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Local artist Robin Mayberry has been busy working with bits and pieces of fabric, turning them into beautiful, colorful vases that will decorate the tables at Paint Ellensburg, Gallery One’s annual fundraiser and celebration of art held this Saturday.

Mayberry is Paint Ellensburg’s featured artist this year. She is a mixed media maker who loves to create with textiles, paper and wax. Her work has been published in Sew Somerset magazine and Somerset Studio magazine, and has been featured in local exhibitions.

Mayberry said she was shocked to be chosen as the featured artist for Paint Ellensburg. This week she is finishing up the centerpieces for each of the banquet tables at the auction and dinner.

“There’s going to be 26 fabric vases, half will have flowers and half will have candles inside them,” she said. “That’s been a big project.”

People will be able to purchase her vases at the end of the event as a way to raise additional money for Gallery One.

Becoming an artist

Mayberry always wanted to be an artist, but as a youth she had an idea in her head that she had to be able to draw to be an artist, so she went into writing instead. Eventually she got into art because she couldn’t stand not being an artist anymore, she said.

Mayberry got started by making greeting cards with a friend and went from there.

“I gave myself permission to start exploring, and that was like 10 years ago,” she said. “I didn’t have any intentions of making anything important or doing anything meaningful. I’ve never set out to be rich and famous. I just wanted to make stuff.”

Her favorite material to work with is fabric and she likes to alter fabric and sew it to make quilt-like pieces, she said.

Emerging artist

Gallery One Executive Director Monica Miller said she has seen Mayberry take hold of her art practice and run with it over the past year, and also has been an inspiration for others to do so.

“When we honor Robin, we honor the working woman who is an artist, the mother who is an artist, the wife that is an artist, the community member that is an artist, the emerging artist that is an artist,” Miller said in an email.

Miller said Mayberry learned to call herself an artist in 2015. She had three jobs, two kids and a professional artist husband, Scott Mayberry, and today she has all those and has added her own studio and a thriving art practice.

“She is what Gallery One works so hard to achieve,” Miller said. “She has taken advantage of every opportunity and in return, she has giving back 100-fold through Art Play, her business sponsorship, her First Friday participation as a studio artist and finally, through her art practice.”

Mayberry said she first realized she was an artist when Gallery One retail manager Sarah Haven asked her to do a show that would be in the background of her wedding pictures at the gallery.

“It was the first time I had to put together a body of work that people were going to look at,” Mayberry said. “I think that was the point where I was like, ‘I guess I’m an artist.’”

To learn more about Mayberry’s journey to becoming an artist watch this Gallery One video http://bit.ly/2cyElgA or visit her website at www.robinmayberry.com.

Artists in Action

Other local artists will be on display during Artists in Action from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Various Ellensburg artists will take their canvases and tools to downtown businesses and to Gallery One to make a piece of art during the event.

Gallery One brought the event back two years ago after a five-year hiatus.

People also can take a walking tour of downtown Ellensburg at noon Saturday. The tour is led by Ellensburg Downtown Association director Carolyn Honeycutt, who will share some of her favorite things about Ellensburg. It will start at Gallery One, and people should RSVP if they plan to attend.

Auction

Those who already have their tickets to the Paint Ellensburg auction and dinner on Saturday will enjoy live music, beverages and food all while raising money for the arts.

The ticketed event will start at 4:30 p.m. Saturday with a happy hour and silent auction at Central Washington University’s Sue Lombard Hall. The dinner and live auction start at 6:30 p.m.

People attending will have the opportunity to bid on unique artwork, gift certificates, experience packages and other items like a handmade guitar donated by local luthier Josh Humphrey. Proceeds go toward gallery costs like programming, operating expenses and scholarships.

Dinner includes London broil, jerk chicken or vegetarian options. The event will feature the live music of Sam Albright and Billy Maguire.

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