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Tag Archives: TwispWorks

I’ve been working with a student at the Independent Learning Center (ILC) in Twisp this fall. He showed interest in photography early in the quarter and his teachers asked if I’d mentor him as he pursued this interest. We have spent time talking about photography, going on photo walks and working on the computer – learning about photo processing. I have little experience with teaching so it’s a learning experience for both of us. He is an eager learner, ready to pursue new topics and also a good listener. It’s been fun.

The ILC is located on the TwispWorks campus. We visited some of the studios on the campus and walked around the adjoining neighborhood and to the park at the confluence of the Twisp and Methow River. Hopefully soon we will have snow-covered backdrops to explore.

Looking through the photos from our walks, I miss the colors of fall. Especially on this foggy dark November day.

At Saturday’s Phoenix Festival in Twisp I spent some time watching Samantha Carlin create a glass vase. Samantha’s studio, Lucid Glassworks, is located on the TwispWorks campus and she was doing glass blowing demonstrations. I’d never watched the process from start to finish before. She explained each step along the way and it was obvious that she really enjoys what she does!

We’re Not Burning Man was the theme of Saturday’s Phoenix Festival at TwispWorks. After this summer in the Methow Valley, folks came together from TwispWorks, Methow Arts, KTRT, The Confluence Gallery and others to create a reason to celebrate; to put this summer of fire behind us. It was a grand success! The music, the visual arts, the fun all put smiles on people’s faces. Spontaneous hugs erupted all over the place. We were able to enjoy fire – campfires, fire juggling, and later on (I missed these) fire dancing and a trumpet of fire!

There was music on two different stages from the start at 2 in the afternoon til way after 10 at night. All kinds of music. There were art demonstrations. There was interactive art. There were art vendors. Artist studios were open. Kids played with balls. Dogs were seen enjoying the scene.

Firefighters, the ambulance crews, law officers and a lookout were honored for their work during the emergencies.

People shared deeply personal art in the Share building. Some pieces were created for the show including paintings, collage, photos and poetry. Some were artifacts from the fires. It was all deeply touching.

Here are a few (too many) images from the event.


When I first thought about where I’d like to live, the Methow Valley was high on my list for two things – the terrific outdoor recreation possibilities (hiking, skiing, etc) and the arts. This area has a large number of creative people and it also supports the arts pretty remarkably for such a rural location. Last night we had the good fortune to experience a wonderful musical act – Cahalen and Eli in the Spartan Art Project which is currently located at TwispWorks. How can I begin to describe all of this? Let’s see – TwispWorks is housed in a former US Forest Service complex that was surplused by the federal government and put out for auction. A group of civic minded folks decided it could be a great incubator to support arts and small businesses in our valley and they raised enough money ($1 million dollars!) to buy it and then they had to start refurbishing the old buildings. Now it is home to art studios, classrooms, a natural history center, teen center and more! The Spartan Art Project is a 1951 travel trailer transformed into a gallery space supporting artists both local and from far away. It is the brainchild of three local artists. Last night Donna Keyser’s studio on the TwispWorks campus hosted a reception for the musicians and the audience.

Cahalen and Eli are two fine acoustic musicians based in Seattle. In the last week they have been featured on NPR and Folk Alley and probably other media outlets as well. They write many of their own songs and play mandolins, banjo and guitar and their harmonies are wonderful We were lucky to have such a talented duo in our tiny town of Twisp. One of the ways that the Spartan Art Project supports artists is with their ‘Intimate Performances’. This is the third one. As you might imagine, an old travel trailer does not seat too many people. However, the acoustics are wonderful and the chance to see these men performing up close was particularly entertaining. We reserved two seats so we could be up close and personal with the show.

Uh oh. You can tell that this winter is going to be a long one. The lack of snow is bringing out some real creativity in the valley.

Yesterday Jennifer asked me if I was going to race and I had not a clue what she was referring to. Then she said ‘bring your camera to TwispWorks at noon’. Hmmm. MA knew about the race too and apparently was thinking about entering. She and I had a dog walk this morning and, well, we were a little late but we figured, like many events around here, it might not start quite on time. We were wrong. By the time we got there, most contestants had already had their practice run and their competitive run. MA was convinced to join in the fun and did really well, coming in third place out of about a dozen qualifiers. There were a few rules. Knocking over a cup would cost you time. Going off course would get you disqualified. Costumes were encouraged.

Steve Foreman’s video from the Big Wheel Derby can be seen at the Methow Grist.


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