December 5, 2019 – February 28, 2020

The Jansen Art Center is pleased to welcome Kris Ekstrand to the Fine Arts Gallery for an exhibit of her work this Winter. The exhibit, Nests and Landscapes, opens with a reception from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM on Thursday, December 5. Ekstrand will be giving an artist talk at 6:30 PM. Enjoy Live Music in the Piano Lounge with Walt Burkett, meet the artists and explore all of our Winter Exhibits.

Kris Ekstrand is a painter and printmaker who lives in the Skagit Valley of northwest Washington and works out of her studio in Edison.

Her work has been featured in one-person shows at Skagit Valley College, Moses Lake Museum, Smith & Vallee Gallery (Edison), MUSEO (Langley), Roby King Gallery (Bainbridge), Jansen Art Center (Lynden) and juried shows at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Art at the Port Focus Gallery (Anacortes), Schack Art Center (Everett), Cascadia College and other galleries throughout the Northwest.


This new work focuses on the lines drawn between land and water, past and present, memory and intuition: my territory.

The paintings, drawings and monotypes explore my emotional response to the landscape that I have lived within for most of my adult life: the brooding estuarine tidelands and farmland of the Skagit and Samish lowlands. The landscape here carries a powerful sense of time for me and reminds me daily that we are living in only a dot on a vast, ancient continuum. I owe the title “Visible Bones” of the monotype series to writer and naturalist Jack Nisbet, whose books explore the human and natural history of the Northwest. His friendship and writing have deeply influenced how I identify with my “place” and informed my work in ways I cannot adequately express.

The landscape paintings in this group explore the dynamic intersection of agricultural farmland and estuarine tidelands. The valley’s waterways – its threaded lines of rivers, ditches, drains and dikes – are the arteries that sustain living things, particularly recently cultivated ones. The acqua al mare – the routes of water to the sea – are complex. My painting has found inspiration in the writing of poet and farmer Jessica Gigot, who writes in her poem Tide Gates, “Opening, closing, regulating seawater. These rivers are not home to everyone. They only let in what they know.”

Speaking of lines: for several years, I have collected birds’ nests found within this landscape and am keenly interested in the energy, centrifugal force and gravity of these objects: they are three-dimension drawings in real life.  They represent shelter, refuge and loss: so fragile yet so strong. One line at a time.

2019/2020 Exhibit Sponsor:           

Winter Exhibit Sponsor:          


Artwork can be purchased through our Gallery Shop and will be available for pickup when the exhibit closes. Please call 360-354-3600 for more information.

Please note, the Jansen Art Center does not ship artwork.


30″ x 40″

Kris Ekstrand Alight

48″ x 36″

Kris Ekstrand FirIslandCalatore

Fir Island Calatore
40″ x 30″


Estuary, Twilight
30″ x 30″

Kris Ekstrand Fledged

charcoal, mixed media
52″ x 35″

Kris Ekstrand TowardTheDike

Toward the Dike
oil on canvas
30″ x 24″

Kris Ekstrand Dodge Valley, Summer

Dodge Valley, Summer
18″ x 24″

Kris Ekstrand VisibleBones7

Visible Bones Suite, #7

Kris Ekstrand WinterNest3

Winter Nest Series 3
24″ x 20″

Kris Ekstrand VisibleBones2

Visible Bones Suite, #2

Kris Ekstrand VisibleBones12

Visible Bones Suite, #12

Kris Ekstrand WinterNest7

Winter Nest Series 7
24″ x 20″