Island Time

Froggwell art show highlights art, garden

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Some traditions just get better every year.

The Froggwell Biennale 2012 Art Show is one of them.

In 2004, painter Ann Belov had the idea of staging an art show that showcased hand-pulled printmaking methods.

“Many people don’t understand the printmaking process as fine art,” said Belov. “I got the idea to do a show that highlights the different printmaking processes – etching, woodcuts, lino cuts, monoprints and lithography – as well as the different results.”

The 8th Froggwell Biennale 2012 art show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3-5, at the beautiful Froggwell Gardens on Double Bluff Road near Freeland.

Froggwell Gardens has been featured on the Whidbey Island Garden Tour and is often the setting for special events and weddings.

Surrounded by thoughtfully planted, mature shrubs and trees punctuated by perennials, the unique, cedar-shingled house at Froggwell was designed and built in 1978 by owner Ralph Hastings, an architect and friend of Belov’s.

The garden is always part of the show, Belov said.
“At first, we didn’t realize the potential for staging sculpture in the garden as well as showing the prints and paintings inside the house,” he said. “But it was a natural progression to use the garden as a backdrop for outdoor sculpture. Some people are as interested in the garden as an art form as they are in the fine art.”

“I think of the garden as one of the sculptures featured in the show, and it’s a knockout every time,” Belov said.

A core group of artists have been with the Froggwell show since the beginning, and a few years ago, Belov decided to include different guest artists each year to keep the show fresh.

“Buffy Cribbs, Gail Gwinn, Teresa Saia, Sue Taves, Bruce Morrow, Briony Morrow-Cribbs, Sharon Spencer, and Suzanne Schlicke are regulars at Froggwell,” Belov said.

“This year we’ve invited clay sculptor Al Tennant and his wife, Marianne Brabanski, who paints and makes prints. We’ve also included Linnane Armstrong, who does linoleum and wood block prints.”

Another addition to the show is offering artist demonstrations each day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Gail Gwinn owns a portable etching press, so Gwinn, Morrow and Buffy Cribbs will take turns using it, while Linnane Armstrong will demonstrate creating linoleum block prints. Sculptor Sue Taves demonstrates stone-carving techniques throughout the weekend.

“The primary focus of the show is to celebrate printmaking as an affordable way to collect fine art,” Belov said. “We want to put real art within the reach of everybody.”

Five to six hundred visitors, from both on and off-Island, make their way to the free Froggwell show each year, she said.

“It’s been a well-regarded and well-loved show since the beginning.”

Froggwell Gardens is located at 5508 Double Bluff Rd. south of Freeland. For information about the individual artists and their work, visit froggwell.wordpress.com or whidbeyartsource.org.

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