Allen Family Focus Gallery

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This years theme “Pattern & Structure” welcomes three talented artists to the Allen Family Focus Gallery.  Participants include Cathy Schoenberg from Anacortes, Jill Nordfors Clark from Seattle and Charissa Brock from Portland.   This Gallery is selected and curated by the Festival Curatorial Team.


Cathy Schoenberg

Cathy Schoenberg is deeply rooted in the nature, wildlife and people in Skagit Valley.  While the subject of her work has evolved over the years, there has been a consistency of design and pattern that has remained throughout her work.

Her paintings which in the past few years have revealed large sumptuous flowers, have morphed into wild, weedy areas meant to make one feel engulfed by seemingly unkempt nature.    Where her paintings remain earth like, her drawings take on a sense of the outer universe and/or the inner molecular world we can’t see with the naked eye. 

Jill Norfors Clark

Jill Nordfors Clark uses hog gut (better known as sausage casing) as the basis of her work.  She is inspired by the native people of the Canadian and Alaskan far north, who historically used seal and walrus gut to make clothing and vessels.  She combines it with needle lace (a form of embroidery used in making lace with a needle and thread) to make three-dimensional baskets.

Her baskets are constructed over a mold, threading the gut on a large needle and working the stitches over and around natural and found materials. In her latest work, she combines stitched and layered, dyed and natural gut with photographs, drawings, bones, and vintage lace.

Charissa Brock

Charissa Brock is a fiber artist working with bamboo, a giant grass that has been used for centuries to create baskets and other everyday objects. She integrates wood, glass, paper and thread as visual accents and structural components. Her abstract sculptures are crafted using basketry, woodworking, and fiber art techniques.

The impetus for her work comes partly from a collection of the forms, textures, materials, and methods of other cultures, past and present. It also comes from an interest in forms in nature, the microcosmic and the macrocosmic, and patterns contained within the plant and animal world.