it?"
"And of course, there’s the perennial question in this series: what role does art play in this world of a dynamic, engaged civil society? I love street theater and giant puppets, but the question nags: are they about something more than entertaining and cheering on the already committed? What role do they have in building a vital fifth estate?"
The Breadline: Poetry and Performance Series
Wednesday 11/16/11. 7-10pm FREE
L O V E T O N E: Rare Classics Dj Night. 9pm FREE
THANKSGIVING POTLUCK 11/23/11 6pm.