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August 19, 2011     West Seattle Herald
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August 19, 2011
 

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10 Friday, August 19, 2011 West Seattle Herald DeMent leaves ArtsWest Steve Shay West Seattle artist Nichole DeMent left as gallery director for A rtsWest to pursue a full time career focusing on her artwork. Behind her are examples of her encaustic work, her photographs treated with layered beeswax. The work hangs at the NW Encaustic studio south of the Morgan Junction. Former gallery director plans to to focus on her own artwork By Steve Shay After four years and one month, ArtsWest's gallery director Nich- ole DeMent called it quits to focus on her own artistic creations. Her encaustic images currently hang at the NW Encaustic studio through the month at the artistic loft building simply known as "The Building", 7150 44th Ave. S.W. and S.W. Othello St., just west of California Ave. S.W, "Encaustic" images involve creating a one of a kind translucent print layered with beeswax, powdered pigments and, in the case of DeMent's work, photographs. "I live near ArtsWest and walked to work every day," said DeMent, who was born in Austin, TX, where, she said, "There wasn't a lot of art, but a bunch of hippies, and you could do whatever you wanted and having a fee spirit. "I know almost all of the artists who showed work at ArtsWest," she said. "The Artwalk in the four years I was there became a big event with hundreds of people coming in. At first the sales were really good. I was able to double the amount of sold art in the first year I was there. Then the econo- my went south and so did the sales, unfortunately. "Some wonder if I was fired," she continued. "Absolutely not. I give a lot of credit [to] those who trusted me as a curator and to the jurors who helped me decide what was shown. "The titles of my pieces include 'Metamorphosis' and 'Fruition' and those are some of the con- cepts," she explained. "There are a lot of roots digging into the piece, things etched into the surface with the photographic prints that I fill in with paint and color. All of my work starts with a photograph. I was a photography and art history student at Evergreen State College. Go Geoducks! "When I was in school I had access to color and B&W dark- rooms and could process my own film. I could touch my work. Now everything is digital and all you do is get this cold, frozen shoulder from working on a mouse all the time in digital photography. I real- ly missed the tactile experience of working with my prints so I started to paint on them. "Encaustic was the next step for me. With encaustic, the layers and the looking through the surface of things with wax, oil paints and dif- ferent papers appealed to me. You burnish, fuse, the wax and paper together. I've always wanted to provide an environment with my photographs. And I always wanted to get dirty. There is an honor to getting your clothes dirty. You can't buy those. Those are hard earned." She shares Rock DeMent Visual Art Space in Pioneer Square, 306 S Washington St, Studio 104, with Stephen Rock, a watercolor, pen, pencil, ivory etching and digital imaging artist. Steve Shay can be reached at steves@robinsonnews.com. hCG Weight Loss Program Steve Shay BEHIND THE MASK. The walls of C&P Coffee, 5612 Cal- ifornia Ave. S. W., feature Caribbean artwork that benefits the triple bottom line company, "'A Splash of the Carib- bean" through August. There are masks made of calabash cords, paper mache, plus metal etched paintings on wood and rag rugs made out of rice sacks from the Dominican Republic. Open for weekend hourly at the Jensen Pt. 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