Oct. 27, 2014
Imagination, art, music and the Day of the Dead come together in La Conner, Wash. and Whidbey Island artist Kathleen Otley is one of the chosen few.
Otley will present her unique willow wall sculptures at the 30th annual Arts Alive! Invitational Show in La Conner on Halloween weekend. Art’s Alive! opens Friday, Oct. 31 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 2 at various locations in downtown La Conner.
Otley’s willow shields will appear alongside the work of 12 other highly-regarded Northwest artists at Maple Hall at 104 Commercial Ave, with festivities that also include artists’ demonstrations and live music.
For more than 25 years, this artist has been creating exquisite bundles of woven willow sticks that have become her signature sculpted design. Her experiments with willow over the years have led to a sophistication of product with a decidedly Northwest flare, which has brought her the national recognition necessary to receive an invitation from the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner.
“The juxtaposition of the primitive and the contemporary in these willow sculptures symbolizes our inner connectedness with earlier times, when the spiritual journey was the measure of a life,” she said.
Otley’s artistic career has included a long list of public commissions, including most recently, to design a sculpture for the Peace Island Medical Center in Friday Harbor, Wash. and one for the Black Butte Ranch Visitors Center in central Oregon. Most notably, Otley was commissioned to create an ornament for the 1993 White House Christmas tree, which is now part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection of contemporary crafts.
The annual Arts Alive! celebration in La Conner has its roots in the local artist population looking for new avenues to showcase local art. Beyond the Invitational Show is the additional “Open Show,” featuring local artists, previous invitational artists and emerging artists, while La Conner’s bevy of local merchants will also get in on the act with their own art shows in the shops, including more demonstrations, receptions and music.
Don’t miss this spectacle of Halloween fun for the whole family, with its infusion of excellent art that’s sure to please the most savvy art collectors, as well as plenty of tricks and treats for the kids!
Everyone is welcome to the opening Artists’ Reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31 at Maple Hall. The celebration continues from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2. Admission is free for all days, including the reception on Halloween.