Jason Dorsey, Owner and Artistic Director of Sunnyshore Studio, grew up with paintbrushes in his hand. He was born in 1969 in Seattle and raised on beautiful Camano Island, WA. His dad and mom encouraged him as an artist from an early age.
Jason discovered his ability to paint watercolors when he was sixteen. One day he was bored so he went out to his dad studio, took out a full sheet of watercolor paper and launched in on a painting. The painting turned out great, and his dad and mom saw his interest and gifts and took him for a lesson to northwest watercolor artist Wes Broten who taught him the glazing technique. His junior year at Stanwood HS Jason placed in the top seven in a statewide high school art contest.
Jason attended Corban University where he had a solo show of his watercolors and sold out! He donated the money to the tuition of his college sweetheart, Jenny Wallace. In June, 1992 he married Jenny. Jason and Jenny have four children: Jacob, Julian, Judah and Jacqueline.
From June 1992-May 1993 Jason’s art career flourished. He was serving a year long pastoral internship at Camano Chapel on Camano Island. During that year he painted seriously. Each week he joined a group of gifted artists for tea at the Calico Cupboard in La Conner, then joined them in painting on the scene, so called plein air painting. He worked for Skagit Valley College extension, teaching an art class on Camano Island as the Senior Center. And he painted. During that year Jason entered and was accepted in many national watercolor exhibits including the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition, where he won the jack Richeson Award, the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society 47th annual exhibit, the Western Colorado Watercolor Society, the Beaver Marsh Art Bash (Mount Vernon, WA), and Spring in 2 Dimensions (Anacortes, WA).
In the summer of 1994, Jason put away his brushes and moved to Chicago, IL, to complete his seminary training at Trinity International Divinity School which he graduated from in 1995 with a Master of Divinity and an MA in Systematic Theology.
Since that time, Jason’s art has been woven into his ministry as a Presbyterian Pastor. He served as an assistant pastor at Green Lake Presbyterian Church, in Seattle from 1997-2002 where, among other things, he organized Art Nights where universal themes like longing, beauty, mercy, and laughter were explored through diverse original art mediums such as painting, drama, dance, film, music, and literature.
Jason led Redeemer Presbyterian Church in downtown Indianapolis, IN from 2002-2015. This church was a great fit for Jason. The old historic building owned by the church was shared with the Harrison Center for the Arts, an art and cultural development organization (www.harrisoncenter.org). During Jason’s tenure, the graceful partnership with the church and arts organization flourished. There were four Galleries in the building, over 30 artists had studios in the building, and each year over 100,000 guests came through the facility for art and cultural events alone.
During his thirteen years in Indy, Jason had two solo art shows. One of them was a series of paintings of Indianapolis where he merged his gifts as a watercolor painter with his love for the city.
Another highlight was in 2014 when the Harrison Center hosted a show for the Dorsey family of artists which was the first time the entire family had displayed their art together in a Gallery. It also brought the family together for a holiday on Lake Michigan!
In September 2015 Jason and his family moved to Redmond, WA where he now serves as pastor of Redeemer Redmond (www.redeemerredmond.org). In March 2015 work began Sunnyshore Studio. Jason’s dream since 1998 had been to build an art studio/gallery next to his parents called Sunnyshore Studio that would showcase the family’s art legacy and be a vibrant working studio for artists and creative people. Living in Redmond allows Jason to oversee the development of Sunnyshore Studio.
The mission of Sunnyshore Studio is to share beauty with the world. This is done through hospitality at the Studio, as well as through art, books, music and film. Plans are also underway for the revival (in October) of the “Grunt and Groan Club” whose goal is inspire people to make art each week.
Besides being an artist, Jason is a writer. He enjoys merging art with writing. In December 2015 Jason’s children’s picture book I Remember Fishing with Dad was published. It is the first of a 12 book I Remember series that weaves story and art to explore universal themes through the eyes of a boy growing up on an island. His next book, I Remember Running Through the Woods is scheduled to be released in September 2018.
Recently, Jason wrote and collaborated with his family to illustrate a coffee table book titled The Beaches of Camano that was released at the grand opening of Sunnyshore Studio on December 2016.
Here’s a video made of the grand opening of Sunnyshore Studio.
Jason’s currently writing a biography of his dad, Jack Dorsey, that will be released in June of 2017 titled “Sketch of an Artist.”
Jason’s faith in a God who is Creator and who makes us in his image drives his own creativity. His passion as a pastor is to help people understand their God-crafted identity and God-appointed calling. The discipleship path he created called “Identity Mapping” helps people understand their identity and step into their calling.
Jason is also passionate to see the colony of artists on Camano thrive. He is a member and on the board of the Camano Arts Association (www.camanoarts.org) whose mission is “that Camano Island will become recognized as a major cultural center for the Visual Arts in the Pacific Northwest.”