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Art is all in the family for daughter, parents

The acorn never falls far from the oak.

At least that’s the case with Chelsea Sebastian of Seattle and her mom, Gwendolyn Atwood, of Bremerton. The two will have a joint show of their paintings at Metropolis, The Gallery in November.

A reception for the artists was held yesterday.

The exhibit will be Sebastian’s first show. Sebastian, 25, who uses her father’s surname, said it was only natural she would be an artist.

“My mom and dad both paint — that’s how they met, in art school,” said the University of Washington senior. Sebastian has five siblings, and “they’re all artists,” she said with a smile.

Sebastian has two passions in life — art and the environment. She’ll be graduating this year from the UW with a degree in community environmental planning. She hopes to work to make communities a better place to live, she said.

Ideally, she’d like to forge a career that also involves travel.

“Most of my paintings are scenes from my travels,” she said. Sebastian has already traveled the world. She’s been to Southeast Asia, South Africa and Europe. Countries in Europe included Norway, England, France and Ireland.

“I bicycled around Ireland last year,” she commented.

Although she’s been doodling forever, Sebastian said she only began painting seriously a year ago. About 15 of her works will be in the show. Her mom, who relocated to Bremerton from Port Townsend about a year ago, will include about two dozen works.

Atwood has become a well known fixture in the local art community. Her colorful works can be found hanging in many businesses around town. She specializes in still lifes of flowers and very frank nudes of local characters, among other things. She caused a stir some months back when she displayed her nudes in the open on Fourth Street.

Sebastian’s subjects range from people to landscapes. She enjoys vibrant colors, like her mom.

Favorite artists and major influences?

“I like my mom and dad’s stuff” of course, she said, adding that she is a devotee of Vincent van Gogh.

“I went to the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam this summer,” she said.

Sebastian was born in Seattle and raised in Black Diamond and Port Townsend. She is a graduate of Port Townsend High School.

She is currently doing research as a senior at the UW into how urban spaces affect health and behavior.

After graduation, she plans to return to South Africa where she’s been working with a township school on environmental issues surrounding the upcoming Earth Summit.

She has an internship with the Surf Rider Foundation, an environmental group working to save the planet’s beaches. She’s been working to set up a chapter of Surf Rider on the Olympic Peninsula.

Sebastian now lives in the Wallingford neighborhood in Seattle.

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