The Island Gallery
virginia paquette


The Island Gallery
106 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA. 98110

Tel. 206-780-9500
Fax. 206-780-7811
For more information, contact
Susan Swannack-Nunn, Owner

September 14, 2004. For immediate release.
Exhibition & Jazz Performance: Virginia Paquette: FOREIGN BODIES, Bead Constructions and Paintings of Found Images from Italy, with Bill Smith, jazz performer and composer.
Exhibition Dates: October 1 – October 31, 2004
Opening Reception: Friday, October 1, 6-8 p.m.
Jazz Performance: Bill Smith, October 1, 7 p.m.

Virginia Paquette, an MFA graduate in painting from the University of Washington, has for a number of years divided her creativity between Seattle and Rome. Her work is inspired by natural form, color and phenomena. The work in this show is based on "found" images and materials from Virginia and husband, jazz performer and composer Bill O. Smith’s, time living in Italy each year. The images, colors, and textures are interpreted from Rome’s rich history of art and architecture, and its contemporary politics and life: shapes of Baroque architectural detail from a neighborhood church next to poster fragments announcing the local Communist summer Festa del'Unita. The works are gathered from the street - both visually and literally - using bits of "found" paper and cast-offs as a direct source for collage and painting, and sometimes juxtaposed to reflect the complex contradictions and influences of the past and present in contemporary life. The "bead constructions" are connected to this experience, and to the paintings, in a similar way, responding to everyday images and using found materials and elements from the color and remnants of Roman life. They take the shape of wearable jewelry constructions and applied beaded surfaces, and are each exhibited in connection with a painting/collage. Virginia’s husband, well-known jazz performer and composer Bill Smith, performs in concert with her art.

About the Artists

Virginia Paquette, an MFA graduate in painting from the University of Washington, has worked and exhibited internationally. Her art frequently depicts a sense of movement and change. Winner of numerous public art commissions, Paquette created a sculpture installation, “Lampadario,” in the halls of the Issaquah District Court through 4Culture, and is currently creating work in glass for the new Redmond campus of Lake Washington Technical College as part of the Washington State Art in Public Places program. She continues to explore more processes and media, develop performance-installations with her husband, clarinetist and composer William O. Smith (Bill Smith), and teach and exhibit in Rome.

Bill Smith, jazz performer and composer, studied at Juilliard, Mills College, the Paris Conservatory and the University of California. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Prix de Paris, the Prix de Rome, Guggenheim fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Smith’s first recordings were made in the 1940s with Dave Brubeck’s experimental Octet and ever since Smith has been creating exciting, daring music that elegantly crosses the “boundaries” between jazz and concert music. Smith continues to record and perform with Brubeck to this day, most recently at the Lincoln Center this year. (New York Public Radio WNYC – Spinning On Air: Bill Smith, March 26, 2004)

Bill has written more than 200 compositions and made recordings with Brubeck, Enrico Pieranunzi, Bob Brookmeyer, Shelley Manne, Barney Kessel, Jim Hall and Eric Dolphy, among others. He is a pioneer in the development of new clarinet sonorities and was a professor at the University of Washington for over 30 years where he taught composition and co-directed the Contemporary Group.