Like nothing else, art can reach across boundaries that divide us. Art, inherently, is an experience that is bigger than all the clutter and noise in our lives.

Art doesn’t actually need to have “meaning,” narrative, message, or an agenda. In fact, some of the best art just asks us to “look at this” or “listen to this.” (If a painting had more to say, it would have been said in the language of paint.) In this excessively verbal world, we so often feel compelled to use words to lend credence to art.

But it is actually the transcendent quality of art that needs to be cherished and protected from influences that tend to limit it. That’s why when we meet someone who thrives on creating and sharing their art, we ought to recognize that we’re witnessing an ancient impulse to communicate in a language without words. We’d do well to pause for a moment and take in the much deeper experience of art that defies analysis, critique, or labeling.

To find joy in making art may be one of the most satisfying human experiences.

A young Liz with her dad, 1961.

We first met artist Liz Pike in Olympia at the February 2017 Arts and Heritage Day event with the state legislature. Later that spring, she eagerly applied

to join Artstra’s Clark County Open Studios Tour. This fall will mark her third year in the tour. Liz has become a big fan and supporter of Artstra and is truly a powerhouse of energy and optimism.

 

Liz grew up with seven brothers and five sisters on her family’s dairy farm in Brush Prairie, Washington. Her parents instilled in her a strong work ethic and sense of personal responsibility, evident in every lovingly cared-for corner of her organic farm.
After years owning and operating Pike Advertising, three years running Pike Art Gallery, developing the Camas First Friday Art Walk, serving as political director with the Building Industry Association of Clark County, divisional board member of Umpqua Bank, Camas City Councilor, and board member of her homeowner association (whew!), Liz served three terms as a Republican in the Washington House of Representatives, representing the state’s 18th Legislative District.

Retired now from politics, Liz talks about her political career with pride and also with a renewed understanding of how hard it is to get stuff done. “I feel like I earned a degree in Olympia politics,” Liz says. Her stint in the legislature was always to be temporary. It was an episode. And her life, like art, is much bigger, and richer, than all of that.

A Hootenanny for the Arts!

Liz has begun a new chapter in her life, turning her full attention to tending Shangri-La Farm, creating her artwork, and putting her family first as she always has. Earlier this year, she approached Artstra with a generous offer to convert her very successful annual political fundraiser party to a fundraiser for the arts, with Artstra as the beneficiary. We said yes, yes, and YES!

Liz Pike

What could be more fun than a Hootenanny for the Arts, chicken poop bingo and all? It’s going to be a hoot, and we hope y’all can come!

Yes, there are artists who are introverts, but Liz isn’t one of them. Like her trademark sunflowers, both her farm and her personality seem to radiate their own warm golden light.

Also be sure to check out Liz’s opening at Camas Gallery featuring “Field of Sunflowers,” a new body of work in oils on canvas during the month of July. The gallery is located at 408 NE Fourth Avenue in downtown Camas. Join her First Friday artist reception this Friday, July 5 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Camas Gallery, meet Liz and celebrate her new work. During the reception, Liz will be doing a live painting demonstration in oils on canvas. Enjoy complimentary wine, cheese, and Liz’s famous chocolate truffles.

More about artist Liz Pike from last week’s Camas-Washougal Post-Record

Liz Pike, Susan’s Sunflower, oil on canvas