The 2015 Festival will present a “wall of art” with more space, more artists, and more exciting visual works than ever. Robert Nelson is curating the display with the capable assistance of art professor Michael Caldwell from Seattle Pacific University.
Michael answers our questions about the wall in this article.
Who made the art?
These pieces are all made by local artists, names you may have seen at the Confluence Gallery or the Winthrop Gallery. Most of the art will be hand-painted. For variety this year, there may be some photographs. All the artists have been asked to contribute pieces that work in the context of a music Festival.
How does art relate to music?
Visual arts and performing arts both deal with the same notion, namely, how we perceive and interpret the world around us. Over the course of a lifetime, art may give you mutiple opportunities to explore and understand your world, and to change how you relate to it. I know that my life has been changed in several ways by specific paintings, or specific pieces of music, that gave me a different understanding of who I am as a person, and how I relate to others. Visual art and music work both work in that way.
How is the wall arranged?
The show will be hung in the academy style common to artistic displays of the 18th and 19th centuries in England and France. That style covers the wall with a profusion of paintings hung at different levels. Done properly, it makes a very exciting display. The artistic director follows two principles in deciding where to place each piece. First, the best pieces are set at eye level to generate maximum impact. Second, all the pieces are hung relative to each other in such a way that balances the overall color, texture, and appeal of the collage.
When can I see the wall?
The wall will be open 9 to 11am on concert days (July 23, 25, 28, 30 and August 1), and again starting at 6 pm when the grounds open for main-stage concerts. The Festival can accept cash or checks. Proceeds help support local artists and also the Festival. Purchased artwork must be left on display until the conclusion of the Festival on August 1.
Michael Caldwell has served as chairman of the art department and professor of art at Seattle Pacific University since 1970. He received his bachelor's of science and master's degree in fine arts from the University of Oregon-Eugene in the late 1960s.
Caldwell's work has been concentrated in the Pacific Northwest. In 2000, his painting The Grand Tetons from Christian Creek toured as one of the “Top 100” in the annual “Arts for the Parks” competition sponsored by the National Park Academy of the Arts and National Park Foundation. Caldwell's inspiration for the featured artwork was the light, color and grandeur of the Grand Tetons mountain range in Wyoming, by which Caldwell says he was “awestruck.”