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See Vividly Colored Volcanoes at Linda Hodges Gallery

A Seattle artist pays homage to the looming power of volcanoes

By Seattle Mag June 24, 2014

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This article originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of Seattle magazine.

Seattle artist and Lake Stevens native Ryan Molenkamp was only 3 years old when Mount St. Helens erupted, but he remembers visiting the aftermath, seeing the mud lines on the trees and finding pumice on every exposed surface. As a kid, his favorite book was one featuring time-lapse photos of the eruption, the “lasting visual imprint” of which flares up in his new show of paintings, Fear of Volcanoes. “The Pacific Northwest is such a tranquil environment to grow up in, lush in wildlife and greenery, mountains, calm waters,” he says. “But there is this underlying danger—a massive danger—just resting.” In several of the paintings, volcanoes appear on the brink of eruption, with a telltale plume of gray smoke issuing from the cone. The landscape below is striated green and yellow, with what looks like an occasional subalpine blue lake or white patch of snow. Molenkamp captures the mountainside in a colorful, blissfully unaware moment just before the blanket of ash descends and turns the rich pageant monochromatic. 7/3–8/2. Tue.–Sat., 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. Linda Hodges Gallery, 316 First Ave. S; 206.624.3034; lindahodgesgallery.com

 

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