A punch of color

Bremerton-native Jack Lenor Larsen’s innovative textile designs have won him world acclaim in the past 50 years.  - Photo by H. Emily Moshay
Bremerton-native Jack Lenor Larsen’s innovative textile designs have won him world acclaim in the past 50 years.
— image credit: Photo by H. Emily Moshay

Like the mohair tapestries he created to flank the Bremerton City Council Chambers, textile artist Jack Lenor Larsen’s words to his hometown were light and colorful.

Larsen, 79, visited Bremerton’s Norm Dicks Government Center Wednesday, June 8, to give insight on his orange, yellow and taupe creations.

“Something more organic was called for,” he said explaining why he had scoffed at the suggestion years ago that he make the curtains blue velvet. He called that idea “perfectly dreadful.” He went with a more translucently hand-spun, hand-woven mohair to let the light through them. He chose a more cheerful color palette and seemed pleased with the overall look of them.

“The light on them needs to be improved, but that can be fixed,” he commented.

Larsen’s work was commissioned by Kitsap County’s 1 percent for the arts program. It maintains that 1 percent of the budget for county buildings go to fund artwork in the building.

Larsen’s candor spilled into his 20 minute speech as he remembered his boyhood home in West Bremerton and what has become of the city.

“It was an amazing small city in Kitsap County in those days,” he said recalling World War II and the population boom it created.

But there were things he wasn’t so impressed with during his recent tour of the city.

“Kitsap Way is as horrendous as anything imaginable,” he said. “Trees grow very well here and I think planting a lot of them would help.”

About 100 people, many from the arts community, gathered to meet the worldly artist whose career has spanned 50 years. His innovative fabrics have been shown at the Louvre, Chicago’s Sears Tower and been purchased by Hollywood’s elite. He’s worked in 90 countries and has friends in 100 cities.

Of his work he said,”I like the extreme. That middle of the ground is uninteresting to me,” he said.

Larsen also was recently awarded the University Of Washington Alumnus of the year.

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