Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cornish College Celebrated at Cascadia Art Museum

2/5/16 ink, colored pencils (marionettes made of kitchen ware by R. Bruce Inverarity)

The Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds has a new exhibit called “Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Centennial Tribute to Nellie Cornish and the Cornish College of the Arts.” Greg had an appointment in Edmonds, so I tagged along and had him drop me off there. It’s a well-organized exhibit of the visual and performance arts school in honor of its 100th anniversary.

Costume sketches
While I enjoyed viewing the paintings of mid-century northwest artists like Mark Tobey who were associated with Cornish, I was especially attracted to the small selection of sketches and sketchbooks that were included in the show. Most of the sketches were made as part of designing costumes for Cornish dance and drama performances. Maybe because I enjoy the creative process more than the finished product, I found it intriguing to view works-in-progress or half-baked concepts being worked out on the page.

Costume sketches by Mark Tobey
Cornish had the first marionette department in the country. My first sketch (top of page) was of an exhibit I was immediately attracted to: a stage set for “Z-739,” a surrealist marionette production by R. Bruce Inverarity in 1928. The marionettes were made of found pieces of kitchen ware – a cheese grater, some funnels, a strainer, a couple of bottle brushes!

My second sketch was of a sculpture made of cedar by George Tsutakawa called “Day Dream.” After that, I went through the museum more slowly and eventually made my way into a room of Ebba Rapp’s work, where I had several sculptures to choose from. Greg came to pick me up before I finished, but I started a sketch of “Rumor,” a humorous, two-sided sculpture of someone passing along some gossip. The photo shows one side, and when you walk around to the other side, the rumor is being passed on again.

It was a fine way to spend another cold winter morning! (If you have a museum membership that includes the North American Reciprocal Museum Association benefit – mine is through the Burke Museum – admission is free.)

2/5/16 colored pencils ("Day Dream" by George Tsutakawa)
"Rumor," a two-sided sculpture by
Ebba Rapp

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