Rob McKenna didn't write this.


Dan Larsen, The Earths Fertile Warmth, 62 by 34 inches, modified synthetic oil resin, $6250.
  • Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery
  • Dan Larsen, The Earth's Fertile Warmth, 62 by 34 inches, modified synthetic oil resin, $6250.

First of all, I would like to say that I am not entirely about politics. It's true! I have other interests and it may surprise readers of The Stranger to know that I am passionate about the visual arts. For instance, when it comes to public art, I believe every community deserves its own Waiting for the Interurban, the wonderful, whimsical sculpture that makes Fremont the friendly place that it is. It shouldn't be paid for with public funds, of course, but a community can and should be encouraged to raise money privately to fund public arts.

But I'm not here to talk about public arts. I'm going to take a risk instead, and I'm going to tell you about a dynamic painter who hasn't had the helping hand of government. He sells his paintings at a locally owned small business: Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery, near the world-class Bellevue Square mall. What I'm telling you is that Dan Larsen's art helps to bring tourism to our great state. His paintings make people eat at restaurants and drink at coffee houses. He is the type of economic engine who helps keep our taxes low.

This painter's name is Dan Larsen. His current exhibit is called Beyond Organic. In Washington, we are not organic, we are beyond it.

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Now, this type of painting might be outside your comfort zone. I'm not saying that all art should be so bold! As the gallery stated in its press release for the exhibit, "One art enthusiast was heard to exclaim, 'These paintings make Jackson Pollock look tired.' However, when seeing one of his paintings for the first time, most viewers are compelled to simply blurt out 'Wow!'"

What a Wow Factor! But on a serious note. Dan Larsen is taking the kinds of smart risks that Washingtonians can appreciate. Take the painting pictured above, The Earth's Fertile Warmth. Its paint is a reference to the earth's fertile warmth. The colors are brown and white. The artist is making the point that we all live on earth in Washington. Where there is fertile ground for every small business owner. This painting is $6,250. Its sale will be a warm, fertile mating ground for our tax base.