LYNNWOOD, Washington, April 29, 2022 – The Lynnwood Convention Center hosted a free “Meet the Artists” reception on Tuesday, April 26, where guests enjoyed free house appetizers and a hostless bar, while meeting the artists behind the “Northwest Waters” exhibit that will run until June 2022.
For this exhibition, the convention center was looking for works depicting aspects of the Northwest Waterways as a subject, in a variety of styles and media. Featured works depict traditional views of Puget Sound, the Pacific Coast, rivers, lakes, and wetlands; and feature nautical subjects that inhabit waterways or are unique abstract or creative images featuring this water theme.
The 35 works of art, by 14 talented local Northwest artists, selected and hung throughout the Lynnwood Convention Center represent a variety of mediums including photography, mixed media, watercolor, oil on canvas , pastels and more. Each artist’s style is unique, but the common water theme of the pieces creates a beautiful, cohesive display.
One of the featured artists, Yonnah Ben Levy, has been an artist since a young age. Together, with her husband and artistic partner Chail Bezalel, the two create multimedia works fusing visual arts with photography, music and video.
When Levy’s mother was pregnant with her, during World War II, she was diagnosed with cancer and died nine months after Levy was born. She had no idea her mother was Jewish until she was 16. Almost 20 years later, she visited Israel and was told “if your mother was Jewish, so are you”. Thus, she remained in Israel from 1981 to 1998, teaching art in Israeli public schools. The two continue to split their time between the Pacific Northwest and Israel every six months.
Living in Israel is spiritually fulfilling for Yonnah, learning more about her faith and her family, but not without challenges. The nation was constantly at war and his house is equipped with a bomb shelter; Levy even has her own gas mask. Throughout it all, she continued to pursue her love for art through a greeting card business which she shared with her husband until they established themselves as successful artists.
“We started with nothing and now we’re thriving,” Levy told the Lynnwood Times. “In many ways, I remained the teacher and [my husband’s] remained the marketing agent. We form an excellent partnership.
Levy and her husband Bezalel have remained in Israel throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, creating more than 100 multimedia pieces.
“Everything we do is kind of inspirational,” Levy said. “Always do your best with whatever inspires you.”
Levy’s husband, Bezalel, studied film at Northwestern University and often uses his background to collaboratively add video, photography, and music to Levy’s paintings.
Both Levy and Bezalel are also musicians and music lovers. While Levy focuses his musical interests on classical song and dance, Bezalel is a folk poet and guitarist who plays on his experiences growing up in the folk revival scene of 1960s New York, but adding variations inspired by the jazz and bossa nova.
Another featured artist to be featured at next year’s exhibition, Harjinber Singh, is a world traveler and photographer who was raised in a society that valued art. He draws inspiration from visiting various parks in the Seattle metro area and continued his photography after retiring from Microsoft.
The event is held twice a year and features two different exhibitions that take place around June. For each of these exhibitions, there is a Meet the Artist reception where people have the opportunity to meet the featured artists. The next exhibition, The Art of Snohomish County, will be presented by bike next July.
“I was impressed [by the turnout]. This year we incorporated an RSVP element because we wanted to see how many people would commit to coming, it also helps us count numbers with food,” Julie Carlos told the Lynnwood Times. “It’s one of the best participation rates [we’ve] seen.”
The Lynnwood Convention Center was recently acquired by Oakview Group, which also operates the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. In addition to some standard operating procedures that come with the change in ownership, the change has also inspired many events such as the I Love Lynnwood Sign Selfie Contest, where participants can take a selfie with the sign each month for a chance to win. win a $50 gift. certificate at Anthony’s restaurant.
“We have no idea of the way [this art] is going to affect members of our community, but it’s always for the positive,” Raniere, artist and member of the Art Commission, told the Lynnwood Times.
The Lynnwood Art Commission is currently preparing for the fair at 44 and told the Lynnwood Times that there are new “art-focused things” coming to the fair which will be disclosed at a later date.