Well, not quite. The three exhibitions at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art
(SJIMA) had to close five days after the shows opened in March. So, we are
holding them over the summer for visitors to explore and enjoy until August
17. Barring any changes from the health department, we are excited to
announce we will open on June 25. The artists and exhibits are ready to
welcome you back post-quarantine.
Our COVID-19 policies are displayed and intended to keep you and the staff
safe. Among other actions, staff and visitors will be required to wear masks. If
a visitor doesn’t have a mask, one will be provided.
Visit the exhibition MISSING/HIGHWAY OF TEARS with dramatic and
beautiful paintings by Deon Venter that create individual portraits and flower
paintings as a memorial to young lives lost, mostly Aboriginal, in British
In Domestic Bliss, Holly Ballard Martz transforms objects associated with
domestic labor, traditionally the purview of women, and supplants their
original purpose and highlights obstacles, which impede the quest for gender
In her installation, June Sekiguchi, water plays an important role in her work
and rivers inspired her during her global travels. The Pulse of Water features
a bamboo footbridge with a sculpture symbolizing a river, specifically the
Mekong, flowing beneath.
Venter’s expressive art creates a powerful and collective voice surrounding
the murder and disappearance of girls along stretches of highway between
Prince Rupert and Prince George, BC and from Vancouver to Edmonton.
With this exhibition Venter hopes to convert the subject to life-affirming art.
Missing features large, 9-by-15-foot oil paintings where each piece represents
one of the estimated 120 women who have been murdered or have disappeared
from Vancouver’s downtown. He arranges the individuals in the
order in which they disappeared.
In these compositional paintings, he attempts to give these women a voice
reaching the scale of their tragedy. He states, “They speak to the systemic
violence against women worldwide,” Venter said. The form of the installation
was inspired by two poems by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Mary
Oliver, entitled Goldenrod and Peonies.
Ballard-Martz states, “I spent weeks painstakingly bending hundreds of wire
coat hangers into the likeness of the female reproductive system, an exercise
in endurance for my hands and a representation of the slow and painful
trudge towards full reproductive rights for women in America. In love hurts
(love you to death) she used hundreds of bullet strikers to convey a message
about domestic abuse.
She says, “ I deliberately chose to work with materials and processes long
considered the female domain as a reminder that with every prick of the pin
and curve of the wire, women’s work is truly never done.” This exhibit has
been planned to coincide with the centennial celebration of women’s’ right to
vote in the USA.
Sekiguchi has visited Laos four times and turned her river journeys into
meditative experiences. She says that in a river it is “the unseen things
underneath causing the action” and that Sekiguchi saw that as a metaphor to
our human selves.” My work is a way of processing significant personal rites
of passage and concerns about the world around me.
Each year the monsoon rains wash the bridge away and each year the
people rebuild it. The act of rebuilding of the bridge is a form of “devotion to
the concept of impermanence.”
For more details on the safety protocols, look at www.sjima.org under “Visit.”
For those not quite ready to venture out, enjoy the link to our online
exhibitions: https://www.sjima-online.org Or find it on the web site,
www.sjima.org under “Exhibitions.”
Holly and June will have a live, online “gallery talk” in July. More details will
be announced. Special events to celebrate the 100 th anniversary of Women’s
Suffrage will be posted in a few weeks.
SJIMA and its staff and volunteers look forward to welcoming you back to the
galleries. Hours for SJIMA, when opened are Thursday-Monday 11-5.
Admission is $10 with members and those 18 and under entering free.
Mondays are Pay As You Can Days. SJIMA is located at 540 Spring Street,
Friday Harbor, WA.
For more information contact Diane Martindale at