One goal of Sunnyshore Studio is to share the beauty of Camano Island one person at a time. Another goal is to build community through art. Both of these goals were met on the Camano Island Studio tour.
It was not merely that 1,238 people found their way to the little studio far away on the south end of Camano Island. Here are the following stories of how community was built.
First, community was built through the invite to come back not just next year but throughout the year for our 2017-2018 Artistic Season. I (Jason) spent most of my time welcoming guests at the front door. I had lots of fun introducing myself as Artistic Director of The Sunnyshore Studio, sharing about the upcoming shows: My brother Jed’s solo show There and Back Again in July, the celebration of my great-grandmother’s, F.Y. Cory’s cultural legacy with the release of a Documentary telling the story of her life and also the release of a biography in October, our second annual Dorsey family Christmas show in November and December, and our first Vintage Watercolorists of Washington in March.
Community was also built by welcoming many newcomers to Camano Island. We met many new friends who have purchased homes, built homes, moved to Camano Island over the last couple of years. Being Islanders since 1947 our family enjoys welcoming folks to “our island” and having a place to share hospitality and art!
Dad and Mom are especially gracious and warm in welcoming newcomers and old friends!
There is, of course, the fun connecting with longtime old friends. It is so great to have a space that we regularly invite community to be built, or old communities to enjoy.
Like Mom’s friends from Stanwood High School’s class of 1964. They meet once a month at the Cookie Mill in Stanwood for lunch and catching up; and they attend together all the openings at Sunnyshore Studio!
It’s super fun for me to see old classmates like Brad and Heidi Hansen who are great supporters of the cultural life of Camano.
Another way community is built is that Sunnyshore Studio is a connecting points to many people who live on the East Side or Seattle. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people who have a summer home on Camano but live in Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Woodinville, Bothel or Seattle. It’s also super fun to share the Studio with people from my congregation in Redmond. On Sunday Cindy joined me after church driving up to Camano, she stayed for the family dinner after the show was over.
Community will also be built at the many upcoming workshops and classes that are going to be offered. Many people are interested in taking classes/workshops from my dad. And there was lots of interests in Jed’s July and October workshops too. Classes and workshops are great ways of not only encouraging creativity but also nurturing community!
There’s at least one more way that community was built over the last two weekends at Sunnyshore Studio. Each person that buys a painting has a connection back to the artist, to our family of artists, and a story to share. People who buy local art are not only supporting the local economy, but now have a tie to that artist.
Here is a story of one of those ties.
When I was standing at the front door welcoming guests a young woman came up to me. She introduced herself, shared that she had begun attending Western Baptist College (now Corban University) in 1991, the year I graduated from there, and had purchased two of my paintings during a show I had there to help raise money for my girlfriend, Jenny’s tuition. She bought one of the paintings for her grandfather who was dying, and who in fact died later that year. The painting was of the famous kite festival at Lincoln City, OR with the Sea Gypsy Motel in the background. Her grandfather had loved that beach and taken his family there every year. She shared with me that she had gotten her first kite there.
And so even though her grandfather wasn’t able to visit the beach he loved, she was able to bring the beach to him.
She has recently moved to the Warm Beach Area. When she saw my name on the list of Studios for the Mother’s Day Studio Tour she had to come and introduce herself and share her story: tie of community through art.
Finally, community is built through Jenny Dorsey, a master community builder. Not only is she organized, the administrator of the community, and not only does she have a fabulous eye for creating and collaging space…
she is an amazing weaver of community.