BY ANNE BELOV
June 7, 2017
In my life as an artist, I have been the fortunate recipient of numerous mentors and influences. One of these talented people from whom I learned so much, passed away in May.
I met Kent Lovelace around 1981, the year I graduated with my MFA from the University of Washington. At the time, he owned Stone Press Gallery in Pioneer Square. His printmaking studio was in the back, complete with several lithography presses and the stones used to make prints. I had wandered in to see the current show, got to talking with the woman staffing the gallery, and before I knew it, I had an invitation to show her my work for possible gallery representation.
Living in Seattle, being an artist, trying to make enough of a living, is a time-consuming endeavor, and like most friendships in your twenties and thirties, ours tended to wax and wane, depending on proximity. We were occasionally represented by the same galleries. He introduced me to a gallery owner he showed with, where I ended up showing for more than a decade.
In the mid-’90s, I did three more lithographs at his printmaking studio, which, by this time, had shed the gallery and moved to the north end of Lake Union, near Gasworks park. By then, I had moved to Whidbey Island, and again our friendship phased out for a while, still crossing paths at the occasional gallery opening. Doing these lithographs with Kent led me to further explorations in printmaking.
I can’t remember how I found out he had moved to Whidbey, or even when, but the artist community on Whidbey has its own inter-webs, so it was inevitable that our paths would cross again.
The other evening, at a Whidbey Life Magazine get-together, Harry Anderson reflected that there were many people who had moved to Whidbey for the “second act” of their lives. It made me think about Kent again. He spent decades being a printmaker, but eventually, he was ready to move beyond that into full-time painting.
You could say that Kent had gone well past the second act and was on the fourth or fifth, as he moved from printmaker, to gallery owner, back to contract printing for other artists, and then to painting and a new life on Whidbey Island.
The things I remember about Kent are these: He was always generous with praise for other artists’ work, he was kind, and he was never afraid to take his art in a completely new direction from where it had previously traveled.
I am grateful that I was one of the many satellites in his orbit, and that his paintings will survive him. I know people will miss his ongoing creative work and his personal presence. I am sad that I will never have another “Payless moment” in the produce aisles with him, to talk about art, to gossip about mutual acquaintances, and to experience the day-to-day turnings of life as the days whoosh by.
His early exit was a cruel one. I’m so sorry there are no more acts in his play.
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Anne Belov lives and works on Whidbey Island, in an undisclosed location. Her paintings can be seen at The Rob Schouten Gallery in Langley and at The Fountainhead Gallery on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. You can find her peculiarly political panda satire at Your Brain on Pandas, and her books at Moonraker Books in Langley or on Amazon. Feel free to follow on Twitter where she is @pandachronicle and visit The Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire on Facebook. Her latest collection of panda satire is The Panda Chronicles Book 7: Don’t Call Mee Boo Boo has just been released! She has just launched a new Kickstarter project, to raise money for an art inspiring (and panda cuddling) trip to China!
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