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Vol. 57, No. 48

Taking art to the other side of the world Islanders embrace an effort to save Indonesia’s imperiled wildlife

State plan could mean big changes in harbor Many boat owners will be affected by the state’s closer management of Quartermaster



Staff Writer

SULAWESI, INDONESIA — A fingernail of a moon hung in the sky as a small group of Americans and Indonesians gathered in the village to join hands and dance on a dusty road that dead-ended at the sea. Rhythmic music blasted from a large boom box set on someone’s porch. Dozens more villagers appeared, some joining in. Round and round we went — step, step, kick, kick — smiling into the darkness, drinking in the night air. Every few rotations, Will Forrester, a Vashon artist, broke from the circle, turned to the dozen or so children watching us and performed a Kevin Bacon-inspired dance from “Footloose.” The children laughed uproariously. Save for Forrester’s comedic touches, this was the modero, a traditional Indonesian folk dance. And for the tiny village of Taima on a remote peninsula in Central Sulawesi,


Staff Writer

simultaneously, had created a mural in Teku, a village 25 miles away. It had been sticky, sweaty, messy work, made complicated

Under a new plan proposed by the state, many who have boats moored in Quartermaster Harbor will be required to move them to a different location and spend thousands of dollars on new, environmentally friendly anchor systems. The new requirements come as part of a plan the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has drafted to better manage Quartermaster Harbor, part of the state-owned Maury Island Aquatic Reserve. Under the draft plan, the state will also pull a number of abandoned buoys in the harbor and require buoy owners to pay an annual moorage fee — a requirement that has been widely ignored on Vashon. DNR officials will present the draft plan and take comments at a public meeting on Vashon next week. Lisa Randlette, an environmental planner with DNR’s Aquatic Resources Division, said the state is concerned about what it believes are environmental and safety hazards posed by the abundance of boats and buoys in Quartermaster Harbor. The harbor has grown increasingly congested over the years, Randlette said, and today it contains clusters of boats that are too close together, abandoned buoys that pose navigational hazards, anchors that drag and damage the underwater habitat and a handful of derelict and deteriorating vessels. The state has received complaints from boaters and waterfront



Leslie Brown/Staff Photo

Vivi Tan Oga, a member of AlTo’s staff, and Islander Will Forrester work on the mural in Taima. Indonesia, our bilateral street dance marked the culmination of an arduous but ultimately life-affirming project. For the past six days, a handful of us — working on behalf of the Alliance for Tompotika

Conservation (AlTo) and under Forrester’s patient tutelage — had joined forces with several Indonesians to paint a mural celebrating the region’s rich biological diversity. Another group, working

Vashon’s Art Studio Tour

A glassblowing master branches out By ELIZABETH SHEPHERD Staff Writer

To step inside glass artist Brian Brenno’s studio — a red metal barn tucked off of Vashon Highway — is to enter a colorful, creative world, a space unlike any other on an Island teeming with artists. Taking up nearly half the space is an almost medieval-looking structure — Brenno’s huge glass furnace and its reheating chambers. The rest of room is filled with his vibrant creations, some of which emerge from that oven. A row of flowers made from recycled glass and mounted on metal stems, ready to be planted as garden art, lines one wall. Delicate vases, vessels and glass medallions adorn tables and shelves. In

another corner, more shelves house a collection of Brenno’s trademark glass hats — whimsical yet meticulous works evocative of royal weddings, the millinery of 1940s movie stars and little old ladies headed to church. On the walls, Brenno’s newest works glitter — two-dimensional portraits of Seattle and Vashon places, ingeniously fashioned from bright scraps of soda and beer cans. Some of the folk art-inspired pieces read like a road map to Vashon, depicting iconic Island vistas — the north-end ferry dock, Burton, the covered bridge off of Cove Road. “I’ve always been interested in Vashon history, and I wanted to incorporate it into my art,” SEE ARTIST, 18

Elizabeth Shepherd/Staff Photo

Brian Brenno has begun making portraits of Seattle and Vashon, fashioned from scraps of soda and beer cans, including the ferry picture behind him.

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, November 28, 2012