Marie Plakos stands with her work at the Bayview Corner’s Front Room Gallery. Her photos explore “the feminine in nature,” she said. Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News Group

Marie Plakos stands with her work at the Bayview Corner’s Front Room Gallery. Her photos explore “the feminine in nature,” she said. Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News Group

Seeing the big picture: Shutter Sisters exhibit will raise funds for nonprofits

Not sisters by blood, but sisters connected by a shared passion and friendship. The Shutter Sisters of Whidbey Island are teaming up once again to exhibit photography, but this time it’s to support island nonprofit groups.

The art you can feel good about purchasing will be displayed at a photo exhibit at Bayview Corner’s Front Room Gallery for the month of June. The group is donating half of all proceeds to three Whidbey Island nonprofit organizations — WAIF, the Pacific Northwest Art School and Enso House.

The exhibit is titled “The Creative Journey: Engaging the Natural World” and displaces a range of images captured in nature.

The Shutter Sisters consists of photographers Marie Plakos, Marcia Wesley, Julie Boyd and Marsha Morgan, whose work is featured alongside mentor Keron Psillas.

“We all come from very different places and different backgrounds, but we have this common love of photography,” Morgan said.

The members of the group first met three years ago in an annual class taught by Psillas at the Pacific Northwest Art School in Coupeville. Psillas is a photographer of international fame, author and teacher who lives in Portugal.

In the class, the women learned of a similar photography group from Seattle and decided to start one of their own consisting of the Whidbey Islanders in the class, coincidentally all women.

“(With) photography being a solitary experience, sometimes it’s nice just to have company,” Psillas said. She’s served as a mentor for the group over the years and led travel expeditions.

And travel they have, including to Scotland, Cuba, Iceland, Death Valley and the Olympic Pennisula.

Over the years and adventures, their friendship has deepened, and they meet regularly for coffee and chatting. Photographs from their travels have been displayed in past Shutter Sisters exhibitions at the gallery.

“I think that they’ll be pleasantly surprised at the very high level of work across the board,” Psillas said of the show, in which her work will also be showcased.

“This show is a lifetime goal of mine where I use my art to benefit others. I am grateful for the nonprofit charities that work so hard for our communities. It is a fabulous way to give back for all they do,” Boyd said in an email.

They don’t know how the community will respond to the fundraising showcase, but “what we’ve learned is one thing leads to another,” Morgan said.

“We love what we do,” Plakos said. “We hope to have a good turnout.”

The price of the pieces varies from $200 to $400 framed, and prints are available. There will also be a raffle for several original peices.

The viewing hours of the exhibit at Front Room Gallery are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Saturdays. Receptions for each nonprofit group are on three consecutive Saturdays in June from 5 p.m. to 8 pm. June 1 was for WAIF, June 8 will be for the Pacific Northwest Art School and June 15 profits will go to the Enzo House. The last weekend in June’s funds will be divided among the three nonprofits.

This photo is on display at the latest exhibit at the Bayview Corner’s Front Room Gallery. Her work is open for interpretation, Marie Plakos said. Photo provided by Marie Plakos

This photo is on display at the latest exhibit at the Bayview Corner’s Front Room Gallery. Her work is open for interpretation, Marie Plakos said. Photo provided by Marie Plakos

“Sandy River” by Julie Boyd. This photo was taken at Death Valley on a Shutter Sister trip last spring. Photo provided by Julie Boyd

“Sandy River” by Julie Boyd. This photo was taken at Death Valley on a Shutter Sister trip last spring. Photo provided by Julie Boyd

Marcia Wesley captures the beauty of a tree. Another photo of hers at the exhibit highlights graceful ocean waves breaking on the beach. Photo provided by Marcia Wesley

Marcia Wesley captures the beauty of a tree. Another photo of hers at the exhibit highlights graceful ocean waves breaking on the beach. Photo provided by Marcia Wesley

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