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Jim Heltsley has always carved faces; faces in alabaster, limestone, and feather stone. Recently he has stepped up to the hard stuff and is carving basalt.


His new, basalt shard faces have an elegant look, a knowing presence reminiscent of ancient Pacific cultures and yet they somehow fit in today’s world and, most of them, in your hand. To hold one of Jim’s pieces is to hold the mystery of stone made better.


And just so you won’t think Jim now only carves faces, his December show at the Edmond’s Art Gallery included a Brucite lizard and a Sealskin frog – both forms long time favorites of Jim’s.


Though it is now too late to see Jim as a featured artist in Edmonds, he always has a good variety of his work on display there. If you haven’t been there recently, you really should bump it up on your list of places to go. The owner, Joan Longstaff is making it into a stone sculpture showplace.


Oh sure, she hangs paintings and photographs, virtually every gallery does, but in mid-December there were 39 pieces from 14 NWSSA members. And while we’re doing the numbers, in the last year, Joan Longstaff has sold 34 pieces by 15 of us for just over $16,000. The place has become a de facto NWSSA gallery.


Every month brings a featured stone sculptor. It was Jim Heltsley in December and Jim Tobin will be featured in January and in February.


Even though we can’t always publish articles about these events before they happen, you can always be sure that any time you drop in at the Edmonds Art Gallery you will see lots of wonderful work and you’ll probably know the artist whose name is on that little card with the red dot.