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Carol Hassen wasn’t one to mince words. If she didn’t like something, you’d hear about it, but she was also generous and giving in nature, propelling more that one artist’s career in a positive direction.

She was instrumental in the development of the Gallery One experience. Having once served as the director of the Larson Gallery in Yakima, she helped shape the future of the local visual arts center.

Hassen died on Jan. 2 from complications of brain cancer and Gallery One will honor her memory with its first exhibit of the new year with an exhibit entitled Carol Hassen: Decades of Art in the Main Gallery, which will be surrounded by the work of the Gallery One member artists.

The exhibit will hang throughout February. “Decades of Art” includes work from throughout Hassen’s career. The pieces, many of which are paintings of serene settings, pose as a sense stability and serenity during the COVID-19 pandemic said current director Monica Miller, who succeeded Hassen as Gallery One director in 2014.

“There are probably about 30 pieces on display,” Miller said. “Her hope was that her paintings would trigger an emotional response for each viewer that is independent of her own memory. Carol’s art is about memory, travel, emotions and responses.

“The locations depicted in her works are not generally site-specific, but rather what she remembers seeing along with her emotional response to them.”

Hassen was a proponent of the benefits of the endowment fund that would continue to benefit the Gallery One in the long term. Hassen passed away before the endowment was completed. The fund is still growing and has just reached 80% of its $400,000 goal with a major gift from her friends, Terry Abeyta and Denielle Beaulaurier.

While Hassen’s work is on display in the Main Gallery and Mezzanine, the Annual Members Exhibition is up in the Eveleth Green, Hallway & Picasso Galleries.

“Every member is welcome to participate by bringing in one piece of art for the show to serve as a visual symbol of the range of diverse talent from the region,” Miller said.

Over 75 members are on exhibit, their work alongside Hassen. There will be a virtual opening at 6 p.m., Feb. 5, on the Gallery One YouTube channel. Participating artists will be invited to attend via Zoom.

“To celebrate the show, we’re going to have our First Friday reception virtually that we will screen on YouTube Feb. 5,” Miller said. “We’re planning a big virtual party Feb. 20. It will be something like a variety show where we’ll ask members to show off their talents.”

In other Gallery One news, they will be launching Art After School classes virtually along with the full lineup of things to do for the year. The gallery is heading up a Valentine Exchange, inviting participants to make and drop off a valentine at Jerrol’s or Gallery One . Participants will receive a valentine from another community member in the exchange.

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