What began as the Vashon Arts League in 1949 by Island artists Fred Eernisse, Norman Edson and Art Hansen with the simple vision to showcase art created by Islanders. What eventually became the Vashon Associated Arts (VAA), a loosely knit group dedicated to the arts, without a solid place to call home for a couple decades, the organization nearly disbanded but rescued by Chris (Wheeler) Beck, who created the current organization we know today, complete with board of directors. In 1988, they purchase the building that Islanders came to know as the Blue Heron Art Center.
31 years in their home at the Blue Heron Arts Center, and VAA has grown into their large building to 8 full time employees, 120 classes offered every year, 40 events per year, a full-fledged dance program, monthly rotating gallery shows and much more. You can view their complete Board and Staff on the website.
Warren Pope: Red Lines, Blood Lines
Meet the Artist & Opening Reception: Friday, February 7, 2020 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Pope’s art explores matters of systemic inequities. This show is an abstract art exhibition that examines the historical and contemporary realities of redlining (refusing to loan money to people in areas with populations of color), displacement and American slavery trade. He also shows art inspired and in homage to his ancestors in Africa. With a minimalist style, Pope combines three dimensional art with basic visual elements such as lines, shapes, and color to explore redlining history.
With an international influence, a socially conscious mentality, a firm view for cultural equity and a dash of forwardness, Warren Pope has crafted an established visual art career inside and outside of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Munich, Germany of a Czech Mother and an African American Father, Warren and his two brothers were often ridiculed and beloved by their communities for their art and outward connection to social equality and justice. Like many military children, Warren was exposed to cultural difference, social customs and awkward experiences of acceptances and domestic indifference. Popes father, John Pope, served in the military and for a time was stationed at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington.
Popes artistic interest was first influenced by his Mother Ann Pope, when she fashioned his fascination for art while his father’s family and cultural heritage educated him on his American and African ancestry. Traveling between Harlem New York, North Carolina, Tacoma Washington, Kansas and Germany, Pope was able to absorb the vast difference between his social and ethnic experiences.
Instead of bedtime stories, Popes mother would draw illustrations with wild imaginative plots that began the foundation of his creative conceptual and artistic thinking. For Pope, this formed a formidable ability to compose his art into direct visual narratives utilizing a minimalist style of directness for various complex cultural commentaries.
Warren Pope is an alum of the Univ. of Puget Sound, and has lived in Seattle for over 30 years. His career has involved twenty years of graphic art dealership associated with the Mack Gallery and environmental design landscaping. His personal art has been privileged to be shown and supported by two major galleries in the Pacific Northwest, one being the American Art Company and the other being Gallery Mack. His show “Blood Lines, Time Lines, Red Lines” opened at the Northwest African American Museum to rave reviews, and extended an extra month due to popular demand.
His motto has always been, “it’s not what you do but the company that you do it with”.
Vashon Center for the Arts mission is to make quality arts education affordable for all with a scholarship fund providing support leaving no student turned away for lack of funds.
Vashon Center for the Arts Education program believe that art has the power to ignite creativity, build confidence, foster connections and change lives. The Blue Heron Education Center is home to a bevy of classes in drawing, painting, theater, photography, ceramics, creative writing, music, movement and more. Vashon’s talented artists are the community’s richest resource therefore VCA partners with 45-50 local artists to offer over 90 classes and camps per year to students of all ages and abilities.