ARLINGTON — Local artist Jillian Mattison will showcase her "Blue Collar Men at Work" series of oil and acrylic paintings at Fogdog Gallery, during a month-long exhibit that kicks off with a grand opening, including a meet-and-greet with the artist, on Saturday, Oct. 5.
"I want to pay homage to the hard workers getting their hands just a bit dirty," said Mattison, who paints out of her Stanwood art studio. "I had heard a comment in the past that white-collar jobs were somehow more valuable than blue-collar jobs, so I wanted to depict some of these blue-collar jobs in my paintings, and give the workers some respect."
Mattison's artwork depicts men immersed in outdoor labor, such as construction and fishing. Her soft-brushed paintings illustrate rugged scenes, such as hardhat construction workers operating heavy equipment, and burly fishermen bringing in nets of salmon onto their large fishing boats.
The Seattle native has painted more than two dozen pieces in this series over the past 10 years. Her inspirations have been experiences she had as a child, watching her engineer father working at construction sites in San Francisco, and then later in her 20s, observing crab boats in La Conner.
"I want to give people exposure to a really unique series of paintings of everyday people doing everyday jobs," Mattison said.
Fogdog Gallery is located at 233 N. Olympic Ave. in Arlington. The grand opening of "Blue Collar Men at Work" runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 5, and the meet-and-greet with Mattison runs from 5-8 p.m. RSVP Fogdog Gallery owner Claire Cundiff via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.