The Skagit River Poetry Foundation is proud to announce that the 2024 Skagit River Poetry Festival poster art is by Fidalgo Island artist, Anne Schreivogl.
Poetry Partnership and the Festival Poster
“It all started by going to the festivals,” as Anne explains her connection to the Foundation with a warm smile. Anne worked with the Foundation in 2018 and says, “why wouldn’t I get involved with the amount of care and thought that goes into your work at the Foundation, it’s evident. Then being asked to do the main poster for the festival, I connected immediately, it’s such an honor.” In the poster she celebrates the 2024 festival poets by painting a bright red tapestry of their names. A typewriter is in the foreground. “I often paint typewriters because I have an Underwood, and I like to do a little bit of writing.” There’s a small poem on the typewriter page that says, a bird is a poem with feathers.
A bird perches on the keys as though it pecked out the message. “The more I worked on it the more it became a tribute to the poets that have taken such risks to share their words and voices…I looked up their backgrounds and poems which are so diverse and it grew from there.” The scene captures the imagination with many details, even letters that spill over and spell out the word “poetry.” The poster sets the stage for the festival itself and invites people to “feel that magic that happens – that spark is always right there when I’ve attended the festivals,” Anne says. The festival is community driven, and not a stand alone event, the Foundation puts into action learning, literacy, and staying curious through poetry.
On a day when the sky was gray and wet, Anne’s workspace exuded warmth and grace. Her studio in Anacortes was full of colorful and whimsical acrylic paintings, mixed media, oil landscapes, and starts and stops all about – the signs of creativity in progress.
Anne grew up in Seattle and started to draw at a young age. “Through art I came to understand what’s around me,” Anne says. “That’s my finding beauty.” She attended Western Washington University and the Seattle Academy of Fine Art. Anne then studied abroad in France with a sketchbook in hand. She moved to the Skagit Valley in 1997 where she met Northwest landscape and impasto artist, Alfred Currier. “He mentored me…” she said, “and my skill set grew over time.” Anne’s whimsical paintings are fun and sparks joy in her audiences – key to her artistic process. “If I bring joy to people’s hearts, then I know I’ve done my job.”
Anne’s last name, Schreivogl, means “screeching bird” in German and birds consistently show up in her work. But, art does not always imitate life as Anne is allergic to birds, so painting them is a way for her to sing with them and insert humor and whimsy into her scenes. They carry messages across the painting, almost chiding, “stay awake, stay aware, and stay in the present moment.”
The Process and Present Moment
Anne’s approach to making art is both intentional and observational, inspired by her surroundings and breathes the canvas to life. She walks at Washington Park in Anacortes to root herself in the present moment. She embodies a way of knowing and walking in the world – evident from her studio, her work, and her philosophies on life and art. As she practices being aware she listens to, “who wants to show up [in the painting] and getting quiet to do that and not making demands of what it should be…with acrylics it dries so fast that if you don’t like what you’re doing you can paint over it and keep building on top of it,” she says, “nothing goes to waste, it’s the gestation of the next thing,” almost like a rebirth.