Sidney Volunteer–Dana Harmon
A Bremerton native, Sidney volunteer Dana Harmon has been a member of the Sidney Museum and Arts Association almost since the beginning in the early 70's and has been a volunteer for since 2006. She was introduced to the Sidney Art Gallery through her sister, who started to send her artistic things from the Gallery for Christmas while she was living in California. Once Dana moved to Port Orchard, she decided to become a member herself. An artist in her own right, she is married to artist John Phillips, a blacksmith who does intricate iron work for the Sidney Art Gallery, who is in a three-way tie for her favorite artist. Also in the race are Toni Nelson, the watercolorist, and Elissa Whittleton, who works in drawing, pastels and watercolor. Dana is a fiber artist, who enjoys quilting more than anything. She primarily works with wearable art and has since high school, although she also makes jewelry and has recently developed a love of felting. Both her mother and grandmother were notable seamstresses as well.
Asked to share a memorable story while working as a volunteer, Dana recalls a gentleman who came in who shared a memory of the building. In the 1940's when he was still in High School, the school dances were held here in this building for a long while until the sailors found out this was the place to meet girls. The sailors and the high school boys would be fighting over the girls. Soon after the school changed the location for the school dances.This building was the hotspot for teenagers for quite a while.
Dana appreciates the support of artists and creativity that she feels at the Sidney Art Gallery. She loves the fact that there is an annual student show and that a scholarship is offered each year. "The students have an opportunity to experience showing their art, possibly winning an award! Its wonderful." She also appreciates the changes in recent years about the types of art at the Gallery. "Truthfully I remember when this gallery was run by a woman who was very strict about the kind of art that was acceptable in this gallery. It would only be paintings and some ceramics. That was it. I love the evolution the gallery has taken. Now there is wearable art, glass fusion, mixed media, the list goes on. So much creativity."
Her parting thought: Don't be afraid to try something new. Most important try not to be critical of yourself. When you are learning something new in anything, it takes a while to implement that tool in your bag of tricks.