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RENEWAL: Historic Roots & Artistic Growth

September 16, 2023 - January 1, 2024

Kathleen Fruge Brown

Featured photo by Kathleen Fruge Brown

The City of Auburn’s new art center gallery in the historic 1937 post office building featured a group exhibition titled “RENEWAL: Historic Roots and Artistic Growth” in summer 2023, to showcase artworks by PNW artists representing imagery and ideas of trees, branches, and similar growth through nature.

Featuring 24 original artworks by artists: Diane Davis, Amanda DeSilverJan Dove, Ryan DunnKevin EbiRebecca ElyanowPete FlemingKathleen Frugé BrownD'Arcy Heiber, Lynn Kamola, Janice KingVanessa Lanza, Corbie Leiker, Steve Lloyd, Jannelle Loewen, Donald MacDonaldMary MannSteven MarkussenYoshi NakagawaEric Shellgren, John SmitherJeff SweetSuze Woolf, and Xin Xin.

Wishing Trees
A Community Art Project
September 16 - January 1, 2024

Wishing Tree 

Greg Bartol, Steve Nagode, Steve Ray, Anita Schuller, and Frank Whylie.

Starting in summer 2017, the City of Auburn began a community art project called the “Wishing Tree.” The wishing tree ritual has multiple sources, among which is an Armenian tradition dating back to pre-Christian times. Participants would write a hope, dream, wish or desire on pieces of cloth or paper and tie them to the tree. Wishing trees have been found all over the world in places like Glasgow, Hong Kong, Finland, New York and San Francisco.

For Auburn’s Wishing Trees, the community has been welcomed to draw and write wishes on leaves that are being displayed from metal trees as a work of collaborative community art. The goal of this project is to bring people together and create a work of public art that expresses the uniqueness and diversity of our growing community. Our hope is that each unique leaf can celebrate the wish and character of each individual participant, as well as collectively representing the beauty, wishes, and unity of our community.

This grove of beautiful metal Wishing Trees, created for Auburn’s inaugural exhibition at the new Postmark Center for the Arts, were created by the following talented local artists: Greg Bartol, Steve Nagode, Steve Ray, Anita Schuller, and Frank Whylie.


Opening Reception

Opening Reception 

On Wednesday, October 18, Postmark Center for the Arts held an opening reception for 30 artists that made RENEWAL & Wishing Trees possible. 

From 5:00-7:00 PM artists spoke about their artistic processes, inspirations, and connections to the theme. Receptions also serve as an opportunity for guests to ask questions and meet the artists.

Paper wishing leaves were provided so guests could add to the show during the reception.