‘Facing Edmonds’: Time for their closeups

Notable residents, and some not so notable, represented in a new exhibit
Feb 15, 2018
Courtesy of: Pam Ingalls Rick Steves, left, and Blake Longsine are part of the "Facing Edmonds" exhibit.

At least one is famous worldwide; another is mayor of Edmonds. One is a guy with sunglasses where only a first name is needed, while another shares the spotlight with an infamous chicken.

Rick Steves, Dave Earling and Blake – that’s Blake Longsine – are among the more than 80 Edmonds residents who sat for two-minute video sessions with Cole Gallery artist Pam Ingalls for an exhibit called “Facing Edmonds.”

And the chicken? That would be Marjie Bowker’s Chloe, who famously escaped her pen to run around downtown Edmonds in November during the tree-lighting ceremony, as recounted in Bowker’s letter to the Beacon.

Ingalls chose about 45 people to paint, and their identities will be unveiled 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at Cole Gallery during Art Walk Edmonds. The exhibit continues through March 12

We know some other peeps who made the cut, including Earling’s wife Susan, designer Clayton Moss, ARTspot owner Tracy Felix and Edmonds Bookshop’s Mary Kay Sneeringer.

“I wish I could have done more,” Ingalls said over the phone from her home on Vashon Island. “But I did tell everyone at the very beginning that I could only choose to paint a certain number. Sometimes painting has a mind of its own. You don’t know how it will turn out.”

The portraits are in six different sizes, from 3-by-5 inches to 15-by-20 inches, and range in price from $600 to $3,200.

Of course, the subjects aren’t expected to buy their portraits, Ingalls said. But each will get a free print.

No matter who is selected, Ingalls said she enjoyed the experience. She also put a lot of work into the exhibit. The video seatings took place Dec. 30 – anyone could come by – and Ingalls said some of her paintings would take only a few hours, while others took days to complete.

The process? After transferring a video to QuickTime, Ingalls would stop at a particular point she liked, take a screenshot, and grab her brushes to finish the oil paintings. She said the videos let her choose exactly what she wanted.

“When someone puts a camera in front of you, you have that certain look you had when you were 5 years old. But if I get someone talking a little bit, more of their personality might come out, and I could choose the expression and lighting from the video that worked.”

The Edmonds exhibit isn’t the first time Ingalls has painted portraits. In 2007, she showed “Painting Vashon” in her hometown.

Since then, she’s presented an annual portrait exhibition of people in other small communities – Three Hills, Jamaica; Nome, Alaska; Comalapa, Guatemala; Shillong, India; Mara Hills, Kenya; Auckland, New Zealand; and at Turin House in New York City, the latter a HUD home.

“People were standing at the show talking to people they hadn’t talked to in years,” Ingalls said, “because they only saw each other in the elevator and they’d say, ‘Hey, I know that guy.’

“Not only have I gotten to meet and paint incredible people all over the world, I have had the privilege of presenting these lovely souls to others.

“I’ve always been interested in seeing beauty in the ordinary. It’s hard to miss the beauty in ‘ordinary’ people – no matter where they live. Every single person is extraordinary. And as I paint them, I keep learning more about my journey to see and tell the truth with integrity.

“I think it would be really cool if more artists did this in their communities – if there was kind of a movement, because there’s so many artists and so many people out there to paint.

Cole Gallery is at 107 Fifth Ave. S, Edmonds.



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