Greenbank Farm transforms into an art, wine and food mecca

Never can any Whidbey Islander ever say again: “There is nothing going on here.” Have you been to Greenbank Farm lately? No longer is it just the beloved home to llamas and ducks, or the sparsely inhabited place it once was in danger of becoming.

Brenda Pike’s “Orange and Green” is at Artworks Gallery along with other photographs in her floral series.

Never can any Whidbey Islander ever say again: “There is nothing going on here.”

Have you been to Greenbank Farm lately?

No longer is it just the beloved home to llamas and ducks, or the sparsely inhabited place it once was in danger of becoming.

As of the first week of November, there will be three — count ‘em — three art galleries at the farm joining the ever-popular Greenbank Farm Wine Shop and Tasting Room, Greenbank Cheese & Specialties and the Whidbey Pies Cafe.

In fact, Friday, Nov. 7 will be the perfect day to visit as the continuing “First Fridays at the Farm” will present all that is new and not-so-new-but-thriving at one of Whidbey’s hottest spots.

In addition to the longtime cooperative Artworks Gallery, and this past May’s newcomer the Rob Schouten Gallery, Raven Rocks Gallery & Gifts will open at the farm.

Art, food and wine

Greenbank Farm Wine Shop and Tasting Room will collaborate with all three galleries with its new Art Walk Passport to the First Fridays celebration.

Wineshop manager Art Hererra said he is excited about the artistic mecca the farm is becoming.

“We’re happy to welcome Raven Rocks Gallery and are thrilled by the fact that the farm is becoming a hub for art on the island,” Hererra said.

Between 5 and 8 p.m. Nov. 7, the Wine Shop is partnering with the Rob Schouten Gallery, Artworks Gallery and Raven Rocks Gallery for a full evening of wine and art.

Start your wine tasting at the wine shop, meet the winemaker, sample some fine wines and receive your wine passport. This is your private invitation to each gallery’s wine reception.

Continue the walk to all three galleries, returning to the wine shop for your final sips.

After attending the dozen artwalks, turn in your passport to the wine shop for a chance to win a private wine tasting for 10 people.

Henning Knipprath from Knipprath Cellars of Spokane will be November’s First Fridays guest winemaker.

Knipprath will pour a large selection of wines for the Friday, Nov. 7 celebration.

Visitors will also be treated to delicious cheese shop offerings at Greenbank Cheese & Specialties, as well as a special autumnal four-course dinner at Whidbey Pies Café.

Autumnal feast

The Mediteranean/Morrocan menu will be prepared by chefs Elizabeth Frediani and Jan Gunn and includes baba ghanoush with pita; butternut squash soup with cumin and cinnamon; Chicken Tangine with black olives and lemon over couscous; a vegetarian choice of couscous with garbanzo beans and assorted vegetables; and an almond date torte to finish.

The pre-fixe menu is available at the cafe from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7. The price for the dinner is $27.95 per person before tax and tip. Reservations are required; call 678-1288.

What better way to look at art than on a well-satiated stomach while sipping some fresh new wines from Washington?

Both existing galleries are excited to welcome artists Mary Jo Oxreider and Windwalker Taibi of Raven Rocks to the farm.

Raven Rocks reopens

Raven Rocks Gallery & Gifts, formerly Raven Rocks Studio of downtown Langley, will start its grand-opening celebration at 10 a.m. and will remain open through the First Friday event until 8 p.m.

The gallery will feature acrylic and watercolor paintings, handwoven tapestries, unique necklaces and pendants, found-art faery houses, mixed-media pieces and more.

An exciting centerpiece of their offerings will be the latest from Oxrieder’s internationally collected Fantasy House series. Most of their works will be available as originals, but there will also be fine-art prints, giclee prints and note cards.

“It is our intention to create a space of peace and beauty that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike,” Taibi said.

“You’ll find everything from museum-quality art to handmade artisan crafts within a child’s budget. It is a gift to be a part of Greenbank Farm, and we want to return that gift to our community,” he added.

The gallery will also showcase the work of other renowned and emerging artists and artisans from Whidbey Island and around the Northwest. Featured artists include Laurel Eagle Moon, Aaron Greenbird, Ginny O’Neill, Holly Thomas, Tom Trimbath and Larkin Van Horn.

Throughout the year, Raven Rocks will offer themed shows, daily demonstrations and scheduled classes available to the public.

For a sneak peek of what you might find, the gallery will be open from Wednesday, Nov. 5, or Click here.

Rob Schouten Gallery

The Rob Schouten Gallery has been enjoying its new digs in Greenbank.

“What an amazing mecca for art Greenbank Farm is becoming,” Schouten said. “What a wonderful cooperative, collaborative, creative spirit has grown and is flourishing here, led by the galleries, the farm staff and the management group.”

Whidbey artists Barbara Mundell and Jerry Pike are the new guests this month at the Rob Schouten Gallery.

Silversmith Mundell’s jewelry is inspired by an abundance of natural forms. With delicate precision she transforms sterling silver into finely wrought leaves, flowers, vines and branches, seashells and seaweed, accented with pearls and precious stones. Going beyond traditional silverwork, she has developed a way to apply polymer resin and lacquers to create colorful pins, earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

Artifacts and sculptures of pre-Columbian and African civilizations form the inspiration for Oak Harbor artist Pike’s sculptures.

Calling himself a “ceramic archeologist,” Pike’s wood-fired and raku-fired sculptures are at once primitive and sophisticated.

Mundell and Pike’s work will be on display daily through November, along with the paintings and prints of gallery owner Rob Schouten.

“We are pleased to represent these fine artists and so increase the rich variety of artwork offered at Greenbank Farm,” Schouten said.

“With three fine art galleries in a row, Greenbank Farm has become a must-see destination for art lovers.”

His neighbors agree with him.

Artworks Gallery

“We’ve been here since 2005,” said Artworks Gallery artist Mary Hawkins-Key, a maker of books, albums and keepsake boxes.

“We’re pleased about the other galleries. Greenbank Farm is a place to find a nice diversity of art; to shop for cheese and some new wines. We’re just thrilled about the direction of things,” she said.

The newest artist to join the cooperative is Brenda Pike, a floral photographer whose photos have been described as luminous and elegantly captured. Also featured in November will be Maren Metcalf, a silver jewelry maker whose pieces combine intuitive shapes with richly colored semi-precious stones and lampwork glass beads.

Hawkins-Key said there’s a lot of visitors from off-island and from out of the state and even the country who browse the farm and the gallery. She would like to see the same remarkable number of islanders there to see what changes have been happening at the farm and why tourists think its the bees knees.

“Our last First Friday was jumpin!” she said.

All three gallery winter hours are: open six days a week; closed on Tuesdays. Weekend hours are

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Raven Rocks Gallery & Gifts stays open until 5 p.m. weekdays.)

For Artworks Gallery call 360-678-1871 or 222-3010, or Click here. For the Rob Schouten Gallery call 360-222-3070 or Click here, and for Raven Rocks Gallery call 221-8745 or Click here.

Greenbank Farm Wine Shop and Tasting Room can be reached at 360-678-7700 or Click here for info about everything that’s happening at Greenbank Farm.

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