The 2018 Skagit River Poetry Festival poster artist is Alfred Currier. The cover art for the festival’s student anthology is by Anne Schreivogl. Recently, I had an opportunity to visit their home and studio. -Jessica Gigot, SRPF Board Member

Photo Credit: Gary Brown

I made my way over to a residential neighborhood in Anacortes on what felt like a typical winter, Skagit afternoon. Rainy and grey. However, as Alfred and Anne welcomed me into their home I was greeted by an extraordinary array of vibrant colors and images, as well as a calming sense of light and space.

Their walls were decorated in a rotating selection of their work as well as select pieces by artists they admire. They have a collection of about fifty paintings by other artists. Adjacent to their home, across a convivial courtyard, they have a shared studio space which serves as their primary workspace. Alfred and Anne each have their own separate studios, joined by a hallway that features their upcoming events and future shows.

While they agree it is beneficial to have both a champion and a critic next door, they also appreciate the freedom to disappear into their own work on their own time. The closeness of the studio to their residence is convenient and encourages a daily work schedule. Their thoughtfully designed home and studio, which they co-created, speaks volumes to their collaborative power.

Anne in her studio. Her last name means “screeching bird” and bird images figure regularly in her work.

Anne is also a writer and is currently working on a book about creativity. She regularly offers workshops in her studio that focus on the creative process. Currently, her work is featured in a solo show called Meditative Exuberance at the Bainbridge Art Museum.

Alfred in his studio. Many of his painting start with figure drawings. 

As a painter, Alfred is well-known for his images of agriculture and figures and his impasto style that emphasizes thick, buttery paint and bright colors. In his artist statement he says, “For me, art has been an obsession as well as a passion. Passion would be for the love of it. Obsession means you have no choice.”

Both artists believe in activism and annually host a fundraising event in their studio to raise money for local and regional non-profits focused on art, social justice, and the environment.

Travel is a common thread between their work. “You need to get out of the studio and reassess things, so that travel becomes very important to us,” says Alfred. Together they aim to take yearly, extended trips to explore new places and generate new work. Using roll-up canvases, both artists generally create over sixty plein air paintings on each adventure. Anne says, “We put everything aside and painting becomes the priority.”

Past destinations have included Greece, Italy, Buenos Aires and Paris. Their recent trip to Morocco was especially interesting and offered Alfred a new color palette to experiment with while Anne mentioned that the mosaic tiles she saw had a strong effect on her work.

We are grateful to have Alfred and Anne’s work featured in our festival poster and anthology this year. Previously Anne has been a featured poster artist for the Port Townsend Film Festival (2014), Anacortes Jazz Festival (2004, 2005) and the Anacortes Arts Festival (2006). In 1998, Currier was the featured poster artist for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

You can find out more about both artists and see their festival art here.