CURRENT MUSEUM EXHIBITS
Wearable Art - The Best of Seven Years (October 2017 - February 2018)
The increasingly dark days of autumn will be brightened by the Wearable Art Exhibit at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History. The exhibit opens October 6, featuring pieces from Wearable Art Shows from 2011 to the present displays 21 pieces of sculpture worn on the human body from Port Townsend's seven years of Wearable Art Shows.
The Wearable Art Show was started by Debbi Steele, founder and past chairperson of the Jefferson County Community Foundation's Fund for Women and Girls, as a fundraiser for that organization. Steele lived in Ketchikan, Alaska before moving to Port Townsend, where there is a very successful Wearable Art Show.
Sculptor Margie McDonald has been part of the Wearable Art Show since the very first show as an artist and as artistic director for the last two.
Drawings for Wearable Art PieceWhen the wearable art pieces move from the runway to the museum they'll transition from costumes on living models to works that will no longer have motion - but there are compensations. "You get to look up close and see the quality and the things that are used. Things are well made in this show," said McDonald. Visitors will also see sketches and swatches that are submitted for entry into this juried show.
"There's a lot of thought put into these pieces. I think showing some of the process and skills involved in creating a piece is really important," said exhibit designer Becky Schurmann for the Jefferson County Historical Society. Wearable Art Dress
One of the challenges in staging the exhibit was making forms that would show all the features of each piece. There were wings to be extended, very heavy costumes to be supported, and elaborate head pieces to be displayed. Schurmann created 20 manikins to support this sampling of work from the past seven wearable art shows.
The museum is open daily from 11am to 4pm, except for January and February when winter hours apply. There is an admission fee of $6 for adults and $5 for seniors. The exhibit ends in February.
Cabinet of Curiosities (through September 2017)
Mastodon bones, bustle parts, a still, extremely disconcerting medical implements, birds frozen in time, and the stories behind them... It's weird and it's wonderful.
“Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors and Patrons,” opened March 24. The exhibit features artists who benefited from the encouragement and support of these long-time Port Townsend citizens.
Many pieces are from the Simpson’s collection, which are mostly from the mid-80s. Works of the some of the same artists from later in their careers are also featured. “By showing some of their more contemporary work we get a little bit of a survey of those artists and how their work has progressed,” said curator Ann Welch.
Artist's featured are Tom Wilson, Jo Ann Alber, Kate Jenks, Anne Hirondelle, Stephanie Lutgring, Stephen Yates, Linda Okazaki, Galen Garwood, and Ed Cain. Stephen Yates created a large painting, Navigator’s Strategy, specifically for the exhibit.
Pat and Peter Simpson were known for many things, Pat for her work at Centrum and running and Peter as the director of Port Townsend Film Festival, his writing, and his work at Community Action. Unless you’d been to their home, or were an artist, you may not have known that they were also serious art collectors.
The Simpsons donated the bulk of their collection to the Jefferson County Historical Society. Their son David loaned the family portraits to the museum for this exhibit.
“One of the things I discovered was that they had their hands and minds and hearts in almost every major organization, and minor organization, that was going on in Port Townsend. Over the years I think they left a big imprint on Port Townsend. If we could imagine what it would have been like here without them, the town would have been quite different,” said Coney.