Storefronts Mount Vernon is proud to announce the launch of
Our First Two Projects
in downtown Mount Vernon
Julia Haack and Celeste Cooning
Storefronts Mount Vernon, a project of Shunpike, produced by the City of Mount Vernon, is proud to announce the launch of our first two projects in downtown Mount Vernon, by Northwest artists Julia Haack and Celeste Cooning.
Storefronts Mount Vernon is dedicated to supporting the vitality of downtown Mount Vernon, by producing short-term pop-up projects by local and regional artists in vacant retail real estate. Please join us in celebrating these two project with a night of Sidewalk Receptions on Thursday, April 11, from 5pm to 7pm, the same night as the Mount Vernon Downtown Art Walk.
at 511 South First Street through May 24
Julia Haack’s large-scale sculptural work starts life as remnants of lathe (as in, the small wood strips under the plaster of older walls) salvaged from demolition sites across the Northwest. She meticulously paints and arranges the pieces into the bright, poppy, colorful, celebratory pieces you see pictured here. Her mosaics are rarely planned out or measured beforehand; instead Haack intuitively shapes the pieces as she goes, reacting to the medium and to the work as it develops.
“Inspiration for the patterns and color combinations come from diverse sources,” Haack explains, “including dilapidated barns, contemporary quilt designs, 1970s exterior window awnings, and the urban landscape. To escape working in a conventional rectangular format, I employ repeating and free-form curving shapes to express arrested movement.”
at 602 South First Street through May 31
Celeste Cooning creates magical, 3-D environments out of cut paper. Celeste is also something of a veteran of the Storefronts program, having shown in both the Storefronts Seattle and Storefronts Auburn programs.
“My formal training is rooted in a figurative painting tradition,” she says. But an experiment with cut- paper panels led to working with wall-size shapes, which she arranges so the effects of light and shadow become active elements.
This installation, titled Heaven and Earth, presents a kind of hot-and-cold, or push-and-pull, in the two adjacent windows. “The stylized nature and oversized scale of these decorative motifs allow for varied interpretation,” says Cooning, “with the intent to conjure sensations of wonder. It is within these moments that we become hopeful, curious, and inspired. In short, I seek to cultivate this wonder, spark imagination, and nurture joy.
Storefronts Mount Vernon – http://www.storefrontsmountvernon.com – is a brand-new project dedicated to supporting the vitality and artfulness of Mount Vernon’s historic downtown. We present short-term pop-up arts activations of vacant real estate, partnering with the City of Mount Vernon, local property owners, and artists to inject a bit of brightness into some of South First Street’s dark corners.