Local artists have been dared, three-fold, for a Lewiston-area art challenge.Abstract idea and art studio, Blue Sky Mondays, is hosting their third challenge, in which participants have created a triptych — a work of art that is divided into three sections of equal or varying sizes. Complete pieces will be on display June 1 at The Blue Lantern.
“Triptychs originated in the Middle Ages but are also a popular format for photography. They can be three pieces individually that are in a theme, or one continuous piece,” said Blue Sky Mondays owner Kelsey Grafton. “They can be hinged or broken up.”
Eight artists worked from May 8 to May 29 to create their own version of a triptych.
Jennifer Whitted’s triptych is a 3-D fiber piece, created out of layers of painted felt, organza, yarn, driftwood, artificial flowers, seashells, crystals and a branch.
Whitted works at a veterinary clinic three to four hours a day and works with art much more. From selling her art online, to being a member of a fiber fusion group at the Dahmen Barn, her hobby as a quilter turned into art about 10 years ago. This is her third Blue Sky Mondays challenge.
“I needed some kind of stimulation, and it sounded like it’d be really fun and move (me) outside of the box,” Whitted said.
For challenge participant Rachel Jameton, it’s been about 10 years since she’s laid a finger on her paintbrush. She painted when she was in high school, through college and graduate school and even through her first job. But once she had kids and a family, she said she had no time to devote to art.
“And in fact, the last painting I had tried to finish was a triptych,” said the Lewiston-Clark State College chemistry professor. “I’ve never participated in one of these (challenges) before, and it turned out to be a triptych. I took the one out. I had it wadded up in the back of a closet.”
She placed the piece on her porch, which was the only location big enough for it, and finished what she started. Three pianos span the piece. A set of sisters sit at two of the pianos, while they stare at something in the third panel.
“I actually was stuck on it,” Jameton said. “I couldn’t’ figure out what they were looking at on the third triptych.”
But now, Jameton has two daughters herself. She has since rearranged the panels in the triptych from 10 years ago and her own daughters are in the middle panels.
“(The sets of sisters) don’t look like they’re looking at anything awful anymore,” Jameton said. “They look happy to be together. It’s turned into something about sisters.”
Grafton said Jameton’s history with art articulates why she poses challenges to the community.
“With the past two challenges, I have seen artists come out of the woodwork.” she said. “Many who say they were once prolific, but due to life or circumstances, they haven’t finished a painting in years.”
So while Jameton said she has been out of practice, the challenge gave her an opportunity to get back into the swing of things.
“I’m balancing a job and kids and life and kind of forgot how fun it is to create something,” Jameton said. “It’s very much motivating for me to get back into it.”
Grafton is working on a triptych, too, which is one of the reasons why she chose to do triptychs for the challenge. Her triptych is a study for murals in Lewiston’s Town Square and will be designed as three vignettes.
“Although it was selfish, because it aligns with another project I am working on, it gives an artist an opportunity to expand on an idea, or tell a story,” she said. “To produce a series in threes is a challenge that not all artists are able to meet.”
Triptych artwork from Blue Sky Mondays’ challenge will be hung June 1 at The Blue Lantern and will remain throughout the month. The public can meet the triptych artists from 2-4 p.m. June 1. Visits to Blue Sky Mondays can be made by appointment at (208) 750-5071.
Treffry can be contacted at email@example.com, or by phone at (208) 883-4640.
If you go:
WHAT: Blue Sky Mondays’ Triptych Challenge art show
WHEN: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, starting June 1. Meet the artists from 2-4 p.m. June 1.
WHERE: The Blue Lantern, 326 Main St., Lewiston, Idaho