Category Archives: Lectures

This Friday Night!! Washington State Poet Laureate Dr. Tod Marshall; Friday. March 31, 2017, 7PM, Lopez Island Library

You are cordially invited to the annual meeting of the Friends of Lopez Library.  Learn about the Friends in a brief intro then enjoy keynote speaker Dr. Tod Marshall, WA State’s current poet laureate. Tod Marshall was born in Buffalo, New York.  He grew up in Wichita, Kansas.  He studied English and philosophy at Siena Heights University, earned an MFA from Eastern Washington University, and graduated with his PhD from The University of Kansas.  He directs the writing concentration and coordinates the visiting writers series at Gonzaga University where he is the Robert K. and Ann J. Powers Endowed Professor in the Humanities.   From 2016-2018, he will serve as the Washington State Poet Laureate. His work has been published in many journals, including Narrative, The Southern Review, The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Boulevard, The Colorado Review, The Denver Quarterly, The Columbia Poetry Review, Poetry East, Poetry Northwest, Volt, Interim, The Canary, Willow Springs, Cutbank, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.  Refreshments will be available.  This event is sponsored by Humanities Washington, Friends of the Lopez Library, Lopez Bookshop & Shark Reef Literary Magazine.  Free to all!

Introduction to Citizens’ Climate Lobby-Political Will for a Livable World; Sat. April 1, 2017 1PM, Lopez Library Community Room

Lopez Island Library, Transition Lopez Island and Lopez Island Chamber of Commerce are hosting an event introducing our community to Citizens’ Climate Lobby.  Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization empowering people from all walks of life to become effective advocates for a livable world. Come learn about their recent progress and prospects for carbon pricing in the U.S. and internationally.  The climate is changing now!  Find out how you can help solve climate change.  For more information contact David Foutch, or visit

Biomimicry-Innovation Inspired by Nature, Professional Biomimic Nan Woodman; Wed., April 12, 2017, 7PM Lopez Library Community Room

Innovation Inspired by Nature

Biomimicry is an emerging science studying nature’s brilliant innovations and emulating its designs and processes to solve human challenges in sustainable ways.  In this completely unique and thought provoking program, professional biomimic, designer, biologist/illustrator at-the-design-table, Nan Woodman shares experiences in learning from 3.8 billion years of genius from the natural world.  Discover what organisms do to be successful and how we might learn from their mind-boggling and elegant strategies.  Take a look at inventions inspired by geckos, kingfishers, humpback whales, termites, beetles, & sharks among others.  Through an introduction of the time-tested principles used by the natural world, learn how life creates conditions conducive for life and how we can become the next generation of creative and innovative thinkers.  Sponsored by Friends of the Lopez Library.  Free programming for our community.

“On Polar Tides” World Kayaker Nigel Foster, Fri., March 10, 2017 7PM Lopez Center for Community and the Arts

“On Polar Tides” World Kayaker Nigel Foster

Join the Lopez Island Library for an evening with world kayaker Nigel Foster.  In the second program of the Lopez Library’s series Beyond Limits, world-renowned kayaker Nigel Foster presents “On Polar Tides” the story of two trips paddling and surviving the coast of northern Labrador. Born in England, Nigel Foster is an expedition kayaker, kayak designer, instructor and author of numerous books on kayaking. He has led trips to Iceland, arctic Norway and Scotland, and in 1977 along with Geoff Hunter, became the first and youngest person to circumnavigate Iceland by kayak. The library’s evening features the Labrador trips the first in 1981 when he accomplished the first solo crossing by kayak of the Hudson Strait. After crossing the 40-mile wide Strait in howling winds and fighting a 10 knot tide race, he crash-landed on a small island in the dark. He had frostbitten fingers, was 300 miles from the closest village and without a means of communication. Eight days later in a stroke of luck, he caught a ride south on an oil tanker that had taken shelter behind Killiniq Island. He had survived marking one of the most notable solo crossings in history. The trip was described by the editor of the BCU Canoeing Handbook as “arguably the most impressive of any sea kayak adventure in the world.” But the failure to complete the second portion of that trip haunted him and in 2004, accompanied by kayaker Kristin Nelson, he completed the Baffin Island to Labrador part of the expedition by paddling from Kuujjuaq in Ungava Bay to Nain, a distance of over 675 miles of uninhabited coastline.  Kristin Nelson will join Nigel Foster for the Lopez Library program. His new book “On Polar Tides” will be available for sale and signing at the event and is also available as a new addition to the library’s collection.  In this program these two life-affirming trips are brought to the Lopez audience with beautifully shared personal perspectives and images of a vanishing wilderness – polar bears, calving icebergs, wildlife and a rugged coastline. Not to be missed! Sponsored by Friends of the Lopez Library and the Ramsey Shirk Fund.  For more information contact Jen Krajack, Lopez Island Library. 468-2265

“A Life on the Edge: Mountaineers Jim Whittaker & Leif Whittaker”, Saturday, February 25th, 2017, 7PM, LCCA

Photo by Ira Spring

In May of 1963 Seattle mountaineer Jim Whittaker stepped into world history by becoming the first American to summit Mount Everest. He was also part of the first American team to summit K2 and fifty years later, he is still regarded highly for his mountaineering, as one of the founders of the outdoor recreation industry, and as a keynote speaker. Jim Whittaker’s son Leif Whittaker reached his first summit when he was 15 years old and since has climbed many of the world’s tallest mountains including Aconacagua, Mount Vinson and Mount Everest twice. He is a passionate mountaineer as well as an avid outdoor enthusiast. His writing and photography has appeared in Powder, Backcountry and The Ski Journal. His first book “My Old Man and the Mountain” was published October of 2016. He is a Climbing Ranger for the US Forest Service. Both Leif Whittaker’s book “My Old Man the Mountain” and Jim Whittaker’s book “A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond” will be available for sale/signing at the event.

This remarkable event launches the Lopez Library’s winter/spring series “Beyond Limits” which celebrates the library’s extensive collection of books on adventure and exploration. The series will also feature World Kayaker Nigel Foster discussing his book “On Polar Tides”, two remarkable kayak trips to north Labrador/Hudson Strait dodging polar bears, storms & calving icebergs; RAAM-Race Across America, a bike race more rugged than the Tour de France & one of the ultra-endurance events held each year (premiering on the Center’s big screen, their new documentary just in time for the Tour de Lopez); Seattle trekking company Mountain Madness discussing their 32 year history & the pursuit of the 7 Summits (Mountain Madness as featured in Jon Krakauer’s bestseller “Into Thin Air”); and our own local climber Gregg Blomberg discussing the first winter ascent of Mt. McKinley in 1967. This exciting series is designed to lift the Lopez community through the last stretch of winter. Presented to you by Friends of the Lopez Library & the Ramsey Shirk Fund. For more information contact Jen Krajack at the Lopez Library 468-2265

Art in the Lopez Library presents: Butterfly Secrets-Audrey Hancock the Butterfly Lady; Mar. 24-May 5, 2017; Reception & Discussion March 31st, 3-5PM, Lopez Library Community Room

Audrey Hancock-Butterfly Secrets

The Lopez Island Library invites you to stop by the library and view a completely unique and lovely perspective on butterflies.  Audrey Hancock, locally known as the Butterfly Lady because of her deep knowledge and appreciation of butterflies, is featured in the library’s glass exhibit case. Her shop in the village is not to be missed, the beauty and wonder of butterflies abounds.  The library exhibit displays butterfly specific information on seed distribution including her 501c3 seed distribution program. The display also includes info on the farm raised immortalization & rescue program, as well as gardening tips for attracting butterflies and preserving their habitat.  Her butterfly inspired jewelry is particularly well loved and will be featured in the exhibit too.  Audrey shared the following with the library:  “I’ve had a love affair with butterflies for as long as I can remember…the Monarch in particular. Over the years my adoring fascination has morphed into a not for profit business that combines creating the much needed habitat for our struggling local species, with support of butterfly farmers around the world  preserving beautiful specimens for artistic and educational purposes.”  Visit this exhibit and learn tips & tricks to grow the most tempting & delicious garden for our local tiger swallowtails!

Artist Rick Wigre “Creating the Creators-Art of an Art Teacher” Mar. 24th through May 5th, 2017; Reception Mar. 31st 3-5PM in the Library

We are very fortunate to feature the work of Rick Wigre in our library. We encourage you to spend a few extra moments in the library relaxing and disappearing within these beautiful images. Rick shared this regarding his work and his artist’s life:   “In 1972 I came to Lopez Island and found an inspiring place to paint and live on the south end. At that time, I was working on large abstract paintings for a Seattle one-man show. I continued showing throughout the Pacific Northwest while also working with and learning from artists like William Morris and Margret Tomkins.

Since the 70’s I’ve studied many other art medias: computer graphics, animations, graphic design, photography, drawing, painting, ceramics, glass blowing, stone carving, print making and more.  I never would have guessed that my exploration in the arts would involve teaching, but over the years teaching has played an essential role in the development of my art.

I completed a degree in Broad Area Art Education at Evergreen State College and Central Washington University. In 1984 I started teaching art in high schools, and enjoyed a successful teaching career for 32 years.  In that time, I received these awards:

  • Washington State Art Teacher of the Year 2015
  • Advisor of the Year for Washington State, 2009, for Washington Technology Student Association (TSA)
  • Teacher of the Year, 1992, for Washington State in Technology presented by IBM and Technology and Learning Magazine
  • National Award for Teaching / Advisor of the Year, 1989, presented by NASA and National Science Teachers Association for Intergraded Curriculum 1989 at the Senior High School Division
  • National Award for Teaching / Advisor of the Year, 1989, presented by NASA and National Science Teachers Association for Intergraded Curriculum at the Junior High School Division
  • Who’s Who in Education, 2001, 2004, 2010

My teaching career enabled me to explore at the exciting edge of technology and traditional arts.  Within the last four decades, technology has transformed the visual arts.  You’ll see that change in my work through the years, and the works shown here are samples of art done throughout my career.  I truly enjoy exploring all of these new medias, creating and helping others to create.”

-Rick Wigre