Portrait painting, kindergarten style

Dec 2019

Methow Valley School District staff and local community members received custom portrait painting sessions last week, courtesy of kindergarten students.

First, the students learned observation and life drawing skills, working with Methow Arts teaching artist Judith Robertson. They sketched outlines, then filled them in with watercolor paints, initially using prints of famous portraits by Picasso, Matisse, Kahlo, and Van Gogh as models, and then moving on to live subjects.

As you might imagine, the school principals and superintendent proved to be superb models, and the likenesses the students painted of them were quite realistic.

Many of the students volunteered to paint portraits on demand at a community holiday event later in the week, sitting for up to three hours and painting visitors who came into the Methow Arts office, resulting in some keepsake art.

Even Santa took time out from his busy schedule to sit for a portrait.

Methow Arts’ education programs in the Methow Valley School District are sponsored in part by Icicle Fund, the Robert B. McMillen Foundations, the Methow Valley Fund, the Public School Funding Alliance, Winthrop Kiwanis, ArtsWA, and local and private donors and business sponsors.

Methow Arts facilitates a regional consortium of public schools, businesses and community entities that bring ideas and resources to arts education. Since 1987, Methow Arts has partnered with the Methow School District to provide learning in the arts for students. In 1996, Methow Arts entered a formal partnership with the Methow Schools, and in 1998 established the same with the Omak School District. In 2002, the Okanogan and Pateros schools joined the partnership, and in 2005, the Paschal Sherman Indian School on the Colville Reservation joined. In 2006, the Brewster School District became the newest partner. Through this partnership, Methow Arts maintains the arts as essential and central, providing opportunities for students to gain essential skills in the arts through residencies with artists. Lessons both deepen and expand other learning areas through the arts, and provide art specific learning.

New Photography Exhibition: The Historic Barns of the Methow Valley

Through Feb 14; Opening Reception, Thurs, Jan 9, 5:30-7pm, 2020

You can’t spell “agriculture” without the word “art.” Methow Arts is proud to announce a new collaborative project of Methow Arts and The Methow Conservancy that features a photographic exhibition called “The Historic Barns of the Methow Valley.” The exhibition runs December 5 – February 5 and features the work of participants from last summer’s photography workshop, led by National Geographic Explorer Ryan Bell. (Photo above by Lidija Kamansky.)

The exhibit premiers during Mistletoe Madness (December 5, 4:00 – 7:00 pm) at the Methow Arts headquarters, on the northeast corner of Glover Street and 2nd Avenue, in Twisp. (If you’re in the market for photographic art, the artwork is for sale with proceeds benefitting future photography exhibits at Methow Arts.) (Photograph above by Craig McDonald.)

We’ll join together to hold an Opening Reception on January 9, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m at Methow Arts. Meet the photographers and landowners who brought these images to life, and speak with representatives from Methow Arts, the Methow Conservancy, and the Shafer Historical Museum to learn about the artistic legacy of agriculture in the Methow Valley. (Photograph by Gail Marion.)

DATE: Exhibit runs through Feb 14. Premiers Thurs, Dec 5, 4-7pm; Opening reception, Thurs, Jan 9, 5:30-7pm. LOCATION: Methow Arts, 204 E. 2nd St, Twisp.

Winter Strings

Sat, Feb 1, 6pm, 2020

Lovers of chamber music don’t have to wait until summer to get their fix of the gorgeous blend of string quartet.

The Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival is kicking off its 25th season with “Winter Strings”, a program of sultry quartets to warm a long February night.

Festival Artistic Director Kevin Krentz has assembled a consummate quartet for the winter concert, featuring Rachel Lee Priday and Helen Kim on violin, Christine Grossman on viola, and Krentz on cello.

Priday is an accomplished soloist with major orchestras around the world who’s been praised for her “irresistible panache” and “dazzling dexterity.” She plays a violin made in Naples in 1760 that she dubbed “Alejandro.”

Since her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic at the age of 6, Kim has performed around the country and garnered more than a hundred national and international awards. She was recently named associate concertmaster for the Seattle Symphony.

Grossman has held principal and assistant principal chairs with symphony orchestras around the country, most recently the Kansas City Symphony. She is an avid chamber musician who enjoys everything from contemporary collaborations to bluegrass to folk-rock.

In addition to directing the Festival for the past decade, Krentz is a devoted teacher and an inventor of devices that enhance the tone of string instruments.

The program will feature the exciting and virtuosic Mendelssohn String Quartet in D Major and the beautiful and haunting Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, among other

Tickets for Winter Strings start at $30. Thirty-five lucky concertgoers can score a Golden Ticket, which combines the sublime music with a three-course dinner after the concert – with the musicians – at the Arrowleaf Bistro in WinthroS

Summer Festival

Plans are underway for the 25th season of the summer chamber music festival, which features five Centerstage concerts from June 18 through 27. In addition to the main concerts, there will be concerts around the Methow Valley in early June featuring the top student string musicians in the Seattle area.

INFO/CONTACT: DATES: Sat, Feb 1, 6pm 2020 LOCATION: The Merc Playhouse 101 S. Glover St Twisp, WA

Cascadia Music Guitar Concert with Steve Kish & Terry Hunt

Wed, Feb 19, 7pm 2020

An intimate evening featuring our local guitar masters Steve Kish & Terry Hunt at the Confluence Gallery. Come be a part of an evening where art and music come together.

INFO/CONTACT:, (509) 997-0222 DATES: Wed, Feb 19, 7pm LOCATION: Confluence Gallery 104 Glover St. South Twisp, WA

Methow Mayhem

Sat, Jan 4, 5pm, 2020

Come on down to the Twisp Valley Grange for a night of locally grown in the Okanogan County music. Featuring bands: ‘Slow Children at Play’, ‘Shoot the Messenger’, and ‘Stone Heathens.’

Enjoy great music, food and a beer garden.

DATE: Sat, Jan 4, 5pm (doors open at 4pm.) LOCATION: Twisp Valley Grange, 344 W 2nd Ave, Twisp, WA. TICKETS: $10/adults 18 years +, Free/kids 17 and under. Bring ID for beer garden.

Presented by Three Fingered Jacks’s Saloon and sponsored by Methow Arts.

The Good Way

Winter, 2019

by Julie Tate-Libby

WHEN 19-YEAR-OLD ANTHROPOLOGIST Julie Tate abandons her missionary group near Mt. Everest in Nepal, she embarks on a solo trek in the Himalayas. Battling an eating disorder and an upbringing riddled with fundamentalism, Julie’s journey is a quest to understand the sacred mountains and people of the Himalaya, and a chance to rekindle her own faith. But soon she takes a wrong turn and stumbles upon a nunnery near Everest, where she contemplates becoming a Buddhist nun. Eventually she makes her way to a village in Eastern Nepal and meets a Christian man from Nagaland who happens to be looking for a wife. Told with honesty and humor, Julie’s story chronicles her struggle to grow up and find a deeper faith, even when things fall apart.

Julie’s Bio:

Julie Tate-Libby is an anthropologist from the Pacific Northwest.  She is an  instructor of sociology and anthropology at Wenatchee Valley College and has published several academic works on amenity migration, the power of place, and sacred mountains.  She has also dabbled in creative non-fiction, drawing from her experiences in the Himalayas and Southeast Asia.  Her writing has appeared in Cirque Literary Journal, and her poem “Fire Summer” was published on the Washington State Poet Laureate website.  

Julie invites you to her upcoming readings: Sun, Dec 8, 5-7 at Trail’s End Bookstore, Winthrop; Jan 13, 11-1pm at Wenatchee Valley College and Feb 2, 5pm at Third Place Books, Lake Ravenna.

33rd Annual Cascadia Music Holiday Concert

Tues, Dec 10 & Wed, Dec 11, 7pm, 2019

Old favorites and new classics combine to warm your heart and celebrate the magic of the season.

The Cascadia Chorale under the direction of Terry Hunt, and assistant conductor Michael Brady,  have been hard at work putting together the sounds of the season to celebrate with you this year, and even something special you will just have to experience for yourself.  The Methow Valley Orchestra, Matthew Erik Armbrust conducting, have combined some Holiday classics and some new music sure to delight and bring us together around the spirit of the Holidays. 

As always the Holiday Concert is Cascadia’s gift to the Community, and admission is by donation.  Refreshments will be served.  All are welcome to come and celebrate! Volunteer opportunities for decorating, greeting guests and set up are posted at so that you can be a part of this 33 year old tradition.

DATES: Dec 10 & Dec 11, 7pm LOCATION: Methow Valley Community Center 201 Hwy 20 South Twisp, WA INFO/CONTACT:, 509-997-0222

NOVEMBER: Critters in the Rivers

November 2019

The 2019 ‘Living with the Methow River Calendar offers monthly information about our river habitat. It also showcases students’ artwork created in Methow Arts Education Programs after learning about our rivers from biologists. Learn more about our critters by visiting some the following sites: Twisp Ponds Discovery CenterCottonwood Trail, The Winthrop Barn Trail, and Whitefish Island.
(This month’s artwork by 6th grade student, Lilian Overbeck.)


Mule deer are named for their large mule-like ears. The Methow Valley is host to Washington State’s largest mule deer herd. Healthy riparian forests provide shelter and forage for mule deer near water sources.

Mule deer’s defining characteristic are their large ears, which are about three-fourths the length of the head. They have a distinctive black forehead, or mask, that contrasts with a light gray face. In the summer, mule deer are tannish-brown and in the winter are brownish-gray in color. They have a white rump patch and a small white tail with a black tip. When running, they bound in a motion called “stotting,” in which all four hooves push off the ground at the same time.

Black-tailed deer are a subspecies of mule deer found in the Northwest and, as their name suggests, have black tails instead of white. White-tailed deer are a different species but overlap in range with the mule deer in some places. Mule deer are slightly larger, have bigger ears, smaller tails, and have a forked antler structure rather than having points that grow from a central branch. The easiest way to differentiate the species is to look at the tail. Only the underside of the white-tailed deer’s tail is white, while the mule deer’s tail is all-white with a black tip and is much smaller. In addition, mule deer do not flash their tails in alarm.

Mule deer range from 3 to 3.5 feet (0.9 to 1 meter) tall at the shoulder, 4.5 to 7 feet (1.4 to 2.1 meters) long, and have a tail that is five to eight inches (13 to 20 centimeters) long. They can weigh between 130 and 280 pounds (59 and 127 kilograms). The female deer are smaller than the male.

The Living with the Methow Calendar is available each year at Methow Arts and numerous location. These are free to the public with funding and support is provided by Washington Department of Ecology and Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Additional support from Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, MRC partners, Bureau of Reclamation, the Methow Valley School District, Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, Methow Valley Fund, PSFA, Icicle Fund, and generous members of Methow Arts.

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