Forging a Fairy Tale in Downtown Bremerton

3 Dec

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~Mary Doyle’s making her own fairy tale | File~

There’s been one phrase on Mary Doyle’s mind a lot of late: ‘Don’t let anyone steal your crown.’

Sitting in her checker-floored underground studio in the basement of the Amy Burnett Gallery, she’s got a melancholy tinge of hope in her eye.

“We’re all kings and queens in our own world, right?” she asserts in the form of a question. “You’ve just got to take your crown, and don’t let anyone take it from you.”

Doyle’s moving out of her studio space at the Amy Burnett at the end of the year. This month will be her final show there. For First Friday, Dec. 4, She’s celebrating the occasion by creating her own intrepid fairy tale. One made from old windows and plexi-glass roofing material freshly paints and cloth rags tied together to resemble that old storybook means of escape … Rapunzel!

“Most of my art revolves around Bremerton,” the self-taught, Seabeck-based abstractionist admits.

Her first proper show was at Cornerstone Coffee.

There’s still a few of her “B.O.B.” — abstract pieces inspired by ‘Bits of Bremerton’ — around the studio, along with the first painting she ever did, a colorful and massive kaleidoscope-like, abstraction on canvas.

And although she’s headed in a new direction from those works artistically, her creative ethos and energy remain.
“As creative people, we kind of get this opportunity to say things in a different way, without words,” Doyle explained. “Even with abstract, I can take something humble and put paint on it and make it beautiful … and that’s kind of like saying, ‘if I can make this beautiful, then there’s hope for everyone!’”

Her smile — though reclusive given her current state — is infectious.

The artist has fallen on some troubling emotional times and is bracing for a change that she didn’t exactly volunteer for. She finds respite in her artwork — her purpose, her fairy tale, her crown.

It’s what she’s been pursuing in downtown Bremerton.

For her final show at the Amy Burnett, Doyle will be transform her basement studio into a house of fairy tales, she’s calling “Creative Perk: Household Fairytales.” Her lead character: Story Fia.

It will hang through the month, feted on First Friday at the Amy B, 296 4th St. She’s made a crown. She said she’s planning to suspend in mid-air in front of the viewer, like magic, for Frist Friday. And while this is the first officail exhibit compiled of it, Doyle’s fairy tale has already spilled out into downtown Bremerton.

She’s filled two different sets of streetside windows from a vacant building on the corner of 4th in Pacific. She traded in-kind labor to the building’s owner for the opportunity. One display is what she calls her “Moxy Wall” inspired by the long-ago street art carved into overpasses and roasides around Bremerton. The other is a bit more abstract with mannquins and wild colors. Both add a little bit of culture to a corner which was otherwise fairly drab.

While Doyle loves to show her work, its purpose isn’t purely self-serving.

“I think it’s healthier for the community to have art in unexpected places,” she said.

“And there’s so many blank windows in downtown Bremerton,” she adds with that elusive smile, seemingly conjuring the possibilities. [JAMES MUNK]

[Mary Doyle is one of many artists at the Amy Burnett Gallery, 294 Fourth St. in Bremerton … More @ amyburnettgallery.com.]

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