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Painting in the Time of Covid – SJIMA Show Highlights

The great Duke Ellington once said, “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” Nowhere is this more evident than at the current Artists’ Registry Show at the San Juan Islands’ Museum of Art (SJIMA). While people have been learning to adapt to life during a global pandemic, our local artistic community has proven itself to be resilient and creative, not to mention prolific. The exhibit features the work of 80 artists from San Juan County, including 38 paintings in mediums of oil, acrylic, pastel and watercolor. These paintings present a stunning commentary on what art can do to lift spirits and remind us of what it’s like to be human.

How Local Artists Prevail

Neal Anderson, a Lopez Island Artist, is featuring an oil painting, this one on canvas, Violet Dress. A shop window is illustrated, featuring an elegant dress in the foreground and other clothing and mirrored reflections in the background. Anderson’s statement about the piece is, “Clothing and cloth is the second skin we put on and as such it carries with it a complex range of associations and emotions. Against the backdrop of an ever-increasing proliferation of images these dresses, busts and draperies attempt to hold our gaze.”

Pati Canton is a Friday Harbor-based watercolor painter who is presenting her artwork, Jan’s Sunflowers in this year’s Artists’ Registry Show. The painting is a vivid still life that features sunflowers in a terra cotta vase and ripe fruit against the backdrop of a brightly colored tablecloth. Canton says she finds inspiration in the natural beauty that surrounds the San Juan Islands. “Putting water and pigment down on a piece of paper is magical, as it constantly evolves as you develop the painting.”

Jakle’s Lagoon Revisited is a radiant work in pastels on La Carte board by Lopez Island artist, Steven R. Hill. Hill has captured the beauty of the iconic San Juan Island scene in dramatic jewel tones and rich earth hues. Of this painting, Hill says, “Painting en plein air has become my passion over the past several years. It gives me the chance to respond directly to light, form and subjects with total immersion and emotion as I work. The pastel medium allows a very quick response, using multiple color layering and an intense chromatic palette to push boundaries away from the expected.”

Glenn Hendrick’s Stealing the Sun is a silk painting, portraying a mythical bird-like figure and a glowing sun-orb. Hendrick, a San Juan Island artist, says, “I draw inspiration from my surroundings, current events, and an ever-growing language of personal symbols. This piece is part of an ongoing theme exploring existence within increasingly extreme conditions.”

Lopez Island artist, Gabriel Jacobs’ entry, Etigny, is a beautifully rendered watercolor, depicting what appears to be a centuries-old European church tower. It beckons the viewer a wonderful example of the use of light and color in painting. Jacobs states, “My watercolors are for the selfish reason of wanting to own the things I depict. Drawing them and painting them makes them mine even more than if I had possession of the item itself.”

San Juan Island artist, Annie Howell-Adams is showing her piece, Evening at South Beach,

a painting done in oil on aluminum. An evening beach scene depicting people gathered around a fire, the painting is vibrant and invites the viewer to join in the camaraderie. Howell-Adams, who is well known for her artworks in a variety of mediums says, “Around the islands, an inspired moment can present itself at any time. It could be at a beach, in a field or across the water. It is not an exaggeration to say there's a painting around every corner.”

Other artists exhibiting their paintings in the exhibit are Amanda Azous, Sherry S. Bell, Shannon Borg, Taylor Bruce, Winnie Brumsickle, Yvonne Buijs-Mancuso, Vivien Burnett, Pamela Coffey, Malina Dreyer, Alison Engle, Daniel Finn, Mary Gey-McCulloch, Alayne Goodheart, Beth Hetrick, Pamela Hoke, Jennifer Jones, Becky Kilpatrick, Lisa Lamoreaux, Sharon Lannan, Janice Maple, Marsha McAllister, Alisha Merrick, Robin Meyer, Joe Miller, Pamela Mills, Jan Murphy, Lisa Nash Lawrence, Dana Roberts, Jan Scilipoti, Teresa Smith, Bo Turnage, and Rudi Ann Weissinger.

Don’t wait-this cross-section of local talent closes February 21 at 5:00. Don’t miss an opportunity to see this diverse representation of art in the San Juan Islands! The Artists’ Registry Show is brought to us by The Honeywell Charitable Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission, San Juan Island Community Foundation, Town of Friday Harbor, Anonymous, Printonyx, Browne’s Home Center and Harbor Rentals.


Located in Friday Harbor at 540 Spring Street, admission to the museum is $10. SJIMA members and those 18 and under admitted free. Museum hours are Friday through Monday, 11-5. Mondays are Pay as You Can Days. For further information visit

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