Still Life: The Show

Last weekend, May 11, was the opening of the Troika Still Life show at the Bitters Co. barn that I wrote about last month. Troika is what Julie Paschkis, Deborah Mersky, and I call our joint collaborative endeavors.

The barn is a beautiful old building near the town of Mt. Vernon in the Skagit Valley of Washington State. The slanted ceiling is high and the beams and rafters are dark, aged wood. The weather for the day was clear and sunny. Light streamed through the windows at both ends of the space. Bitters Co. is owned and run by sisters Katie and Amy Carson, who design beautiful and useful goods made by craftspeople from around the world. 

Here are some photos from the installation:

The hanging of the first of our three fifteen-foot long collaborative stenciled banners:

Julie is looking for the best spot for her larger-than-life paper lady.

She found it!

Here, my daughter Ella is helping fill the pockets in my “Correspondence” piece.

Katie Carson has just helped install the hooks to hold the dowels to hold my “Cream Top” and “Sugar Shirt.”

And here are photos from the day of the opening! (I forgot to take pictures during the event itself, but here are photos of the work before and after attendees were there).

Julie’s paper lady welcomed our guests.Our three “Cloud Banners” graced the center of the gallery space.These are some of Deborah Mersky’s collaged clay prints.

These are two sugar lift prints by Deborah.

Julie installed a wall of cut paper pieces, painted and poked.

Here are two more paintings by Julie.

This is my Entwined I piece, knitted from twine.

This piece is titled Correspondence. It is sewn from cotton batiste fabric, and includes 33 pockets that hold letters and cards that my mother and I wrote to each other over many years.

Below is Loneliness, sewn from denim, but maybe I should have titled it “Solitude.”

And Workmen’s Circle, also sewn from denim. Six pairs of continuous jeans – each right leg becomes the left leg of the pair in front of it. This piece required a lot of planning and engineering on my part. Added plus: it spins in the breeze.

And outside the barn hangs one more banner. Three wheels of Troika. 

The show will be up till May 27. The barn is at 14034 Calhoun Rd. The hours are 11-4 daily. 360-466-3550. The new Bitters Co. shop is in La Conner: 501 1st St. Call first to make sure they’re open if you plan to stop by.

18 responses to “Still Life: The Show

  1. Such a fun show. I still can’t figure out how you did that carousel of jeans.

  2. The pieces are so pure and filled with love. Oh, how I’d like to be in this beautiful barn. Thank you for sharing your work.

  3. Museum of wonders. This is worth a road trip for sure. I wish it could stay up somewhere forever. Seriously, any chance of your show going on the road, at least? I’m so glad you shared so many great photos. Well – I am just in awe of you three.

  4. Aw, thank you, Wendy! We have no plans for a road show, but Troika will keep on rolling for sure!

  5. As usual when I go to the shows at Bitters & Co., this took my breath away. Your pieces are so inventive, Margaret – we all tried to figure out how you did them! And Julie’s & Deborah’s pieces, full of energy and whimsy. And the barn, almost like a cathedral. Wonderful, thanks!

  6. Catherine Iino

    Beautiful! wish I were 3,000 miles closer!

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  8. Kathryn Glowen

    We love going to the Bitters Barn it is a wonderful space and the art was a wonder especially in that space. I was lucky to get 2 little cut outs, one for a friend and one for my husband so I will have a reminder of the beautiful event. Kathy Glowen

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