Jim graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Botany. He worked as a laboratory technician and then returned to Western Washington University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education. He graduated from the Master Gardener program through the County Extension Office after which he started his own landscape business. It was in those classes where Jim met Mary Ann and George Drake, from whom he bought plants from their nursery at the present site of Big Rock Garden Park. Jim worked for the City of Bellingham Parks Department on grounds and trails. During this time he became an ISA certified arborist and was a licensed pesticide applicator. He has a strong interest in both plants and art. Landscaping encompasses those interests as well as his volunteering at Big Rock Garden Park and with Sculpture Northwest.
George Drake was the Director of a United States information agency cultural center in the State of Caldas, Colombia where he managed art exhibits in the gallery and performance space. George has a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. While a professor at Western Washington University, he organized the Japan Art Center in Bellingham, which brought in exhibits from Japan. He was also the founder of the International Crèche Festival that showed nativity sets of the world in Bellingham and imported folk art nativity scenes from over twenty nations. He was the founding director of ‘Gardens of Art – Gallery of Fine Art for the Garden’ located on family property that later was purchased by the City of Bellingham to become Big Rock Garden Park. The sculpture exhibits in the garden setting of the park became a tourist destination in northwestern Washington.
A San Francisco native was educated at UC Berkeley and Pilchuck Glass School and has been a glass artist and science educator for over 30 years. Six months of backpacking in the Southwest and a year-long travel from Newfoundland to Key West in a canoe sparked her interest in protecting our environment. Subsequent grant work with the EPA and NOAA cemented her interest in issues related to climate change. She focuses the heat of her commitment, as well as that of her kilns and torches, to transform glass and steel into
Richard is an abstract sculptor and painter with a primary focus on composition. His goal is to create visually engaging art that continues to endure on an intellectual and emotional level. Richard’s history includes a BFA, BEd, and MFA from WSU, Pullman; a scholarship to study art at Nihon University in Japan; and a sabbatical to study art and architecture in NYC, Europe, and Russia. Richard built a career as an art educator and taught intaglio printmaking at Skagit Valley College. He has been represented by numerous regional galleries. He’s been a full-time artist for 12 years and has been represented by numerous regional galleries.
Frank has been involved in the arts on Whidbey Island since 1985 as a board member of the Whidbey Island Arts Council and the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. Currently a Board Member of the Island County Tourism Committee and Chairman of the Langley Arts Commission, Frank’s personal goals are to make a significant contribution by increasing arts programming in local schools and installing new and exciting public art on South Whidbey Island. Frank maintains a studio in the Freeland Art Studios where he carves figurative work in stone and clay.
Al was born with a pencil in his hand. He was always involved with art in school and graduated with a Bachelor of Professional Arts in Advertising from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.
He worked as a designer of TWA exhibits for the New York World’s Fair, was an art director for ITT Corporation as well as a design studio serving major advertising agencies. He then launched his own design and advertising studio in Los Angeles.
Al moved to West Vancouver, British Columbia, opening an art gallery, and began marketing the work of artists and craftspeople from western Canada. During this time, he continued work as a design and advertising consultant, was an instructor of applied design, and served as coordinator of the art programs of Capilano University in North Vancouver.
In Bellingham, Al continues his design, advertising work and assists his wife Lynn in operating Bellingham ART, a drawing and painting school.