The Arts Scene: Steppe into art with CCC exhibit at Boxx Gallery | Explore Yakima

The Cowiche Canyon Conservancy (CCC) and the Boxx Gallery opened the sixth annual “Images of the Shrub-Steppe” on Saturday, Aug. 6. This is a juried art exhibit featuring a diversity of visual art inspired by the shrub-steppe, our unique Ecosystem in the Yakima Valley. The original call for artists stated that the “Work must be original, inspired by the shrub-steppe lands of the Yakima Valley, and have been completed within the past five years.”

The finished exhibit, a collaboration between CCC and Boxx, features a wide range of media including painting, photography, collage, sculpture, fabric and more. The exhibit was judged by two local artists Christie Tirado and Tom Harris.

Tirado is an artist and art teacher in Yakima. With degrees from the University of Washington and Heritage University, she is passionate about working with children and the community to support their education and Realities through the arts. Tirado intentionally brings together diverse realms, and utilizes print as a vehicle for social justice, mixing aesthetics and politics within the personal and social.

Harris began his career as a self-trained painter and eventually took up photography as a fine art medium, Pursuing his BFA and MFA. He worked as an instructor at the Art Institute of Seattle for 25 years, retiring in 2008. Harris’ main practice today is painting, in particular mixed media, wax and collage on canvas. “My art and life are inseparable: there is no way that I can say this is my life and that is my art.”

The 41 artists selected for this exhibit are Jane Alynn, Deborah Ann, Becky Blair, Betsy Bloomfield, Larry Bullis, David Carrothers, Jay Carskadden, Sara Cate, Meldra Driscoll, Pamela Jean Edwards, WD Frank, Tami Grant, Kate Green, David Hagen , Susan Hahn, Hilde Hibdon, Mary Jepsen, Julie Kane, John Kane, Jeff Kent, Justin Kloster, Kris Knight, Shannon Larabee, Lyn Lewis, Doug Lewis, Larissa McCartney, Elizabeth Montes de Oca, Susan Murrietta, Carolyn Nelson, Heidi O ‘Malley, Carol Perry, Sheryl Pickering, Jeffrey M. Reynolds, Dorothy Richards, Darcie Roberts, Nona Schulz, Laura Siebol, Thia Spearing, Linda Wells, Kassandra Rose Wojcik and Michelle Wyles.

Cowiche Canyon Conservancy is a local nonprofit organization conserving shrub-steppe habitat and connecting people to the land through recreation and education programs. CCC owns and manages over 7,288 acres of land and offers 40 miles of trails for non-motorized recreation.

“Images of the Shrub-Steppe” will run through Aug. 28. Boxx Gallery is at 616 Maple St. in Tieton. Hours are 11 am to 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays.

• David Lynx is executive director of the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley College. He writes this weekly column for Explore. Learn more at www.larsongallery.org.

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