Over the last 10 years, the city has adopted several economic development strategies to promote the vitality of Stanwood's Main Street business districts and neighborhoods. A substantial amount of community volunteer effort went into crafting a vision for Stanwood's future. Using guidance from this work, the City Council adopted the City Beautification Action Plan via Resolution 2020-14 on December 10, 2020.
One element of the City Beautification Action Plan is Wayfinding Signage which includes design and installation of decorative/seasonal banners in the downtown and uptown districts. Banners will be displayed around Stanwood, including 90th Ave NW, Viking Way, and 102nd Dr.
The city has partnered with the Stanwood Camano Arts Advocacy Commission to implement the Banner Program. The Banner Program features local artists in Stanwood and Camano. Learn more about the SCAAC, the artwork, and the artists below.
Stanwood Camano Arts Advocacy Commission (SCAAC) builds community by partnering, educating, celebrating, and advocating for the arts. Formed in 2017 as a hub for our local artists to meet, collaborate and coordinate calendars, SCAAC has grown into an active organization working to integrate art into all aspects of the community.
SCAAC has partnered with the City of Stanwood to facilitate, coordinate, and manage calls for art, develop public art policies, and ensure fair compensation for artists. Our first project together, a city beautification endeavor of more than 30 banners printed with the paintings, drawings, and photography of local artists, will be hung from light posts all around town in the Spring of 2022.
Bezalel-Levy is the combined signature of Chaim Bezalel and Yonnah Ben Levy, a husband and wife collaboration. We have been collaborating since 1990 on mixed media paintings combining photography and oils, oil pastels, or acrylics on rice paper, canvas, or linen. In 2002 we opened Stanwood House Gallery & Art Center, in Stanwood, Washington in a restored, hundred-year-old landmark building to which we added a modern, architecturally designed ceramics studio.
Painting is always a relationship between the painter and the subject and the materials. Our technique also includes the relationship between ourselves. The photographer submits to having his composition painted over, sometimes obscured, and the painter is content to paint her partner’s image, although she gets to select which she wants to paint. In many of the paintings, the underlying photograph shows through in some areas, or the frame of the photograph is maintained. When we began, we put aside all of our individual artistic pursuits in order to create this collaboration, and now we are secure enough to work both individually and together. So basically, we are like three artists.
Yonnah Ben Levy was raised in Seattle, Washington. She attended Whitman College and received her B.A. in art from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she studied at the Corcharan Gallery under a Zen master ceramicist. She received a Masters of Art for Teachers at the University of Washington. She has been a professional artist since 1976. Her bronze sculptures and paintings of wildlife and birds have been exhibited in galleries and museums such as the Museum of Native American Art in Spokane. In 1981 she moved to Israel and worked for artists and craftsmen in various media including illuminated parchments, ceramics, jewelry, woodcarving, and sculpture. Since 1989, she has been collaborating with her husband, Chaim Bezalel, on their own original work. She also continues pursuing her own sculpture and ceramic work. She taught art in the Israeli school system for ten years. In 2002, Yonnah and Chaim opened Stanwood House Gallery and Art Center in Stanwood, Washington. In addition to exhibiting there and elsewhere, she runs a ceramics program out of her studio.
Chaim Bezalel was born in New York City and grew up in Dobbs Ferry, NY. He received a B.S. in Radio, TV, and Film from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. After graduating, he spent several years on his own photography, working at a variety of jobs, some of them for photo essays. In 1988 he moved to Israel and established Bezalel-Levy Editions which published his and his wife's work in various media. He has published eight books which include art, essays, and poetry. He has also been published in several anthologies. He currently works with painting, ceramics, and mixed media. He and his wife live and maintain studios in Stanwood, WA, and Ashkelon, Israel.
Banner Inspiration: Though we now live in Stanwood, when we came back to America from Israel, we lived on the south end of Camano Island, high bank waterfront. The starfish are mixed media with encaustics. They were found on our beach. The swing was on our neighbor's beach. The rosehips are from English Boom.
My name is Anita Doran. I cannot paint. But I can take photos! 97% of my photos are taken right from my porch. I have such a beautiful view that I’m so grateful for. The day changes every day and I get to see new surroundings every day. So many things that must be made into a picture.
My personal and aesthetic connection to nature is evident in my watercolors. Painting with the plein air group, Roaming Artists (Camano Island, WA) for many years has given me wonderful access to waterfronts, private gardens, and farms. There is so much visual stimulation in our area! My work evokes memories and experiences.
I have exhibited in many juried shows, most recently, “The de Young Open,” de Young Museum, S.F.; “Yosemite Renaissance,” Yosemite National Park Museum Gallery; “The Signature American Watermedia Exhibition (CA;) Arts at the Port, Fine Art Exhibit (WA.) Selected non-profit organizations benefitting from my work include the Museum of Northwest Art; Karla Matszke Gallery; the Camano Center; Heroes for the Homeless; Camano Center (WA;) Muir Land Trust; and Office of the Mayor, City of Concord, CA, supporting school music programs.
I have volunteered to teach art in CA, OR, and WA schools, and have been the featured artist/lecturer for the California Watercolor Association. My watercolor paintings have been published: Watercolor Magazine; Dusty Cellars Winery (WA) label art; “Splash 11 – New Directions, The Best of Watercolor,” North Light Books and F+W Media; Watercolor Artist Magazine; and “A Walk Into Abstracts, Vol. 6;” Sue St. John. I am the Coordinator of the Roaming Artists, (Camano Island, WA.)
You may see my paintings at Valley Art Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA; Camano Center, the Roaming Artists Show, Camano Island, WA; in private and corporate collections in the U.S and Europe; theartistsnetwork.com; YouTube.com; and juanitahagbergwatercolors.com.
Banner Inspiration: There are so many interesting things to paint on Camano Island and in Stanwood. For about 18 years or so, I have painted “en Plein air” with the Roaming Artists. We are so fortunate to be able to have access to people’s gardens, beach fronts, farms, forests, and open land. The generous nature of residents, eager to share the beauty and unique character of their places, is gratifying. The many public access areas that we have provides me with ample painting inspiration. My watercolors capture the spirit of beaches such as Iverson, and English Boom. The woman chilling out in the water captures a spontaneous moment on a hot day, relaxing with nature. The light in the summer makes me feel uplifted, and I hope that viewers also feel that. Recently, I looked out my studio window and was struck by the rhythm and pattern of a young madrona. I always think of these lovely trees as so indicative of nature on Camano. I love the way these trees feel and look, and I want others to enjoy them, too.
Karla Matzke, BA, MA, MFA, a sculptor and painter, moved to Washington State in 1985 from New York. Starting in 1989, she co-owned a gallery on Camano Island with artist Jack Gunter for 19 years. Jack and Karla painted the iconic mural at the Stanwood Pavilion. In 2002, she bought a 10-acre property and built a gallery. Karla wanted a peaceful place to display art both indoors and outdoors. When she couldn’t afford to have someone help her create the sculpture park, she rented the tractors and heavy equipment herself and cleared pathways through the densely forested area, leaving as much of the natural fauna. In 2008, the gallery (3000 square feet) and 10-acre sculpture park opened to the public.
Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park located at 2345 Blanche Way, Camano Island, WA. changes its unique displays every six weeks and the public can attend a variety of shows, Annual Art auctions, retreats, workshops, and art classes throughout the year. Karla has been active in the Stanwood/Camano region. She founded the Camano Arts Association, help to re-establish the Camano Chamber of Commerce, took part in the beautification of the entrance to the “Welcome to Camano” at Terry’s Corner, and where one of her 14’ stainless steel sculptures is located. She assisted in establishing “Freedom Park” on Camano Island. She is currently on the City of Stanwood’s steering committee and Vice President of the Stanwood Camano Arts Advocacy Commission involved with the future New Art Center to be located in Stanwood’s West District.
Banner Inspiration: Each barn and grain elevator presents a unique character and personality. Through the simplicity of form and function, these monolithic structures stand as reminders of the importance of our farmers and our scenic rural landscape in the surrounding Stanwood and Camano region.
Although I do work with painting media and create sculptures in stainless steel, I find that pastel allows me to blend color, creating the moody ambiance surrounding these rural structures.
Art reviewer, Ron Glowen, described my work by suggesting, that “sunlight accentuates the ends of shadows and the geometry of the buildings. These paintings are reminiscent of the 1920ʹs era American style known as Precisionism.”
“There is so much to learn by walking in nature at all hours of the day and discerning the subtle color variations in light and shadow.”
Barbara Noonan is an award-winning pastel artist who delights in interpreting nature’s light in her paintings. Using confident mark-making in saturated pure pigment sticks, each stroke glides over the finely textured paper and brings life to her subject matter. Daily beach walks, painting en Plein aire, and years of photography inform her work - both representational and abstract.
When not on Camano Island, Barbara lives on Saint George Island, Florida, where she trades driftwood beaches and fir trees for sand and pines. She is a Signature Member of the Northwest Pastel Society and the Pastel Society of the West Coast, as well as a member of Women Painters of Washington.
This artist’s award-winning paintings are found in books, magazines, and galleries in Washington and Florida. Her work has been collected nationally and is included in Seattle’s Virginia Mason Hospital as well as in the Kent City Art Collection. Barbara offers professional painting demos for regional art societies and juries art exhibitions and offers private lessons. Her next exhibition will be at the Camano Island Studio Tour in May 2022.
Resha Hanson is a muralist, fine artist, and graphic designer currently based near her roots in the Pacific Northwest. Her artistic upbringing nurtured her abilities but the gloomy skies and Seattle’s cold weather had her seeking sunshine. After earning her BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Hawaii, world travels filled her soul with rich experiences that continue to inspire her work.
Whether it be a massive mural, a miniature oil painting, or a design project, Resha’s love of color is evident and intentionally integrated. Her training in design influences her painting, resulting in beautiful compositions that combine graphic qualities with fine art. Her innate attention to detail and her happy spirit is fundamental to her work and she currently enjoys exploring landscapes, animals, and food as subject matter. Altogether these form her unique interpretation of the world.
Banner Inspiration: My current body of work explores food. Each piece is based on the beautiful fruits and vegetables of this earth or healthy alternatives to comfort foods. My passion for this stems from my daily practice of preparing wholesome, delicious, and nutritious foods for my family. I’ve also always had an affection for mother nature. I see each plant, flower, fruit, or vegetable as an awe-inspiring work of art in and of itself. I enjoy painting that beauty.
This submission is a compilation of three separate oil paintings. I used the scans and digitally separated each piece. Then I placed them together to create this design.
Collage artist and nature lover, Tasha Smith has been grounded in nature since she can remember. Tasha has been hitting the trails, hiking, and backpacking in the Oregon and Washington Cascades since she could walk. The natural world is where she feels the most alive and connected. She would take it all in, feeling joyful and curious, and continues to do so now as an artist. Tasha actively uses nature to not only inspire her floral and landscape work but as part of her process. Tasha uses local flora and fauna in her work by creating monoprints on a silicone printing plate. You can find her regularly foraging for ferns, leaves, grasses, or flowers to create texture and interest in her paper. These colorful paper prints are then incorporated into her art.
Time in her home studio is spent mostly ripping and gluing. She starts with an acrylic under-painting on a birch panel. Once satisfied with her image, she proceeds to rip and glue paper. The paper has been painted and printed using acrylic paint to bring color, vibrancy, and longevity to the piece. The result looks like a bright and colorful painting, but on closer inspection, the viewer discovers more. It is a painted paper collage!
Tasha graduated from Oregon State University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing and a Minor in Fine Art. That education has served her well in the past but is a perfect fit for her career as a fine artist.
In 2008, Tasha became a mom and committed fully to the role of mother, wife, and eventually homeschooler. Her primary focus for the last fourteen years has been growing strong, capable, and joyful daughters.
Tasha and her family moved to Camano Island, Washington in 2018. With a dedicated studio space on Camano, Tasha has been able to devote time and space to daily art practice. Tasha took a step back from shows and sales for much of 2020 - 2021 in order to stay home with her three daughters as they worked remotely and homeschooled. The extra time in her home studio has been rewarding and she is ready to relaunch with her first collection- Bountiful. Tasha is a new artist and the cover artist on the Camano Arts Studio Tour on May 6 - 8, 14, and 15, 2022.
Banner Inspiration: I dream in paper! It’s an obsession, and flowers are my muse. The natural world is where I feel most alive, grounded, curious, and filled with joy. Bountiful celebrates big, bold, bodacious flowers that we find all around us here on Camano Island.
|Sharon Snelling||My name is Sharon Snelling and I live on Camano Island. I see my local heron flying by quite often to roost across the street. They are lovely big birds and so fun to paint.
I’m inspired by light, color, and contrast in my subjects. I’ve done many types of art during my life, but watercolor is the one that really speaks to me. Having lived all over the world, I’ve been inspired by the way color is used in different countries and cultures. When I look at an object which most people would see as shades of single color, I see the spectrum of colors which combine to enrich that subject.
I belong to CAA and SCAG. I was recently chosen to be one of the 12 artists to create art for the Stanwood Historical Society to be made into sets of cards this Fall.
|Susan Cohen Thompson||I have lived on Camano Island for almost 19 years with my husband Clay Thompson. We moved here from the Boston area where I worked as a freelance artist and designer and showed my paintings in galleries and nature sanctuaries.
My connection with nature was enhanced by journeys deep into the Amazon Rainforest and the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. My art is internationally published in books, on book covers and in articles on Earth wisdom. My paintings have shown in galleries and juried exhibitions throughout Washington. The Lightcatcher Museum, Arts Alive Invitational, Anacortes Arts Festival Juried Exhibitions, Scott Milo Gallery, Matzke Fine Art Gallery, Schack Art Center and Smith & Vallee Gallery are among the numerous venues that have featured my art. My studio is on the Camano Island Studio Tour.
Banner Inspiration: I chose these details of my paintings for their color, contrast, composition and connection to our land. Our forests, waterways and mountain views in the distance surround our growing fields and the birds that share the abundance of our local environment.
As a wildlife and nature artist, I enjoy wonderful possibilities. Moments of flight, or moments that capture the animal just before it flashes away. I try to capture actions that portray the character of the animal or bird in just the right natural setting. I paint in a style that is fluid and moving while retaining the accuracy of fur and feathers. Working in watercolor and gouache or acrylic, my goal is to show wildlife and the natural environment in ways that enrich our appreciation for the beauty of God’s Creation.
Bob Dunn’s art is found in private collections throughout the Northwest., California and Arizona. He has been the Featured Artist at Theler Wetlands and other birding sites. Bob has studied with Master Artists, Carl Brenders, Terry Isaak, Jack Hines, Adele Earnshaw and Joe Garcia.