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Northwind Arts Center: Sea Rites
Sunday, July 21, 2019

Northwind Arts Center, the peninsula's visual, literary and performance art hub, presents Sea Rites

Rebecca Welti and Rebecca Wild focus on diverse relationships between art and nature to guide their work. Welti uses a microscope to examine the unseen world of plankton and carves their naturally sculptural forms in wood. With prose and poetry, Wild melds graceful letterforms and paint to create a meditative series of oceanic reflections.

Rebecca Welti - Artist Statement
Having spent most of my life carving wood at the ocean's edge, the tide tables provide a reassuring daily rhythm, and the smells and salty flavors have become essential elements of my artistic language. Local forests supply the alder for my sculptures, and the marine life itself allows me an endless variety of subjects and research. With this exhibit and all my work in the future, I am focusing on the unsung realm of the plankton. These microscopic heroes provide most of Earth's oxygen, as well as, food for all the oceans' creatures. Yet, they remain invisible to most people. My artistic translations of their forms and science will hopefully open eyes and inspire others to love and protect the organisms that make life on Earth possible.

Rebecca Wild - Artist Statement
Trained as a calligrapher, my work is informed by words and the action of writing. In this series entitled Sea Rites, the colors, forms and textures of the Salish Sea are woven together with selected prose and poetry. Each piece begins with handwritten words that reflect the mystery, the majesty and the profundity of our powerful yet fragile marine environment. These words are not always legible in the end, but they are present and form the armature on which I build the painting. As Annie Dillard wrote "The sea pronounces something over and over, in a hoarse whisper: I cannot quite make it out."

I work simultaneously with drawing, painting and calligraphy tools. It is a slow process of writing and painting; of adding, removing, and revealing. There are many layers and each one informs the next. It is a lesson in restraint, for a portion of every decision I make is visually present in the end.

My images are an amalgam of both the natural world and the contrived. I am greatly inspired by barnacles alive or dead. Their forms, the marks and shells they leave when they die. Those soft whites. They are exquisite and fascinating creatures. If you look closely you will see their delicate shapes that I coax from the background with a pencil and pen. They find their way into most of my art.

These are quiet and meditative works. They don't shout. They ask the viewer to pause, to focus your eyes and explore below the surface. Just like the sea they are full of minutiae waiting discovery.

The exhibition runs from July 4th through July 28th.

Opening Reception and Art Walk Saturday, July 6th, from 5:30-8 p.m.

Art Talk –Sunday July 7th, 1:00 p.m.

Exhibit hours are Wednesday through Monday, 11:30 – 5:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

Location Northwind Arts Center, 701 Water St, Port Townsend, WA, 98368
Contact 360-379-1086, info@northwindarts.org
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