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When Dance and Paint Collide – Orcas Island Artist Offers a New Perspective

With the busy holidays behind us, now is the perfect time to visit the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA) in Friday Harbor. The museum opened its current exhibit, the annual Artists’ Registry Show in mid-December. The exhibition is open to the public and features over 80 local artists, from each of the San Juan Islands.

When you visit be sure to spend some time viewing the work of artist, Jennifer Jones. Jones resides on Orcas Island and is exhibiting her work for the first time at SJIMA. Her work, J-2, depicts a deep blue-grey turbulent seascape. The work is on a large canvas, 48” by 96,” and is embellished with a pair of worn ballet slippers hanging off one corner. The soles of the slippers are covered in the blue-grey colors seen on the canvas. There is a surprising reason for this. Jones painted the piece entirely in ballet slippers as part of a five-piece series done in a similar manner.

From left: Artist Jennifer Jones, "Ballet Slipper"

Jones, a classically trained ballet dancer in addition to being a visual artist, says, “Before I started this series, I knew I wanted to create based on the waves, nature and the color palette that I see each day from my home on Massacre Bay.” The artist begins her unique method by envisioning her subject and then selecting a play list to inspire the dance used. For this series, Jones’ keen interest in southern resident orcas has been her muse. She then picks a color palette, turns on her music and moves onto the canvas. “Each song is selected to encourage the ballet and paint to interact cohesively and create a tangible piece of art. The dance may change, the colors may be different, but the one constant is the trained movement-the thing that lives within my muscles, mind, and body.” says Jones.

Jones’ J-2 is just one of the many impressive artworks on display at this years’ Artists’ Registry Show, open to the public through February 21, 2022.



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

This show is sponsored 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.

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