Arts & Leisure

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The Anacortes Arts Festival will feature noted Conway sculptor Arnie Garborg in the John L. Scott Focus Gallery in Art at the Port this Friday through Sunday.

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Arnie Garborg at work

The Anacortes Arts Festival will feature noted Conway sculptor Arnie Garborg in the John L. Scott Focus Gallery in Art at the Port this Friday through Sunday.

A Fir Island native, Garborg creates work that reflects the expansive landscape in which he makes his home. His work has gained him a reputation as a master in a field of talented artists from this rural area in northwest Washington. His art, though influenced by contemporaries like Richard Gilkey (who was both a neighbor and friend), is uniquely his own.

Arnie GarborgFor twelve years he maintained a studio in Seattle’s University District doing woodcarvings and bronze castings on commissions coming primarily from architects, designers and private collectors. As his material has progressed from wood to steel, he has explored how metal interacts in this landscape; sometimes creating work that is painted the bright colors of the nearby tulip fields, sometimes the polished sheen reflecting shifting light, and sometimes pitted with natural stages of rust.
 
Garborg’s work reflects both the literal and abstract characteristics of the landscape.  Detailed metal trees done to human scale and abstract steel forms containing windows through which to view the landscape; both offer a unique perspective. 
 
Garborg grew up on a 60-acre Fir Island farm that his family homesteaded in the 1800’s. His artistic evolution has returned him there. The buildings have remained much the same, except that in place of farming implements, the nooks and crannies of the old barn now house his tools, drawings and works in progress. Sparks from the grinding wheel with which he works seem oddly to harmonize with the cool breeze and sounds of migrating trumpeter swans resting in the fields outside.

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