‘Portals’ to perception at Frances Anderson Center

Feb 14, 2018

When Frances Chapin of the Edmonds Arts Commission offered abstract expressionist Tracy K. Felix a solo show at the Arts Festival Gallery in the Frances Anderson Center, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Felix, who writes the Art Town column for the Beacon, had been looking for a way to bring her focus back to what she truly loves. Painting.

“There is nothing like a deadline to light a fire under you,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to continue working on geometric color field painting. This gave me the impetus I needed.”

If you are familiar with the murals around downtown Edmonds, you may have seen Felix’s “Sun/Rise, Moon/Rise” on the side of the Edmonds Bookshop at 111 Five Ave. S.

This work is similar to what Felix is preparing for her show. Much like composing a painting, putting together a collection of paintings for an exhibit is a similar process. Felix said the series of large, vibrant paintings will start out with precise geometric shapes.

As you follow the series, it will gradually transform into more ethereal and amorphous images. Felix said she wants to tell a story using symbolism: from literal to atmospheric, to an almost celestial interpretation.

Every show needs a name, and Felix has hit upon an apt descriptor: “ ‘Portals’ is the most straightforward way to describe the imagery in this series. I became interested in creating geometric-based color field paintings, and became fascinated with the idea of capturing the emotion of looking into these spaces by filling them with ethereal images and atmospheric effects.

“ ‘Portals’ is the culmination of techniques I’ve devised using acrylics, oils, resins and encaustics. If you look closely at the work, you can find collaged papers and even sand encapsulated. I do not limit myself to one medium, since each provides specific effects that give my work the interesting and unique qualities I’m looking for.”

Although Felix is a traditionally trained artist, she said her work has morphed over time toward more abstract, and non-representational imagery. Influences are Mark Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn, color field painters from the ’50s and ’60s. She has shown work at multiple galleries in Edmonds, Everett and Seattle. You can also find her work at HouseWares and the new Cole Contemporary Gallery in Edmonds.

Felix has been an active artist for decades, but for the past several years she has gotten involved with other art-related activities. She taught art at Maplewood K-8 for six years, and for the past 10 years continued her love of teaching by heading up workshops in both acrylic and encaustic techniques at Cole Art Studio.

She played an integral role in starting the Edmonds Art Studio Tour and facilitated the Edmonds’ Artist Connect networking group for a year. She opened a fine art gallery in Pioneer Square in 2010 and opened ARTspot on Main Street in Edmonds in 2012.

She’s currently president of the Downtown Edmonds Merchant’s Association and is working with Mary Olsen to create Graphite, a 28,000-square-foot multiuse art facility scheduled to open in 2019.

This will be her first solo show in over six years. “Portals” will also be the last show of an individual artist at the Arts Festival Gallery. In the future, the Edmonds Arts Commission future exhibits will be focused on group shows.

“Portals: Solo Exhibition of New Paintings”

Where: Frances Anderson Center Arts Festival Gallery, 700 Main St., Edmonds
When: Through March 27. Gallery hours 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Public invited to meet the artist at reception during Art Walk Edmonds 5-8 pm. Thursday, Feb. 15.



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