CHEWELAH NEWS: Art finds a way to shine

(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)

WINTERFEST 2021: Covering many different mediums, art show takes virtual approach to awards ceremony…

The general crowded nature of Trails End Gallery during a First Thursday wasn’t a reality on Feb. 4, but the spirit was there as Winterfest 2021 opened.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, a handful of masked artists and patrons took in the show in person, while a multitude of people joined via ZOOM to hear the winners of the second annual juried art show.

The show features 20 area artists and over 50 pieces of work. Some of these artists chose to be on the event’s ZOOM call while others chose to be in person.

Winterfest 2021 was held both virtually and in-person with a small number of people in the Trails End Gallery. (Brandon Hansen photo)

Jacqueline McDermott, Gloria Fox, Amber Semenza and Debbie Highbanks received honorable mentions for their work. McDermott painted a three-piece set from 49 Degrees North, and “The Summit” painting of the ski resort’s summit hut earned the honor.

Katherine Burnell, also known as Lady Red from Camo’d Arrow, won third place for her “Horn Vessel” which was a ceramic vase with an antler top.

Amalia Fisch won second place with her “In The House” watercolor.

Widely known Chewelah artist Narada Cater, who has previously held shows at Trails End Gallery, notched a first place finish for his “Spirit Buck” painting.

Matteo Di Ventra earned best of show for his “Hallow’s Eve” oil painting. Di Ventra will be showing at Trails End Gallery in the coming months.

Judging the show was Dave Andersen and Jen Fuller. Andersen is an internationally exhibited artist and is currently a professor of art at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, OR. Jen Fuller is a renowned artist from Portland with focuses on site-specific installation art utilizing glass, steel, digital media and found objects.

The Overall Best in Show netted $400, while first place won $300 thanks to a generous donation by Mike and Lauretta Bentz; second place earned $200 and third place took home $150.

The show will run for three months. You can visit the show by going into Trails End Gallery during business hours, or by other means if you’d like a more isolated experience.

“We limit crowd size for our First Thursday, and then if you want to see the art alone, you can come in during the day. You can also have a private showing if you call me and set it up,” Trails End Gallery Owner Tim Nielsen said.

Nielsen can be reached at 503-516-8355 or

“It’s amazing to look at the diversity of the art from the area,” Nielsen said.

Several sponsors also helped with the event, including the Chewelah Golf and Country Club, Re/Max Realty, the Chewelah Arts Guild, the Chewelah Creative District along with a donation from Mike and Lauretta Bentz for the first place prize. Traci Manley also designed the poster for the second year in a row along with the award certificates.

There were a varied number of subjects covered in the art show.