Sun Mountain Lodge is known for its breathtaking views, fantastic trail system and lurxurious accommodations, but for decades, Sun Mountain has also highlighted some of the best art the Methow Valley has to offer.
The arts population in the Methow Valley is quite large. Walk down the street in any of our towns or poke your head into a store or coffee shop, and you’re sure to run into a local artist of some sort. Is it the community that brings artists to the area or is it the bucolic environment that lures them?
Artists Donna Keyser and Laura Karcher have curated The Gallery at Sun Mountain Lodge since 2014. These professional artists reside in the Methow Valley and each has been in the arts for decades. Artists include Kathy Meyers, Donna Keyser, Paula Christen, Rod Weagant, Jon Adams, Margaret Kingston, Rick Balam and Mary Powell.
Read artist bios online at methowarts.org/sunmountainlodgeartists
Meet one of the Artists
Kathy has been an artist for over 60 years. Kathy has been working as an artist for decades before she landed in the Methow. It was here that she developed her stride. In 2018, Kathy was awarded the 2nd place for the Dr. Donald & Beverly Turner and Phil & Sarah Saitta Award for Acrylic as well at the Equine Art Committee Poster Award. Many of her works are pulled directly from the world around her. “I have to say that I am compelled to paint and it does come quite easily which is a good thing because the Methow Valley throws you a beautiful scene or animal at a tremendous speed and I just have to capture all that I am able.”
Donna has been and artist for most of her life, and over the last 5 years she has committed to painting. A graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, Donna’s works convey the ineffable wonder she finds in nature. She’s well traveled, too. Raised in Michigan, Donna has worked in Alaska, lived in Massachusetts, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle until she found her home here in the Methow Valley where her life and art blended together. She said, “I believe we live in paradise and that is the message in my work.”
Paula Christen has a unique relationship with the natural world and manages to bring it to light in her watercolors. A Winthrop resident, Paula is constantly inspired by her surroundings in the Methow Valley, taking a walk or spending time on her deck. Paula grew up around US National Fish Hatcheries and spent summers during college as a fire lookout and has always been in love with the nature she paints. She said, “ my paintings are a reminder to experience your own best by connecting with nature.”
Rod has been featured at Sun Mountain Lodge for over 30 years. His work and love for the area show through in his pursuit of “interesting light” and the serenity of the natural world. Rod also spent summers as a fire lookout but it wasn’t until he went to Alaska as a drill sergeant that he found his love for painting. His art has been featured in Arts in the Parks and he was artist in residence at Denali National Park in Alaska.
John has always enjoyed the challenge of communicating a natural moment on paper with watercolor. His work highlights his favorite times of year in the Methow Valley: The beautiful glow of the winter and the delicious colors in the spring. A life-long painter, graphic designer and art instructor, John combines his love of active outdoor pursuits and watercolor painting at his mountain cabin in the Methow Valley.
Mary Powell’s breathtaking oils offer a new take on contemporary impressionism. From farm scenes to landscapes, Mary has the knack for capturing the light and essence of a moment and bringing it to life. A student of Russian Impressionist Ron Lukas, Mary’s take on light and images is softer, more subtle than some, and it’s her distinct signature that she’s become well known for. The Methow Valley has been a homecoming of sorts for Mary, having been raised in the Sierra Nevadas.
Margaret is the youngest of the group of accomplished artists, yet her skills and talent make her right at home with the veteran artists. Her hyper-realistic works feature breathtaking mountain views. An oil painter and art educator, Margaret moved to the Methow Valley from New Hampshire where she taught visual arts. Her work has most recently been featured in the “Cabin Couture” show at the Confluence Gallery.
Rick Balam is a different sort of artist. Of the Haida and born and raised on the Tulalip Indian Reservation, Rick grew up learning the traditional forms of carving that he brings to Sun Mountain. Much of his work is an amalgam from many of the indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest: Salish, First Nations, Nootka, Kwakiutl, Bella Coola, Tsimshian and Tlingit to name a few. A retired law enforcement officer, Rick now spends most of his time carving in his wood shop at his home near Twisp.