The Things You Find on Church Clean-up Day — A World War I Service Banner

World War I Service Banner preserved and framed through Wenaha Gallery, banner is the property of the First Congregational Church of Dayton WA
The Service Banner from World War I found at the Dayton First Congregational Church. On the left is the banner’s front, featuring the colored stars and symbols; the back, on the right, are hand-sewn name tags corresponding to the symbols on the front

Anyone who has ever participated in church clean-up day knows that the most exciting aspect of the event generally wraps around lunch. But for a group of Congregationalists in Dayton, WA, a find in the attic definitely outshone anything on the dessert table.

It was 2002, and Roslyn Edwards, wife of then-pastor Steve Edwards, was with a group in the attic, tidying up.

World War I Service Banner of First Congregational Church Dayton WA, preserved and framed by Wenaha Gallery
During the measuring process, the Service Banner was gently laid flat across a surface, but the rest of the time, it needed to be hung.

“I don’t know why, but Roslyn for some reason decided to go crawling into the rafters,” Dallas Dickinson, a member of the church and the crew, remembers. “And then she says, here’s a rag. She pulled it out, and it was a banner on a stick.

“We unrolled it. I looked on the back of it and then I said, ‘That’s my great uncle’s name on the back, Charlie Johnson.'”

Other names — on 42 hand-sewn tags — looked familiar to Dickinson. Broughton, Lyman, Boldman, Dumas — she read them out, and within short order the group realized that, whatever they’d found, it definitely wasn’t a rag.

“When I saw the name, Frank Bauers, that was a clue that what we had dated to World War I,” Dickinson says, explaining that Bauers, who died overseas of wounds in 1918, is the military member after which the local American Legion post is named.

The framed service banner, the whole package, was carefully rolled down through Main Street during Dayton, WA''s All Wheels Weekend
The framed service banner, the whole package, was carefully rolled down through Main Street during Dayton, WA”s All Wheels Weekend

What the  group had found was a service flag, a banner (in this case, hand-crafted) that honors family or community members who serve in the armed forces during any period of war or hostilities in which the U.S. is engaged. Such banners consist of a white field with a red border, a blue star representing each service member, and a gold star placed for one who died during service. The banner found at the Congregational church includes one gold star, for Bauers, 38 blue stars, two red crosses (for nurses) and a red triangle (spiritual or recreational service).

Frames for World War I Service Banner owned by First Congregational Church Dayton and framed by Wenaha Gallery
While the service banner weighs practically nothing, two frames, with Optium Museum Acrylic, result in 58 pounds of hanging weight.

“I recognized 20 or so of the 42 names on the back,” Dickinson says, “and I knew the descendants of them, mainly because my family has been here since the 1880s, 1890s. Although I have to admit when I saw the name John Rockhill, I was surprised. I always thought (local Dayton landmark) Rockhill was called that because it was a big rock, but it must have been named after John and his family.”

It was a find indeed, but a perplexing one, because while the group knew they couldn’t put the treasure back where they found it, they weren’t quite sure where to take it next.

“We carefully rolled it back up and consulted with people at the (historical) Depot,” Dickinson remembers. “We ended up keeping it there with their precious things,  folded it properly, and put it in a box with acid free paper. But I always had the idea of preserving it in such a way that we could get it out there, to the community, so that it could be seen.”

Considering that the Service Banner is 46 inches wide by 69 inches high, it is not small piece of conservation acrylic that needs to be measured and cut to fit -- twice -- one for each side.
Considering that the Service Banner is 46 inches wide by 69 inches high, it is not small piece of conservation acrylic that needs to be measured and cut to fit — twice — one for each side.

Dickinson’s idea approached reality this year, as she consulted with Lael Loyd, principal framer at Wenaha Gallery, regarding how feasible — and how much — it would be to frame the flag for both posterity and display. At 46 inches wide by 69 inches high, the banner — which needs to be seen on both sides — is no simple framing job.

Loyd consulted conservationists, designers, contractors, and other framing experts to come up with a plan, while Dickinson wrote letters to as many descendants of the names on the banner that she could find, requesting funds.

“People were really generous,” Dickinson says, “and I was able to raise two thirds of what we needed. The balance came from the Dayton Columbia County Fund, a local organization that supports projects like this.”

During the two hours that the service banner was on outdoor display, during Dayton's All Wheels weekend, two volunteers supported it from both sides. Once the stand has been completed by a local artisan, this will no longer be necessary!
During the two hours that the service banner was on outdoor display, during Dayton’s All Wheels weekend, two volunteers supported it from both sides. Once the stand has been completed by a local artisan, this will no longer be necessary!

Loyd, meanwhile, was trying to figure out a way to hang the flag between two — very large — pieces of Optium Museum Acrylic, which she describes as top in the industry for protection and conservation. But she didn’t want the fabric pressed between the acrylic; she wanted it hanging, as naturally as possible, at the same time ensuring that the textile was sealed and framed for protection.

Added to the challenge is that the banner, while she worked on it, was rarely laid flat, but hung, requiring the (white gloved) hands of two or three assistants. “Everything was pieced together as the banner was standing upright,” Loyd says. “We didn’t want it laying flat with the weight of the acrylic on one side or the other.

“It’s all about preserving for generations to come.”

That it is, and the finished project is slated for a semi-permanent home at American Legion Post 42 museum on Clay Street in Dayton, with Dickinson envisioning it being loaned out to interested parties upon request.

“We want this banner, this piece of history, to be out where the public and community can see it,” Dickinson says.

“By far, it’s the best thing we’ve ever found up in the church attic.”

Wenaha GalleryThe Service Banner of the Dayton First Congregational Church will be on display at Wenaha Gallery from Monday, June 22 through Saturday, July 11.

Contact the gallery by phone at 800.755.2124 or e-mail art@wenaha.com. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.

Wenaha Gallery is your destination location for Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Prints, professional customized framing, and original fine art paintings and sculpture by notable Pacific Northwest artists.   Books, gifts, note cards, jigsaw puzzles, and more are also available. Visit at 219 East Main, Dayton, WA.

This article was written by Carolyn Henderson.

 

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Modish, Voguish, DIY

A wall of ready-made frames is an art statement in itself at Wenaha Gallery, Dayton, WA.
A wall of ready-made frames is an art statement in itself at Wenaha Gallery, Dayton, WA.

DIY — Do It Yourself — is a trend that never goes out of style.

With many people seeking to incorporate a uniquely personal touch into their home decor, DIY is chic and in vogue. It’s a great way to update the walls — some people create entire art installments using nothing more than well-placed, ready-made picture frames. And with a little effort and minor financial investment, even the least artistic crafter can put together something useful and attractive, a boldly bordered mirror, say;  or a memo board that looks like something Jane Austen would have used if she had had access to dry erase markers; even a place to hang jewelry.

A classy refreshment tray holds ceramic cream and sugar holders by Wenaha Gallery artist Caprice Scott, as well as a DIY ring holder.
A classy refreshment tray holds cream and sugar ceramic-ware by Wenaha Gallery artist Caprice Scott, as well as a DIY ring holder.

“Excluding the price of the frame, you can construct a classy looking craft project for $20 or so in materials,” says C.J. Horlacher, a lifelong DIYer who recommends Pinterest as an excellent site for creative inspiration. In the last several weeks, Horlacher has created frame-based projects ranging from a ring-holder incorporating folded fabric onto quilt matting and tucked into a small, deepset wooden frame, to a refreshment tray consisting of foam core (available in any art, frame, or craft store), topped by wallpaper, and then protected by glass. The entire sandwich is mounted into a carved wooden picture frame and attached to the back using offset clips (available at hardware stores). Adhesive felt or rubber protector pads add the finishing touch.

“Many materials I found just around the house, or in my husband’s shop,” Horlacher says. An especially popular project, one that she has been asked to make many times, is a jewelry holder consisting of small-meshed welded wire adhered to the back of a ready-made frame. A dab of glue in the corners ensures that the mesh, and any jewelry adorning it, stays in place.

“These are fun, and depending on the frame you use, you get a different feeling. An ornate gold frame is romantic; a clean, smooth wooden frame is sleek, almost glamorous,” Horlacher says.

A ready made frame and fine welded wire mesh join together to create a classy way to keep one's earrings in place.
A ready made frame and fine welded wire mesh join together to create a classy way to keep one’s earrings in place.

Ready-made frames, of all sizes and styles, are everywhere, she adds — from box stores to craft outlets to frame shops, and they make up about half the price of the project.

“It’s worth getting a high-quality frame, because the finished piece, whether it’s a mat-covered bulletin board that you’re going to pin things to, or a mirror that will dress up your bedroom, is part of the art itself.

“I happen to work in a frame shop and gallery, so that’s where I pick up my frames, but even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t use a cheap plastic or faux wood frame — the small extra cost is worth it, because it individualizes the finished craft piece, and makes it something you’re pleased to show off in your home.”

It's modern, it's classy, it's quick-to-make and it's useful -- a bulletin board doesn't have to look like cork.
It’s modern, it’s classy, it’s quick-to-make and it’s useful — a bulletin board doesn’t have to look like cork.

Mat remnants, available at many frame shops for a fraction of the original cost, add color and texture to a project, and set behind glass that is then mounted into a frame, they reconstruct themselves as a memo station; adhered to foam core or some other pinnable surface, they transmogrify into a swanky, upscale bulletin board. Useful, practical items don’t have to look like what they are.

Not everyone can paint a painting, carve a wooden  bowl, fashion a bronze sculpture, or shape a clay pot, but many of us still desire to create something artistic — that doesn’t look like something we fashioned during summer camp — which we can proudly display to our friends and family. And because we’re a practical people, the functional nature of many of these DIY wall projects is an added bonus.

They’re artistic. And they’re functional. And they’re inexpensive, expressive, and customizable. What’s not to like?

Wenaha GalleryThe Ready-Made Frame Extravaganza is the Art Event at Wenaha Gallery through April 4, 2015. C.J., our DIY expert, is also on hand many days for those who want to learn more about DIY creations using ready-made frames.

Contact the gallery by phone at 800.755.2124 or e-mail art@wenaha.com. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.

Wenaha Gallery is your destination location for Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Prints, professional customized framing, and original fine art paintings and sculpture by notable Pacific Northwest artists.   Books, gifts, note cards, jigsaw puzzles, and more are also available. Visit at 219 East Main, Dayton, WA.

This article was written by Carolyn Henderson.

The Art of Appreciating Art

The Land of Chief Joseph inspirational original oil painting by Wenaha Gallery artist Steve Henderson
Regional artists of the Pacific Northwest capture the area in which they live. The Land of Chief Joseph by Wenaha Gallery Artist Steve Henderson.

Most of us understand and empathize with our fellow humans who are afraid of mice, spiders, snakes, small spaces or vampire movies starring Christopher Lee. We all have our fears and foibles, and they vary depending upon the person.

Many people, however, are frightened — in a different way — of something that is designed to bring joy and dimension to their lives: fine art, as in paintings and sculpture, jewelry and prints, woodwork and photography. Whether it is years of the discipline being overrun and overruled by the extreme abstract movement, resulting in viewers being condescendingly ushered from the room when they asked, “Why is this piece worth $25,000? It really looks like something an eight-year-old could do,” or not, too many individuals are missing out on an element of life that should be part of all our lives.

Kokopeli Dancer birdhouse by Papa Jon's Fly Inns of Wenaha Gallery
Sculpture comes in all shapes and forms, and Papa Jon’s Fly Inns creates birdhouses that are functional and decorative. Kokopeli Dancer, by Wenaha artists Jon and Marilu Bryan of Wenaha Gallery.

So, let’s change this, and aggressively make art  part of our lives.

Appreciating fine art, like most skills, is easy yet difficult, but it doesn’t start at all until we begin. While it sounds simplistic, initiating the process involves nothing more than looking at art — in books, online, or in person — and doing just that: looking at it. The more we expose ourselves to different styles, different media, different subject matter, the more experience we gain in art, and of art, and soon find ourselves developing a sense of confidence in our judgment.

“I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like,” is a common phrase of the common man, and like most such phrases, it imbues a factor of commonsense as well. Art, which is both subjective and objective, appeals to different people for different reasons, and in the same way that some people love goat cheese and others don’t, or some people prefer a red Malbec over a white Pinot Grigio, or a black Nilgiri tea over a South African honeybush tisane, some viewers gravitate toward bold brushstrokes and vibrant color, while others prefer subdued colors and a smooth, blended surface.

Great Blue Heron Wildlife painting by Hiroko Cannon of Wenaha Gallery
Original watercolors and prints are available by wildlife and Wenaha artist Hiroko Cannon. Shown is Great Blue Heron.

Most fortunate of all are those whose experience is so wide and diverse that they see merits in various styles — they like herbal infusions as well as white tea, bitter dark chocolate and the sweeter milk kind, representational art and abstract.  And, because they’ve looked at a lot of art, and asked questions about what they’ve seen, and pondered the various answers they were given, they are free as well to say, “This is good, and this is not,” because art — while it is very, very subjective — possesses objective elements as well, although, within certain areas of the art world, this is a well kept secret.

Because art, in various forms, is literally everywhere, the ability to see it, and learn from it, is open to anyone with access to books, images on a computer, or — and this very much an option for people in Southeast Washington — brick and mortar galleries that house and showcase art. Known for being an art community, Walla Walla — and the area around it — is fortunate to possess private and community establishments that show art, sell art, and encourage people to visit and physically view art.

Pierced wood bowl by wenaha gallelry artists pat and peggy bookey
Pat and Peggy Bookey of Alaska join forces to create hand pierced wooden vessels that are both functional and decorative.

Any fears that aspiring aficionados have about walking into a gallery and feeling like an idiot should be immediately put to rest, because anyplace that prompts a reaction of insecurity in its patrons is not a place where they will learn about art. And it’s not a place that viewers will find in this area, which enjoys a number of ways to view original art.

In Walla Walla, WA, Kingfisher Gallery and Custom Framing at 11 South Spokane Street features original art from Walla Walla based artists including Carol Cole, Bob Baker, Ed Stone and Mark VanDonge, and new works are added on a changing basis through the year.

Darrah’s Framing and Decorator (39 East Main) focuses on artists of the Walla Walla Valley, spotlighting the work of one artist for special two-month-long shows.

Todd Telander Gallery at 34 South Colville features landscapes, still life, and wildlife work of the artist.

A  short drive away, Wenaha Gallery (219 East Main) in Dayton showcases Pacific Northwest artists in its Art Events, every two weeks bringing in the two-  or  three-dimensional work of regional painters and sculptors. The gallery also houses the original work of some 30 artists from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.

On the John Day inspirational original oil painting by Wenaha Gallery Artist Judy Robertus
Dayton artist Judy Robertus paints the Pacific Northwest in which she lives, and which she loves. On the John Day by Wenaha Gallery artist Judy Robertus.

Dayton artists with studios include Monica Stobie (610 North Touchet Road)  and Steve Henderson (by appointment: 509.382.9775); and the Delaney building, next to the public library (111 South Third Street) hosts a monthly rotating display of artwork by the Blue Mountain Artists Guild.

Further afield, but still within an afternoon’s drive, are the Valley Art Center in Clarkston, WA (842 6th Street); the Pendleton Center for the Arts (214 North Main Street,  Pendleton, OR); and the Allied Arts Gallery (89 Lee Boulevard, Richland, WA). All three of these community art organizations operate a rotating monthly calendar of juried competitions, regional exhibitions, and individual and group artist shows. A short hop from Clarkston (16 miles northeast in Uniontown, WA), the Dahmen Barn carries the work of 120 artists, some of whom maintain studios in the building and are more than happy to talk with visitors.

This is, indeed, an area rich in the visual arts, and the opportunity to make art a part of our daily lives — viewing it, appreciating it, and owning it — is big and bold and beautiful. Let’s make 2015 the year to embrace art.

Websites:

Todd Telander — http://www.toddtelander.com/

Kingfisher Galleries and Custom Framing — Kingfisher Walla Walla (Facebook)

Darrah’s Framing and Decorating — http://www.darrahsdecorating.com/

Wenaha Gallery — http://wenaha.com/

Monica Stobie — http://www.monicastobie.com/

Jill Ingram — http://www.jillingram.com/

Steve Henderson — http://stevehendersonfineart.com/

Allied Arts Gallery — http://www.alliedartsrichland.org/

Pendleton Center for the Arts — http://www.pendletonarts.org/

The Dahmen Barn — http://www.artisanbarn.org/

Wenaha GalleryWenaha Gallery is your destination location for Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Prints, professional framing, and original fine art paintings and sculpture by notable Pacific Northwest artists.   Books, gifts, note cards, jigsaw puzzles, and more are also available. Visit at 219 East Main, Dayton; phone 509.382.2124; e-mail art@wenaha.com; website http://wenaha.com/ 

This article was written by Carolyn Henderson.

 

 

Shake up Your Walls

Imagine a wall of James Christensen images, dancing and flying and jumping into your day.

Renovating your living space refreshes the way you think about things, and it doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive, or require that you pull out the paint rollers and drop cloths.

All it takes is a calendar of your favorite licensed artist and one or more quality frames — and we at Wenaha Gallery can help you with both.

“We have an incredible selection of 2014 calendars that are 40 percent off,” Lael Loyd, Wenaha’s fine art and conservation framer, says. “Whether it’s the fanciful art of James Christensen, the farmland scenes of Mort Kunstler, or the playful cats of Charles Wysocki, our calendars are beautifully printed on high quality paper stock.”

Hummingbirds, flowers, religious scenes, and the American Dream — Wenaha has a little bit of everything depending upon the theme you’re looking to focus on your walls. For aficionados of the pacific Northwest, Kennewick photographer John Clement (who will be teaching a photography workshop at the gallery in May — we’ll keep you apprised) highlights the beauty of Southeastern Washington’s Dryland country.

People who love cats can never get enough of their feline fix. Now, that’s not a problem.

Sale prices start at $7.80 — divide that by 12 and you have an unframed wall art piece for less than 70 cents.  Matting and framing by Lael, per piece, starts at as little as $30, giving you the option to exhibit one, three, seven, or all twelve images of the 2014 calendar that catches your eye.

If you’re not in town, but want to take advantage of beautiful sale prices for beautiful calendar artwork, visit us on our Specials page on the Wenaha Gallery website.

Wenaha and you: we do renovation with style!

Wenaha Gallery,  located in historic downtown Dayton, Washington,  is your destination location for Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Prints, original fine art paintings and sculpture by notable Pacific Northwest artists.   Books, gifts, note cards, jigsaw puzzles, and more are also available.