A lot is happening at Cascadia Art Museum.

Over the past year, the museum has expanded its permanent collection, expanded its reach across the art world (from New York City to Paris), and expanded its offerings with several exciting new exhibits for us here in the Puget Sound.

During the June 2 opening for “Origins: Northwest Abstract Art, 1920-1960,” Cascadia founder Lindsey Echelbarger and curator David Martin expressed gratitude for the more than 400 gifts to the museum, from paintings to photography to sculpture.

He and Martin spoke with anticipation about the future of this unique art museum, one dedicated to Northwest art.

“Our main concern is to elevate these artists,” said Martin, “We want people to know about this art around the world because it deserves to be known.”

Martin will be presenting two in-house lectures to the Smithsonian American Art Museum about early Northwest art.

The reason Cascadia is growing its influence is because it continues to present noteworthy exhibitions like the current one featuring abstract art – the first exhibition to focus on the roots of abstract and nonobjective art in the Northwest.

Across two galleries, the exhibit features works of artists who were recognized as innovators in this style – those invited to show in important national exhibitions – such as Louise Crow, Raymond Johnson, Peter and Margaret Camfferman, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, and the remarkable Maude I Kerns.

For this show, the main gallery is awash with the bright colors and shapes from the award-winning Kerns. The Oregon-born artist lived in Washington and Oregon but was in constant demand to travel to and show across the world, and these trips continued to inspire and influence her throughout her long career.

Many of the pieces shown have an otherworldly quality to them, but “Composition #85 (In and Out of Space)” is a pleasure to study, providing several layers of interest.

I would also love to be able to see “Evening in Time and Space” on a regular basis, or “Composition #58,” a painting that captures you graphically first and holds your attention with its small details.

With the variety of artists featured, it is difficult to adequately feature the diversity of talent. The Camfferman home in Langley must have been an amazing place to visit, with both of them pioneers in abstract art (and a particular form called Synchromism).

Another couple of recognized artists, Worth Griffin and Vivian Kidwell Griffin, played a prominent role in abstract art, as well, both as artists and as teachers. You will recognize how these early abstract artists influenced those who came after them.

As usual, Cascadia has created a compelling, enjoyable set of exhibitions that should not be missed.

“Origins: Northwest Abstract Art,” along with “Painted with Light: Northwest Pictorialist Photography,” can be seen through Oct. 10. During this time, visitors can also view some of the most recent gifts and promised gifts to the museum’s permanent collection. A collection of the sculpture of Charles W. Smith remains on display through the fall.

Do not miss the wonderful video filmed in Edmonds to mark the return of Music in the Museum in July, as well (featured on the museum’s website).

Written by Maria A. Montalvo, Published by the Edmonds Beacon. Released June 14th, 2021.

Find the original article through this link.