Summer Soirée Auction Artwork:

It's A Beauty, 2011  

Dick Weiss, Cappy Thompson and Jeffrey Mitchell 

Fired ceramic platter (wall hanging) 

20” D 

Donated by Dick Weiss 

Value: $1,400 


Artist Statement: Everyone has been working about 50 years – there is 150 years in this platter!

Artists Bios: Dick Weiss was born in Everett Washington and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University. He is one of the founding members of the American Studio Glass Movement and is known for his stained glass screens, windows and installations. He began teaching at Pilchuck Glass School in 1982, and has completed commissions for the Bellevue Art Museum, Washington, the Port of Shanghai, Shanghai, China, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington, and the University of Washington, Seattle. His work can be found in impressive collections around the world including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.

Cappy Thompson has been painting glass since 1976. She started her career as a stained-glass painter and became internationally recognized for her reverse-painted narratives on glass using the grisaille (or gray-tonal) painting technique. Her works have been shown and collected internationally. Recent works include architectural-scale public art installations in painted glass at Sea-Tac Airport, The Museum of Glass in Tacoma, and other public sites.

Northwest artist Jeffry Mitchell creates expressive ceramic sculptures, prints, and drawings that investigate the complexities of the human experience. His works explore concepts of gender, spirituality, vulnerability, and self-discovery, often using accessible and familiar imagery of animals and flowers. He received a Bachelor of Arts in painting from the University of Dallas, apprenticed with a potter in Japan, and received a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.

This whimsical, delightful wall piece or platter is ready for hanging on your wall!  Created by Jeffrey Mitchell, Cappy Thompson and Dick Weiss in 2011 for an exhibition at Traver Gallery called Yours, Mine and Ours.  The medium is underglaze clay. Note that the decoration continues on the reverse.

Grasses, 2021 

Jennifer Vonholstein 

Watercolor triptych 

15" x 11.5" (x3)

Donated by Jennifer Vonholstein 

Value: $2,500 

Three original watercolors depicting local grasses native to Western Washington. Jennifer VonHolstein was born and lived in NYC until she moved to Roy, WA. She paints native plants that grow in her 10-acre garden.

Artist Bio: Born in NYC, growing up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I spent countless hours looking at art in The Metropolitan Museum, The old Whitney, and the Guggenheim all walking distance from my house. In the late 1970's, after a seven-month trip to India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. I landed back in New York City. Meeting\artist Jean Michel Basquiat at a party, we collaborated on a series of 40 postcards.  I left New York moving to the Adirondack Park with my three small children. Living in the Adirondacks opened my eyes to the beauty of nature. Transfixed by its immensity I started to paint native plants in oil.  I plunged into the complexity and mathematics of the natural world and found solace and deep happiness from working with plants and trees. Now living in Washington State. I am currently working on a large-scale map of our ten acres, drawing and painting native species in watercolor.

Caravan, 2018 

Jared Rue

Oil on canvas 

30 x 24 

Donated by Anonymous

Value: $5,500 

Artist Statement: When interpreting a landscape, I often try to find modern perspectives. My work has evolved from painting distant landscapes and underwater landscapes to my current compositions of ‘in-the-forest’, ‘water bank’, and ‘macro’ landscapes. My work, at times, leans towards the abstract yet still evokes a transcendent and genuine feeling of being able to enter, or step into, the paintings themselves – whether physically or mentally. The challenge is to create balance and contrast between light and dark, traditional and modern, boldness and serenity while at all times maintaining honesty. — Jared Rue

Artist Bio: Jared Rue is a self-taught artist. Except for some glass-blowing courses at Corning in New York and at the Haystack Mountain School in Maine, his work is the result of personal experimentation that began when he was a small boy and would sit in his room for two or three hours a day and paint with watercolors or complete paint-by-number projects. Only when he was in his 20s did he begin to experiment with oils on canvas and gradually develop his own method of layering. Rue’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions for more than 10 years and is in public collections throughout the country.

Nesting, 2019 

Susan Russell Hall 

Encaustic on custom made linen stretch panel 

29” x 26.6” 

Donated by Susan Russell Hall 

Value, $3,800 

Artist Statement: Art is my visual language bringing hope, discovery, compassion, and empowerment to the viewer.

Artist Bio: Susan Russell Hall is a Northwest artist and medical illustrator who comes from a long line of artisans. Since her first solo exhibition in 1977 Women’s Cultural Center at the University of Washington, her artworks have been exhibited nationally, as well as internationally. Since 1979, the artist has continued to document pediatric heart surgeries with her drawings from the operating room and has had these medical illustrations published in numerous books. As the artist explains of her work, 'By observing the perfect imperfections of the leaf, one sees beyond the surface to the actual beauty and into the depth of the object. Removing ourselves from viewing the surface and going deeper bonds us with others and with nature.



Rose and Music, 2020 

Charles Burt

Oil on canvas 

9" x 12"

Donated by Charles Burt 

Value: $1,500

Artist Bio: Charles Burt was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Arlington, Texas. After high school, he joined the Army to serve as an Armor Crewman where he applied the Army Values and technical manuals as tools of self-expression.

After 20 years of active-duty service, Charles retired from the Army and found he had a tough time adjusting to the different culture of civilian life. Seeking a way to connect with other disciplined and dedicated people, he found that many artists share his work ethic and drive to succeed. From this spark of connection, Charles began taking art courses at the local community college and then completed a four-year intensive fine art program at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle. He was once again among disciplined people who were dedicated to their craft and found a culture where he felt accepted.

About a year after retiring, Charles developed a tremor in his dominant hand and was later diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, yet he is able to push through the challenges of painting with a tremor and still achieve the hyper-realism that gives him a sense of accomplishment in his art. Charles hopes his art and story inspire other veterans to push for their goals outside of the military the same way they did while serving, and shows civilians a different perspective on the military.



Vespertine, 2021

Travis Frazelle

Oil on canvas 

2' x 3'

Donated by Travis Frazelle

Value: $3,000

Artist Bio:

Hello my name is Travis Frazelle, I’m 49 years old, I live in Washington state with my family and I’ve been painting for 35 years. I paint mainly subject matter that is close to me and what I experience in my personal life. Nature or the natural word is a big influence on me and how I see when I paint so light, dark, atmosphere, texture, tone, and timelessness are important to me and my work. I like to spend a lot of time outside observing the natural world the sky, water, rain, heat, and cold. I then try and paint those images on canvas back in my studio from memory and photographs. I also paint people, animals, and images that interest me like my daughter on a hike in late summer, the crows in my neighborhood, and old cartoon characters. When I paint, I don’t just try and copy what’s in front of me. I try and give it a compelling story, style, and painting technique that adds to the already vibrant subject matter. I want to take my viewers some place they have never been before. 

     My creative process is one that starts with brainstorming by sketching out ideas, sourcing subjects by watching movies, reading, and observation of the immediate natural world. I then come up with my color palette, tones, and a good division of lights and darks on a small scale, like sketch pad size. This way I don't waste time and money on large scale expensive canvas. After I have made my basic subject matter and design decision, I make small maquettes of my ideas in oil paint and/or the medium I intend to use for the final piece. Usually 8x10 inches and try and work out a rhythm to the big picture or a common thread between each of the paintings. I consider them all part of a bigger whole and not individual pieces. If one piece stands out because it's stronger or weaker then I have to adjust the one or the others to its level. This is why I would like to work on several paintings at once so that I can see progress in the whole and not just the individual.   

 Academically, I’ve studied painting and drawing at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Florence Academy of Art, The School of Representational Art, The Art Students League NYC, and the New York Academy of Design. The “Old Masters” and the many great museums of the world also have been influential on my painting practice. By visiting museums in the United States, the UK, and Europe my art has grown from provincial and local to mature and broad. 

Strong draftsmanship skills are essential to my work. If a painting is not well drawn first, then it's probably not a good painting. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Van Dyke, Velazquez, Rubens, Ingres, Degas, Monet, Sargent, Picasso,  Krasner, Kline, and de kooning  are some of the great draftsman that inspire and teach me. I use my learned drafting skills to direct my painting in a way that is realistic at times, abstract and expressionistic at others. I don't ever want to be considered a realist or an abstract painter only; I pull my favorite qualities from each art form and combine them into one finished piece. 

 Painting, for me, is about transforming what I see in my head into art on canvas. It’s about the journey as well as the finished piece so the time I spend painting is as important to me as the finished painting. Experiencing a paintings growth over time is like getting to know someone through conversation. I enjoy painting directly from nature and capturing a likeness in drawing, tone, and atmosphere, but I like a painterly hand with noticeable brush strokes, thick paint, and some of the under painting left in the final piece. If the painting is too realistic or too clumsy then I don't believe it's got the best of both in it. I want my viewers to know it's a painting and not a photograph but I also don’t want something unrecognizable and unrelatable. So my painting career has been an exploration, combining a mixture between both camps of realism and abstraction. Somewhere between both, there exists great painting. 

After studying painting and drawing in Chicago at The School of the Art Institute and The School of Representational Art, and a year at The Florence Academy of Art, Italy, I moved to New York City to study mural painting at the New York Academy of Design on a scholarship, and figure painting at the Art Students League. I lived in NYC for 17 years. While living in NYC, I was fortunate enough to work with some of the art world's leading artists: Chuck Close, David Salle, and Jeff Koons as a painting assistant. Working in their studios definitely influenced my art making.  

In Chuck Close's studio I was fortunate enough to accompany him to many art openings and museums which introduced me to contemporary art, but also the old masters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chuck is very generous when it comes to his knowledge of what goes into a painting of both old and new. He is like a living art history book with open pages that I had full access to. David Salle's studio taught me how to use what's immediately around me as influence be it in magazines, news paper, or film. “There are great images in it all and they look worthy when painted onto canvas”. At Jeff Koons’ studio, I received 10,000 hours of painting practice where I learned how to paint photo-realistically for 17 years. It was a real joy to work as a professional craftsman/assistant in his studio; I saw a lot of the New York art world come through his doors. 

While in New York, I applied for and received a McDowell Colony Artist Residency allowing me to concentrate on only my painting for an entire month in a large professional studio. While at the McDowell Colony, I wanted to paint something in a way I never had before, with big brush strokes, dripping paint, bold color. " No Face Mickey" and " The Cover Up" are the 2 paintings I completed at the McDowell that I have included in my list of images, (9 and 10.) The reason I am bringing attention to this is because when I am given the opportunity to concentrate on only my art work due to generosity and funding, I have made important breakthroughs in my art practices. An individual support grant from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation would allow me the time and space for another important step in my next and new cycle of paintings.   

Our Auctioneer, Laura Michalek:

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Fundraising Auctioneer Laura Michalek still relies on the endurance and discipline she possessed when at the age of 15, when she was the first female winner of the Chicago Marathon. While Ms. Michalek has hardly missed a day of running since then, it’s this intention to excel at what she loves that is most evident. “To me Auctioneering is about giving all of yourself, before and during the event, in a way that most folks wouldn’t expect.” (You can hear Ms. Michalek’s full story about her Marathon win through local NPR affiliate KNKX’s weekly Sound Effect broadcast, Episode #173.) Her style, fundraising insight, and commitment to her clients, and their mission, not only sets her apart, but has created a career beyond Ms. Michalek’s wildest dreams. “I’ve always been deeply interested in how non-profits I care about are going to sustain themselves, so it is nothing less than a thrill to know I can personally and professionally be part of that.” For 15 years prior to becoming a full time Fundraising Professional, Ms. Michalek owned and operated several nationally recognized vintage modern furniture stores in Seattle. “My critical eye, intuition, and energy level has been pretty consistent all these years, so whenever I set out to do something, it’s the same set of skills, just a slightly more developed new chapter.” As the youngest winner in the history of the Chicago Marathon, it has not been lost on Ms. Michalek that this experience informed her whole life. “When I start Auctioneering, it’s like being in the starting block all over again. I still set out to win, however, this time it’s for the organization I’m representing.”


To hear what folks are saying about Ms. Michalek visit or email or call direct at 206.464.0850.