Mount Rainier arouses our fascination in the way certain women fascinate certain men, by combining irresistible beauty with a sense of potential danger. Probably no other mountain has been painted, drawn, and photographed more than this icon of the Pacific Northwest and its allure has even inspired a namesake event. Organizers of the Rainier Arts Festival—“a celebration of art and music inspired by the mountain”—recently tapped into that allure, as experienced by artists and photographers, by holding a contest to design the official poster for this annual event which will take place during the weekend of Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2011. Winners have just received the good news.
Rainier Arts Festival Coordinator Cindy Watts made the following statement: “The Rainier Arts Festival is pleased to announce Janette Stiles as the winner of the 2011 poster contest. We would like to thank all of the artists for their submissions. Fantastic works were sent in by local artists and from as far away as France.”
Stiles, a prolific painter who lives on the east side of Tacoma, said, “When I got the call that I had won the contest, I was very excited and somewhat overwhelmed. Many people will see this poster and I hope they will be inspired to attend the Rainier Arts Festival and that they will enjoy my artwork as much as I enjoyed doing it.”
Stiles has lived near the mountain all her life and is awed by its omnipresence. “I have a wonderful view from my studio,” she said. “It’s inspiring to get up in the morning and see the early light cast on the mountain.
“I designed the Rainier Arts Festival poster using my painting ‘Majestic Rainier,’ one of several paintings I’ve done of the mountain over the years. The background and graphics just sort of came together using the colors in the painting as my guide.”
“When I was little, I used to think that the mountain was God,” Stiles said. If that is the case, we all hope this is one god who will never be angered. Rainier is the third largest and most dangerous volcano in the Cascades, according to the website of the United States Geological Survey.
But for now, the mountain sleeps. Visitors can feel perfectly safe as they enjoy a wide variety of art work. The festival offers paintings, drawings, sculptures, glass art, photography, scrimshaw, engraving, jewelry, quilts, plus other fiber arts and textiles. Interested artists can learn more, and download the 2011 application form on the Call for Artists page of the festival’s website.In addition to all that artwork, plenty of live music, inexpensive workshops, and food will combine to offer an exceptionally fun weekend for the whole family.Admission and parking are both free.
So, don’t worry about Mount Rainier’s possibly volatile nature. The gentleness of wildflowers, mountain air, birdsongs, and the scent of evergreens all temper the personality of this hot attraction. In any case, having such an amazing landmark so close by is worth a celebration, and none could be more perfect than the Rainier Arts Festival.