By Louise Carson
Who would expect to find wonderful art and crafts among the commercial shops at South Hill Mall? Over 23,000 square feet of the former Office Depot are dedicated to Karen Lucas’ expanded show at the south end of the mall near the JC Penney store. Entrances are on the inside and from the parking lot. Following mall hours, the show goes through December.
Eatonville artists are David Craig with his portraits of Native Americans, Terry Carson with iron work, both useful and decorative, and Karen St. Clair with inspiring watercolors. Most artists are from Puyallup and surrounding areas, but there are others from Raymond, Anderson Island, Centralia and West Linn, Ore.
Artists are at their booths on an irregular basis and all art is sold through a central register. Shoppers should be able to contact artists through cards left at their display, and Karen Lucas – of Lucas Art and Frame in Graham – is willing to answer questions, either in person or through her phone at 253-847-3235.
Becci Crowe, renowned artist and advocate for wildlife conservation and preservation of world cultures, utilizes a technique called pointillism, with tiny pens creating immediacy. Thousands of tiny dots bring character to the portraits of the Maasai culture.
The work of Ryan Perry of Puyallup is impressive in many ways. “African Thunder” is a head-on portrait of an elephant in a “bigger than life” 48 inches by 60 inches. It feels bigger than life, anyway, when you stand in front of it. It’s powerful to see his work adjacent to Crowe’s. The impact of these animals, mostly in Africa, done by two renowned artists with different styles gives these beautiful and mostly endangered animals the sanctity they deserve.
Along with these significant works, visitors will also find one-of-a-kind pot holders and other handcrafted gifts. The hand-decorated Christmas tree balls are large, beautiful and reasonably priced. Recipients of any of these as gift items at this art show would not guess they came from the mall, but that’s where you’ll find them.
Classes and receptions round out the art show. There are two classrooms where a list of activities are held, from watercolors to wood burning. Local writer and artist Shannon Winslow will have a “Happy Birthday” gathering on Dec. 16 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. to honor Jane Austen; Dec. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m., Dee Dee Murry, animal artist, and Hallie the painting dachshund will demonstrate. Kids will enjoy this. Hallie is blind and deaf and earns her keep with art and shares for fund-raisers.
If people or their dogs get inspired, there are art supplies for sale near the counter. Plenty of classes are also available. Pick up a schedule at the show.