- Hilltop Artists Exhibit
- Including: Douglas Burgess II, Daria Hembree, Jessica Hogan, Davis Rios,
- Luis Sanchez, Samantha Scalise, Tony Sorgenfrei, Sasha Tepper-Stewart
- August 5 to 28, 2022
Bainbridge Arts & Craft’s Hilltop Artists Exhibit is rather special. “Hilltop Artists” are those who have benefited from a youth development program in Tacoma, WA. Out of its 28 years as a non-profit it has grown to serve up to 650 students per year between the ages of 12 and 26. Founded in 1994 by glass artists Dale Chihuly and Kathy Kaperick, the program intensified its professional development of these young glass artists in a partnership with the internationally recognized Pilchuck Glass School in 2017 with residencies/workshops on their Stanwood, WA campus.
Exhibiting are eight Hilltop Artist alumni. The range of artworks on exhibit shows the diversity of the program itself. The programing allows the individuality of each artist to emerge past the basics. From images of chickens by David Rios, chickens inspired by his own brood, to Daria Hembree’s Japanese folklore inspired paintings on glass. Sasha Tepper-Stewart’s “Bee Mudra” presents us with a mandala of sorts comprised of six yellow and black striped bumble bees. Its title suggests that their spiritual life mission, in this particular eusocial order of bees, are meeting, planning for their hive, and perhaps far beyond.
With no less detail, Tony Sorgenfrei presents a number of his Mesoamerican inspired sculptures reflecting on his Mexican heritage and culture. Colorful elements, each has a life form: an insect (“Colony Seeking”), an (“Freshwater”), or reptile (“Feather”) mounted on bamboo, feather or other form. Pictured, “Colony Seeking,” is an animated grasshopper, apparently looking for its cloud. Ultimately, beyond the forms and colors, Sorgenfrei wants the viewer to consider history behind what seems obvious. A number of these artists base their work on their heritage, to understand themselves, find and project pride. Another artist, Douglas Burgess II, is Haida-Dakota-Umpqua from Alaska. He also “pays homage to his culture’s traditional practices in a more contemporary format.” At the age of 8 he was given his native name, Slay Sliinlaas, which means “creative hands.” He started at Hilltop at age 12, not unusual for this group of artists, and he too found his calling and his voice in the glass world.
The mission for Hilltop Artists tuition-free programming is: “Using glass art to connect young people from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds to better futures.” This show is an offshoot of a current exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum, “Gather: 27 Years of Hilltop Artists.”
The show, with 21 Hilltop alumni, was curated by fellow alumnus Tenton Quiocho. Quiocho was recently one of the competing glass blowers on season 3 (July 2022) of Blown Away on Netflix. “Gather” is on view at TAM until September 4. If you go, do not forget that the Museum of Glass is across the street in Tacoma, and it has a full working hot glass studio with featured glass artists working on their own artworks. Until then, see the exhibition at Bainbridge Arts & Crafts and the small sampling of the many forms this medium can take.
Bainbridge Arts & Craft Gallery
151 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island, WA
Open: Monday – Saturday 10 – 6 PM, Sunday 10 – 5 PM
CLICK HERE TO READ OTHER FIRST FRIDAY FOCUS & EBB and FLOW ARTICLES BY BILL
Ebb & Flow: Pete Saloutos Photography
Ebb & Flow: Three Visions of the Northwest with Brooke Borcherding, Taralee Guild & Paul Polson
Ebb & Flow: KidsUp: The Next Generation of Play
Ebb & Flow: The Art of Jan and Chris Hopkins
Ebb & Flow: “Threads of Connection” Jason Devinney and Caroline Cooley Browne
Ebb & Flow: Tracy Lang
ABOUT BILL BARAN-MICKLE: 2020 Island Treasure Awardee. Recently, Bill has enjoyed exhibiting in several international art biennial exhibitions. Of the three in which he has participated, he won Third Place for Sculpture from the European Confederation of Art Critics in the Chianciamo Biennale, at the Chianciano Art Museum in Italy in 2011, and First Place in Applied Arts in the London Biennale of 2013. In 2013 alone, he will have participated in eight exhibitions: from London to a two-person exhibition near home. In addition, Bill was asked to be a representative for CCAC’s exhibition celebrating 100 years of the Metals Department, and a mix of group shows in New York City, Miami, Seattle and Las Vegas. Bill is the designer of the 10 foot Equitorial Bowstring Sundial located at the Richie Observatory in Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island, WA and completed in 2015.