Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And in the Centralia Train Depot.
Not just for its historic architecture, but for the ARTrails of Southwest Washington’s showcase that’s been on display at the depot since last Friday.
ARTrails, a collective based out of the Lewis County area, hosts a two-weekend tour each year where visitors can see participating artists at no cost, including at home studios and in locations featuring several pieces. At the train station in downtown Centralia, where the kick-off gala for the tour was held, each ARTrails artist has at least one piece on display.
Major players in the annual show include the Morgan Arts Center in Toledo and Centralia’s Rectangle Gallery.
Other smaller studios use the tour to slowly build up their credibility, like the Tilton River Studio Gallery in Cinebar where two artists are showing their work. In Silver Creek on Steelhead Drive, four creators are featured. Across the county, home studios are open to visit where signs mark their ARTrails participation.
“They want you to come in to see the kind of work they’re doing,” said Dan Duffy, a Centralia artist who does mostly abstract paintings.
Duffy, who has been featured in Seattle’s Frye Art Museum, said Lewis County residents may be more attracted to art with recognizable subjects rather than more abstract work. Through studio visits, he said, people can develop their design interests while learning new techniques in demonstrations and lessons.
He and Alice Shinn, a painter from Silver Creek, volunteered their Thursday afternoon at the train station. There, visitors can get a sense for the diversity of Lewis County arts, Shinn said, including wood carvings, ceramics, felting, sculpting, painting of all kinds, photography and much more.
She added more people get involved in the collective each year, with both she and Duffy reporting the annual event exposes even them to new mediums.
Shinn said while many artists understand the basics of styles, it’s very hard to copy straight from others in a hobby — or career — where personality always shines through.
“It’s wonderful that we live in a country where we can express ourselves without being tarred and feathered. Because that is what it is, that’s what makes us feel. To put it on a canvas or putting it in a photograph or putting it on a piece of wood. It fulfills us,” she said.
Studios this weekend will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Most pieces shown are for sale.
After making a minimum donation of $15 to a scholarship fund for Centralia College students, visitors at the train station can take home a piece of ARTrails for themselves. Find all information on ARTrails of Southwest Washington and the studio tour, including a digital guide with maps at https://www.artrailsofsww.org.
The following studios are participating in ARTrails:
Beyond the Loop Creations
17831 Applegate St. SW, Rochester
Artist: Joan Hitchcock — paint, fiber art, acrylics
Verdant Fire Studio at Rectangle Gallery
209 N. Tower Ave., Centralia
Cheryl Love — mixed media
Penny Auld — weaving, fiber art
Bonnie Blake — jewelry
Susan Bagratinoff — acrylic
Amanda Hanson — block print
Jan Nontell — ceramics, enameling
Tamara Hinck — wood carving
Jeannette Fedorka — needle felting
Michelle Gehlman-Teeter — photography
Pauli Rollins — pen and ink on antler
1435 Mark Twain Drive, Centralia
Dan Duffy — oil paint and gold leaf
Greg Carlson — acrylic paint
Strangelands Gallery of Art
531 N. Tower Ave., Centralia
Artist: Michael Cook — acrylic paint
Marcy Anholt Stained Glass
115 Riverview Drive, Chehalis
Artist: Marcy Anholt — stained glass, mosaic
990 Brown Road W., Chehalis
Artist: Brent Knott — wood
51 SW Third St., Chehalis
Susan Clark — henna
Jennifer Kinsman — watercolor
Pacific Ocean Graphics and Fine Arts
267 Dluhosh Road, Onalaska
Artist: Carlene Salazar — painting, photography
Tilton River Studio Gallery
133 Burton Burres Road, Cinebar
Barbara Burres — painting, photography
Dianne Gonzales — watercolor
172 Steelhead Drive, Silver Creek
Jill Jacoby — oil
Madeline Mcintire — photography
Nicole Notch — mixed media
Alice Shinn — oil
Grand Prairie Designs
193 Roth Road, Winlock
Richard Roth — stoneware clay
Susan Roth — white stoneware
115 Ramsey Way, Toledo
Linda Shepherd — digital art
John Fish — acrylic/ink
Di Morgan — fiber/wearables
Mike Morgan — mixed media sculpture
Kit Metlen — wood carving
Ina Wagenman — mosaics
Eileen Eddleman — mixed media