Holiday cheer at Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds | Arts & Appetite
Last updated 12/14/2018 at Noon
With its current exhibition, “Vintage Christmas Cards by Northwest Artists, 1909-1990,” Cascadia Art Museum shows us the personalized family holiday card before the age of photo greeting cards.
The cards are colorful, heartfelt, joyful and full of family and love, which also demonstrating incredible artistic ability and a range of detail in a painting, stencil, photograph or block print.
For this show, the center hall of the museum is lined with original holiday cards by well-known Northwest artists. You will recognize names of artists who have graced the walls of the museum during prior exhibitions, like George Tsutakawa, Danny Pierce, Peggy Strong, and even the current exhibit’s Soichi Sunami.
But in this exhibit, we see them in a new light as they chose to share good tidings during the holiday season, year after year.
One stenciled card by Helen Bitar and John S. Murphy encourages its recipients to “Protest against the rising tide of commercialization of Christmas.” Another by Marvin Howard beautifully depicts the Madonna and child in screenprint with orange, red, green and yellow.
A color block by Ernest Norling lovingly shows his pets, a dog and two cats, sitting in front of the fireplace in 1960.
Although the cards range from 1909 to 1990, some present poignant messages from the years they were produced. A card by Orre Nelson Nobles used relief print to put hopes for peace within a Christmas tree: “In 1944, With Little Peace and Less Goodwill, the Parade of the Years Goes Merrily On.”
Right next to it, perhaps with the sentiment that resonated most, Orre shared a Christmas thought: “There is a destiny that makes us brothers. None goes his way along. What we give into the lives of others, some day comes back into our own.”
In my family, the happiest of holidays always include artistic expressions, whether at a craft or art card table, through sharing of the written word, or even with paintings. Through this exhibition, Cascadia Art Museum brings a little artistic joy to our holidays early.
Oh, and despite the invitation to stem the rising tide of commercialization of the holidays, I did find it necessary to stop at the museum shop after viewing the cards.
The shop is filled with wonderful holiday decorations and gifts for any friend or family member. I found a puzzle, several stickers, some holiday crackers, gift cards, a book, and a pen in the shape of a paint tube.
The stunning and insightful exhibit, “Invocation of Beauty: The Life and Photography of Soichi Sunami,” is concurrently on display at Cascadia, as is “Travelogue: Views Beyond the Northwest.” This show ends on Jan. 6, and is sponsored by Cascadia donors and members and community partner, the Hazel Miller Foundation.
Cascadia Art Museum is at190 Sunset Ave. S, Edmonds) and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More information: www.cascadiaartmuseum.org.