Nature of Form and Color moved with Sound: Watch the creation

by Halee Hastaad

Denise Snyder has been inspired. It was a year ago in Paris when she entered the exhibit that she would refer back to for motivation.

She had walked into a performance that featured artists creating work – live and interactively; a concept she had never seen before in Bellingham.

There was a pianist playing music that reflected the ambiance of the room. There was a painter capturing the movements of the people in the room. And there was a dancer, also emulating the work of the two other artists through their perception of the audience.

Together, the three artists fully captured the feeling of the spectators around them in a form both collaborative and captivating.

“It’s hard to explain the impression, but I felt important there,” she said in a recent interview. “It was as if I was part of the production of the work and that had a big impact on my experience.”

Snyder is bringing this interactive concept to Bellingham on Friday, Feb. 5 at the Hatch 2.0 space at 221 Prospect St. in Bellingham from 7-9 p.m. as part of the Elevation: The Art of Cascadia event.

She has coordinated an exhibit that will feature herself and two other Bellingham artists, Mary Jo Maute and Steve Jones. The trio will be working together to cultivate an interactive experience of form, color and sound. The action will take place within a 2-hour window of time without any rehearsal or script.

Snyder will work to sculpt and build an archway out of natural elements such as branches and twigs. She is known around the area for her organic sculptures made with branches and other natural fibers, glass and metal. Her creations are clean designs that showcase the inherent beauty of each material while capturing the essence of living form.

Maute will put her uniquely abstract painting technique to work on an 8-foot by 8-foot canvas. Creating a visual dance in celebration of nature’s constant state of flux is Maute’s modus-operandi. Viewers can look forward to her capturing emotions in an improvised and abstract way.

Jones will be playing percussion alongside John Butorac (percussion), Roger Yamashita (upright bass), Julianne Thoma (piano) and Kevin Woods (trumpet).

The event is promised to be lively, as the artists will be working off of not only each other’s energies but those of the spectators as well. The music will be oriented around a world sound, but will reflect the work being done by both Maute and Snyder, and the audience.

Elevation is a production aimed to showcase the beauty of Cascadia’s natural landscapes and the way in which we connect to them. It will take place over the entire month of February at various locations around Bellingham.

“The work will aim to represent the organic nature of this area as well as the ambiance of Cascadia,” Snyder said.

Viewers can look forward to refreshments to accompany the experience and are recommended to stay for a while and watch what happens.

It is a process-oriented event, Maute said.

And there is something to be said for all of this.

Sure, walking around and admiring artwork that has been finished – released from its process – is interesting. But why not watch the process happen? And more, why not be part of it while you can?

It is so often that appreciation for art revolves around the final product and less often that admiration is placed on the process that created that finished piece.

SEE THE SHOW: Nature of Form and Color moved with Sound will be held Friday, Feb. 5 at the Hatch 2.0 space at 221 Prospect St. in Bellingham from 7-9 p.m.  The performance includes artists Denise Snyder, Mary Jo Maute and a group of accomplished musicians, including Steve Jones – percussion, John Butorac – percussion, Roger Yamash- ita and upright bass, Julianne Thoma – piano, and Kevin Woods – trumpet. The show is part of the “Elevation: The Art of Cascadia” series Feb. 5-27. 

Published in the February 2016 issue of What’s Up! Magazine

Note: This web posting contains a better headline than our print version.