Artwork by Southwest Washington and Oregon artists.

May 2017 Featured Artists

Join us at First Thursday, May 4th to meet the featured artists Irene Bacon, Masami Kusakabe, and April Showers Bring May Flowers Display .

During the May 4th, First Thursday from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, enjoy the music of John Henry and help us celebrate some great artists’ work.

Irene Bacon – Painter

Irene Bacon

Irene Bacon

My original landscapes, seascapes and florals are based on my own or family members photographs of places near home and from travels in Europe and the United States. I like to paint in a realistic style so my pictures can tell a story and invite viewers to enjoy their own memories of familiar places, or spark an interest in visiting a new place.

My first “oil paintings” were “paint by number” creations. These were done in the early 1960’s and included a reproduction of Joshua Reynolds’ “Age of Innocence”. About 1986, I began painting ceramics. Sometime during the next several years, a chance meeting with a friend prompted me to find out about art classes at the Broadway Gallery. I signed up for Gini Smith’s “Introduction to Art” class. I tried out several types of art media and found that oils suited me best. I joined an LCC sponsored Senior Painting classes, which at that time, were guided by Wilma Hackenberg. I continued with this ever-changing group until about 2010. I no longer paint ceramics, and instead, have been painting china and glass with the guidance of Marie Geisler.

I became a member of the Columbian Artists in 1994. As a member, I joined in Friday afternoon painting sessions at the Broadway Gallery. During those sessions, I learned from the other members who were part of the group.

My art teachers have included Gini Smith, Beth Bailey, Alma Cain, Mabel White (glass and China), and Marie Geisler (glass and china). Most of my training has been practice and “trial and error”.

My other art interests include calligraphy, china and glass painting, photo album/scrapbooks, and art projects with young school children. Recently I have been working with my four granddaughters, one of whom is planning a career in art.

I am an active member of the Columbian Artists Association. I have served as President, Secretary, and Spring Show Chairperson. I am a retired elementary school music teacher and currently volunteer as a classroom aide at Rose Valley Elementary School in Kelso. I have been an active member of the Chancel choir at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Longview for 40 years. I have been director of the Jubilation Bells since 1993.


Masami Kusakabe – Japanese Art and Jewelry

portrait of the artist

Masami Kusakabe

Creating beautiful things is the joy of my life.

I am a Japanese paper and jewelry artist. Creating bead jewelry using swarovski crystals and Japanese glass beads has been an important part of my life as long as I can remember.

After I came to the U.S, my primary focus has been expending oriental art and culture such as Japanese paper art using Washi, “Wa” means Japanese and “shi” means paper.

Originally the term Washi paper referred to Japanese handmade paper produced in a traditional manner that is stronger and more durable than most ordinary paper. It provides a great base to use in arts and crafts.

I started collaborating with bead and Washi paper and making jewelry, frames and another fancy items. One of the Japanese traditional paper art frames which is named, “Oshie” uses Washi paper. It can be made like a 3D frame as figures, nature and Japanese/Chinese character,”Kanji” which has its own meaning in each character.

My ideas come from reflecting on my own spiritual Japanese, American and a lot of my international friends.

My passion would be that my artwork develops widely while showing and sharing my Japanese art with many people.

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