Best of the Northwest Highlights Local Artist Gretchen Fuller

I was in the little local Ballard News Tribune in November discussing my thoughts on Seattle’s Public Art and the upcoming Best of the Northwest. Probably should have posted this earlier, but alas. WordPress and I are still trying to figure each other out.

Mosaic and Mixed Media artist Gretchen Fuller, owner of Crazy Diamond Mosaics, will be among an array of regional artists to showcase and sell their work at the ‘Best of the Northwest Fall Art Show’.

By Anne-Marije Rook | 2011-11-15

The art show features 250 artists and artisans chosen to display their latest creations of jewelry, clothing, drawings and glassworks, ceramics, painting, wood and metal works.

While Fuller is no stranger to the arts, having been a graphic designer and illustrator for 18 years, it was only recently that she traded her wireless mouse for a glass cutter.
“I was drawn to mosaics when I visited Philadelphia two years ago and saw the outdoor murals Isaiah Zagar created all over South Philly. Some of them are over three stories high! Isaiah took a rather undesirable part of the city and made it sparkle with broken pieces of mirror and tile and glass, pottery – what other people might consider trash, and made something remarkable. He changed the way people felt about their city. I took a workshop with him and that kicked off the obsession,” Fuller recalled.

Upon returning to Seattle, Fuller embarked on what she refers to as a “dumpster diving and tile store trolling bender”, amassing over two tons of tile, glass, and previously owned objects currently housed in her Ballard garage.

Fuller enjoys incorporating her quirky sense of style and irony into her artwork. “Because of my design background, there was no choice but to jump in and do graphically stimulating images,” she said. Fuller’s pieces ranges from portraits of cult icons, musicians, and superheroes (such as Wonder Woman, David Bowie and Bob Ross) to sculptures such as a bejeweled cat/vulture. Not the usual subdued imagery one might expect from a mosaic. “Typically people associate mosaics with nursing homes or libraries. I can’t create emotionless images that look like they should be in a dentist’s office. But because of that stereotype, some people still don’t regard mosaics as a viable art form,” she said. “I hope I can change people’s point of view in some way because there are no limits to where mosaics can take your imagination. It’s a very powerful medium.”

Fuller strongly believes that Seattle’s current public art installations lack vitality and edginess. “Public art has the power to create a prominent visceral impact, and aid in visually defining a city. It should provoke emotion and emulate its spirit. What do we have – a gigantic eraser and a troll?” she said.

In the last six months, Fuller has had a gallery show at Seattle Mosaic Arts and has exhibited at the Shoreline Arts Festival, Tasty Gallery, and GeekGirlCon.

“My hope is to eventually mosaic any open, free and legal public art space- stay tuned Ballard!” she said.

Best of the Northwest Fall Art Show is Seattle’s largest indoor juried art and fine craft show. It runs from Friday, Nov 18, through Sunday, Nov 20, at Smith Cove Terminal, 2001 W. Garfield St. For more information about the event visit http://www.nwartalliance.com.
“It’s truly an honor to be part of the Best of the Northwest Fall Art Show. The crowd is sophisticated and discerning. They are there to see Art. And they won’t be disappointed,” Fuller said.

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