A VIDEO about
First Night 2016

Saving Stories

A short film about the Jefferson County Historical Society

Jefferson Art & History Museum
Open daily
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Research Center
Open Tuesday - Saturday
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Rothschild House Museum
Open daily
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m
Commanding Officer's Quarters Museum
Open daily
Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Olympic Peninsula Gateway Visitors Center
Open daily
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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Linda Okazaki JCHS First Friday Speaker

Linda OkazakiPainter Linda Okazaki will be the First Friday speaker on June 2. Her brightly-colored watercolor and oil paintings explore and expand on a foundation of figurative painting to create a distinctive style. She continually experiments with an intersection of personal narrative, the dream world, and the playful – and sometimes dark – part of the creative spirit.

Water and the landscapes of Washington are a source of inspiration for Okazaki. The Chinese Gardens are a favorite subject. “I know it’s not a real pond but I love watching all the different colors – it’s brown, it’s green, it’s orange, it’s pink, it’s blue. I feel like I could paint that the rest of my life,” said Okazaki.

Okazaki, a Port Townsend resident since 1980, has an MFA from Washington State University where she taught in the Fine Arts Department. She currently teaches at the Port Townsend School of Art but her main focus is the hours she spends in her studio. Okazaki’s paintings are in many collections including The Seattle Art Museum Northwest Collection, The Washington State Arts Commission, and The Jefferson Museum of Art & History.

Okazaki’s work is on exhibit until July 1st at The Virginia Inn at 1937 1st Avenue in Seattle where she and other artists who were showing work in Pioneer Square in the mid-70s congregated. The exhibit, a visual feast titled “Come to the Table,” is inspired by food, imagination, and the rich tradition of daily domestic ritual that encircle the table.

Her work is also on display in the exhibit “Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors & Patrons” at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History.

Okazaki will present an overview of her work and discuss how her early ideas still resonate in her contemporary paintings. She will show the stream of thematic ideas that travel through her work and some of the images from life and other painters that she references.

First Friday Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. in Port Townsend’s historic city council chamber, 540 Water Street.

Last Chance for Literary Presses & Book Signing

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History will be open for Art Walk on June 3, 5:30-8:00. It will be the last chance to see “The Printed Word in Port Townsend: Literary Presses of the 1970s and 80s” during an Art Walk. In the newly-created Women’s Jail Cell Gallery, the exhibit features beautiful examples of the seven literary presses that once operated in Port Townsend, one press for every 850 residents.

Author Jenny Westdal will be on hand to sign copies of the exhibit’s companion book, a detailed history of Port Townsend’s presses.

Also on exhibit at the museum is “Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors and Patrons” featuring art collected in the 1970s and 1980s paired with recent works by the same artists.

Literary Presses Post CardFrom the exhibit catalog:
In the 1970s and 80s a beautiful, forgotten, small town on the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend, Washington, was the sight of an unusual literary blossoming.  Writers, most of them young, had started migrating to the area in the aftermath of the sixties.  The Centrum Foundation’s Writers’ Conference was established and Copper Canyon Press found a home with them.  Other small presses started soon after.

In 1984, only New York City received more National Endowment of the Arts awards to literary presses than Port Townsend.  There was more than one publisher for every 850 people of the population.

The exhibit features seven of Port Townsend’s presses, the people behind them, and the magical time and place where they came into being.

Historic House Museums
Open for the Season

Port Townsend’s two historic house museums opened for the summer season on May 1. The Rothschild House and the Commanding Officer’s Quarters are both owned by Washington State Parks and managed by the Jefferson County Historical Society.

The Commanding Officer’s Quarters at Fort Worden spent the winter under wraps. The exterior of the COQ was was wrapped in white plastic to contain lead paint as it was removed during a renovation of the building's exterior.

The COQ was home to more than 25 commanding officers and their families from 1904, when it was built, until 1953. It's perched above the bluff at the end of Officers’ Row and was restored in the late 1970s and opened as a museum in 1982.

The Commanding Officer’s Quarters is will be open daily from 12:00 to 5:00.

The Rothschild House Museum, on the corner of Franklin and Taylor Streets, was built in 1868 and is furnished with the original contents once owned by the Rothschild family. It will be open daily from 11:00 to 4:00.

Admission to either location is $6, a pass for both locations is $8.00. Admission is free for JCHS members.

Simpson Exhibt Postcard

Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors & Patrons

“Pat and Peter Simpson: Collectors and Patrons,” opened March 24. The exhibit features artists who benefited from the encouragement and support of these long-time Port Townsend citizens.

Many pieces are from the Simpson’s collection, which are mostly from the mid-80s. Works of the some of the same artists from later in their careers are also featured. “By showing some of their more contemporary work we get a little bit of a survey of those artists and how their work has progressed,” said curator Ann Welch.

Artist's featured are Tom Wilson, Jo Ann Alber, Kate Jenks, Anne Hirondelle, Stephanie Lutgring, Stephen Yates, Linda Okazaki, Galen Garwood, and Ed Cain. Stephen Yates created a large painting, Navigator’s Strategy, specifically for the exhibit.

Pat and Peter Simpson were known for many things, Pat for her work at Centrum and running and Peter as the director of Port Townsend Film Festival, his writing, and his work at Community Action. Unless you’d been to their home, or were an artist, you may not have known that they were also serious art collectors.

The Simpsons donated the bulk of their collection to the Jefferson County Historical Society. Their son David loaned the family portraits to the museum for this exhibit.

“One of the things I discovered was that they had their hands and minds and hearts in almost every major organization, and minor organization, that was going on in Port Townsend. Over the years I think they left a big imprint on Port Townsend. If we could imagine what it would have been like here without them, the town would have been quite different,” said Coney.