Sammamish Arts Commission Presents - Don Fels: Vanishing Points

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Release Date: Jan. 6, 2016

Sammamish Arts Commission to Present:
Don Fels: Vanishing Points
January 19, – April 14, 2016

Sammamish, WA – The Sammamish Arts Commission is pleased to present the art of internationally acclaimed visual artist Donald Fels in an exhibition titled Vanishing Points. The works to be displayed in the Commons Gallery in the Sammamish City Hall, will provide a history lesson gleaned from World War II with a personal connection and will demonstrate a remarkable collaborative artistic process. Also on view will be ten collage works made from the many traditional paper posters and announcements found lining the streets of Southern Europe and India. He has repurposed the patterns and imagery from the paper to create compelling abstract collages with an aura of far-off places. The exhibit will be on view January 19 through April 14, 2016. A reception and discussion for the exhibit will be held Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 6:00-8:00pm in the Commons Gallery.

In 2008 while working in Southern India, Don Fels reconnected with family history involving his father’s WWII experience as a pilot flying “the Hump,” as the heroic China-Burma-India airlift became known. Planes crammed with cargo were flown by courageous pilots over high, misty, and icy peaks where the fatality rate was nearly fifty percent. Vanishing Points is both a personal history with generational connections and a linking of the artistic talents of Fels, the artist with the billboard painters of Cochin. The story has moved on to another generation – Fels’ son Benjamin who at the time was the same age as his grandfather when he began historic and dangerous flights. Materials used in this exhibit – the 4’ x4’ painted aluminum panel format – shares a striking material affinity with the skins of the aircraft flown by Fels’ father.

Donald Fels is active in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He holds a B.A. in Art, History and Literature from Wesleyan University, and an M.A. Ed. with Honors from City University where he was the Board of Governor’s Presidential Scholar. He also studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of Washington. Fels has been a Fulbright Fellow to Italy and a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar to India. He has twice received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a grant recipient of the Jack Straw Foundation, 4Culture, Artist Trust, the Ferguson Foundation, the Goodfellow Foundation, the Washington Council on the Humanities, the Ella West Freeman Foundation and the Northwest Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in Italy. He was a Whiteley Fellow at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Marine Biology Laboratory from 2002-06. Fels has received multiple grants and commissions from Seattle area arts commissions. His work can be found in regional, national and international collections. The Washington State Arts Commission has recently purchased an entire series of Fels’ paintings completed in South India, for permanent installation at University of Washington Tacoma Honors College.

Fels has inaugurated artist residencies at and for many institutions, he has written about art and culture for numerous publications including The Seattle Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. He serves as a Trustee for the Henry Art Gallery and exhibits regularly at the Davidson Gallery in Seattle. Donald Fels’ website: www.artisthinker.com

The Sammamish Arts Commission offers a year-round series of exhibitions in the City Hall Commons Gallery with a primary focus on regional artists. Arts Commission information web site: www3.sammamish.us/Group.aspx?ID=3, Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter: Sammamish Arts Commission

Sammamish City Hall is located high atop the Sammamish Plateau, at the intersection of 228th Ave. SE and SE 8th Street. Exhibition is on view during regular City Hall hours Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm. Directions can be found on the City web site: www.ci.sammamish.wa.us.

Contact: Barbara Jirsa 425.391.4077 or barbarajirsa@comcast.net

Attached image: C46 Airplane, 8'x12', enamel on metal, Don Fels - 2008