Artist Celebrates San Juan Island Beaches with “The Jeweled Shore” Exhibition at Friday Harbor Atelier

The Jeweled Shore, oil on canvas, 12 x 36

Friday Harbor Artist Shannon Borg – with guest artists Julia Wayne and Wendy Smith – presents an art installation of paintings, fiber art, jewelry and more, with an outdoor reception on Friday, August 27, 4:00 – 7:00pm 

“Our island beaches are powerful, mysterious, and beautiful places, where we go to reflect, celebrate, and heal,” says  Shannon. 

Changing her life at 50 to study oil painting, Borg has been fascinated with one beach in particular – South Beach at American Camp, San Juan Island National Historical Park – for years. 

Now she is presenting a solo exhibition with paintings, drawings, photography, and paper sculpture on display, as well as an 18-foot-long oil painting on canvas of South Beach. “The Hours” includes 6 sections, each representing four hours in a day at South Beach, capturing some of the color, abstract shapes and dynamic movement of the beach.

Borg has invited two other artists with special connection to the islands to join her. Seattle fiber artist Julia Wayne, who has been visiting the islands since she was a child, makes small, colorful fiber art pieces reminiscent of seaweed or sea creatures. Friday Harbor Jeweler Wendy Smith created a necklace and earrings from luminescent freshwater pearls specifically for the show.

“Our beaches carry messages of their natural and cultural history in an ever-shifting drama of driftwood, cycles of growth and death, erosion, tides, and light,” says Borg. “I am fascinated at how elemental the beach is, and yet how complex.” 

Borg has created eight paper sculptures to represent her version of “The Elements” – Earth, Air, Fire, Water – and including elements from ancient Greek, Chinese, Native American, and Celtic traditions – Wood, Metal, the Void (or the Great Mystery), and Numbers (or the Universe, or Spirit).

“I wanted to create an exhibition that would show the imaginative diversity of ideas surrounding the beach,” she says. “It is a place where the tides transform the “littoral zone,” the region between highest high tide and lowest low tide, drastically. People gather to build driftwood structures that act as play forts, shelters, and shrines. They gather around fire pits and build stone cairns. These scenes feel so ancient, yet are about celebrating the present moment. It is a place of community, health, healing, and personal transformation.”

Borg invites you to meet the artists at a reception on Friday, August 27th, from 4:00 – 7:00pm at the Friday Harbor Atelier, in conjunction with WaterWorks Gallery’s latest opening. “These openings have become our own little art walk,” says Borg, “with art lovers and artists gathering to socialize outside, see art, and enjoy community.” In the two weeks after the reception (until August 9th), the show will be open by appointment by calling (360) 317-6563.


Shannon Borg is an artist and art & business coach. She studied at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, completing the Studio Arts Intensive Program, and studying for one year in the Trowbridge Painting Atelier in Georgetown, Seattle. A former columnist for Seattle magazine, she published 3 books before shifting her life towards visual art. Her coaching program, the Practical Magic Art & Business Atelier, helps artists gain the confidence and skills to share their gifts with the world. 

Friday Harbor Atelier is an independent group of artists working in a common studio space in the downtown area of the charming port town of Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We provide affordable private studio spaces, an open studio space, showcase art, and host classes, workshops and exhibitions.

For more details visit our Facebook Event:  

Photos in Dropbox:

Help spread the word about The Jeweled Shore via social media: #thejeweledshore

Tag us on Instagram: @shannonborg, @threadablearrangements @gemsatourguide

Posted on August 23, 2021 at 5:45 am by

Categories: Arts, Environment, Nature, People

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