Lighthouse poster artist featured in exhibit

May 29, 2013
In this painting, local artist Jerry Newport illustrates how the Mukilteo Light Station might have looked at its grand opening in 1905. Newport's art will be on display at Mukilteo Art & Frame in an exhibit that opens June 1.

Local artist Jerry Newport’s paintings don’t look like paintings – they look more like the illustrations you’d find in a book.

Newport, of Everett, is well known in the community for his paintings of the Mukilteo lighthouse. In one, he illustrates how the Mukilteo Light Station might have looked at its grand opening in 1905.

His artwork will be featured in a one-man show of paintings and enhanced prints at Mukilteo Art & Frame, beginning June 1. The exhibit will run through July 31.

“I don’t consider myself a painter; I call myself an illustrator,” Newport said. “My paintings tell a story, they’re like an illustration for an article or a book. That’s really what it’s about.”

The Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce, then called the Mukilteo Business Association, held a poster contest in 1996 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mukilteo’s incorporation as a city. Newport entered his painting of the lighthouse.

“I entered my painting to make it look like it did 50 years ago,” he said. “It was selected, and 500 posters were printed.”

Later, the Business Association asked Newport to do another painting showing the history of Mukilteo for the millennium, year 2000. They printed 250 posters.

Another painting of Newport’s can be seen hanging in the Community Room at the Mukilteo Library. The print was made from one of his earliest paintings.

His acrylic and oil paintings are mostly done in the styles of the American and European Impressionist Era – which he says is his passion.

Newport has been painting since he was 17. Now nearly 79, Newport is still “painting up a freakin’ storm.” He said painting is both a frustrating and satisfying process for him because he is a perfectionist.

“I go through terrible frustrations, but when I get done they are masterful,” he said. “It gives me a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction seeing how well they turned out.”

All of his paintings have to be “absolutely perfect” – or he’ll do it over again. For example, he’s redone the painting of the lighthouse that’s at the library a few times. He didn’t like how the water looked the first time.

“I didn’t like the first one, so I changed the water,” he said. “I didn’t like how the water came up to the shore.”

Newport studied art at Everett Junior College, the Banff School of Fine Arts at the University of Alberta in Canada, and the Art Center School in Los Angeles. He also had three years of private instruction from Bernie Webber, another well-known local artist.

The Mukilteo Art & Frame exhibit includes 19 prints, enhanced prints and originals. It will be open for viewing 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

“You will think there’s more than one painter,” he said. “Maybe two or three different artists showing at the same time, because they’re all different. I wanted to show how versatile I am.”

Newport’s art has also shown at the Red Cup Café, Everett Art Walk and the Hammersla Gallery in Edmonds, among numerous other shows in the Puget Sound area.

In addition to the Mukilteo Library, his works are displayed in business offices and private collections as far away as Norway and Australia.

Mukilteo Art & Frame is at 11700 Mukilteo Speedway Ste. 408 in the Harbour Pointe Shopping Center between QFC and Rite Aid.

-Sara Bruestle

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