Join the Bainbridge Public Library for the September 2022 First Friday Art Walk, featuring artists Joanie Klorer and LinMara Bluebird

Library LogoThe Bainbridge Public Library is dedicated to spreading the joy of reading and the discovery of ideas with not just our local community, but with visitors from near and afar. In addition, the library is fortunate to house beautiful local works of art both inside and outside the building. Each month the library celebrates a local artist (or artists) with an exhibit, which opens monthly on the Island’s First Friday Art Walk tour, and includes a reception hosted by the featured artist.

The Bainbridge Public Library is proud to present an exhibit by artists Joanie Klorer and LinMara Bluebird

Joanie and LinMara will host a “meet and greet” from 5pm-7pm on Friday, September 2nd to open their new exhibits, “Who I Was Before I Was Me – Joanie Klorer” and “Putting It Together – LinMara Bluebird for First Friday Art Walk

Joanie KlorerJoanie Klorer grew up in a large Midwestern family, where her love of art began as a child. However, like many young artists, pursuing a career in art wasn’t to be, and she headed in a different direction. In 1985 she realized that she really didn’t care for living in the Midwest, and decided to start anew, quitting her job, selling her house and heading west to Seattle where she met her wife, LinMara Bluebird.

For 37 years, Joanie was a dedicated Social Worker, counseling young children and their families. In her work as a counselor, she frequently used art as an avenue for the children to express their difficulties and resolve painful experiences.

Joanie Klorer BPL August 2022It would be several decades before Joanie would start painting again. She started slowly, purchasing just one canvas and using leftover latex house paint. She worked on that first piece for several years—an abstract about a storm she experienced in Kansas in 1976. The experience inspired her to continue painting in a limited fashion. When she retired nine years ago and moved to Bainbridge Island, she began painting more regularly, taking classes and refining her art.

Joanie has drawn on the techniques she used in her counseling career to paint her own memories, which she often finds are like a film on a continuous loop, playing over and over in her mind. Her paintings are an expression of those memories, especially as they are connected to where she Joanie Klorer BPL August 2022 - 2.jpggrew up. As she explained, “I have a very good long-term memory with sound, color, and texture. Each painting begins with a memory. I sift through images and feelings associated with that memory, and then pick up my paintbrush and paint.”

Joanie feels that memory and identity are intimately connected, “I believe that memories of experiences and feelings often form the basis for who we believe we are by providing important details of who we were at a given point in time,” she said. “Our memories provide a map of changing and evolving identity. I sometimes struggle to feel the connection between who I was as a child, as a teenager, a young adult, and the person I am today. Is it all the same person, really?”

Joanie Klorer BPL August 2022 - 1In this series, Joanie has drawn upon those memories to reflect her identity as a person and as an artist. She doesn’t consider the series a literal or interpretive reflection of actual events, rather more of an expression of her emotional connection to her life’s story.

She uses acrylics to create abstract expressionist pieces that she hopes will remind the viewer of their own remembrances and experiences.

LinMara BluebirdLinMara Bluebird grew up in Rochester, New York, where she began to create her own cards. It turned into a lifelong love of paper and graphics. “I love the way paper feels, the way it presents a blank slate for creativity,” she said.

Later, she moved to New Paltz, NY to attend college and then headed to Washington DC, followed by Portland Maine. In 1981 she moved to Seattle and attended Bellevue College where she received a degree in media technology. She did her internship in Kentucky where she created multi-image slide shows, including at a planetarium presenting multimedia shows to children. Ten years later she decided to switch gears and went back to school for a degree as a dental hygienist.

LinMara Bluebird BPL August 2022LinMara and Joanie met on a hike in 1985, and they continued to live in Seattle until 2013 when they moved to Bainbridge Island.

Over the last few years, LinMara has branched out to create mixed media pieces using small found and collected objects. While she’s always considered herself a creative person, she hasn’t always been inspired to create. “When I work on my art, I can’t explain where the ideas have come from. I just know that I am in a different world that is exciting and stimulating,” she explained.

LinMara Bluebird BPL August 2022 -1During the pandemic, LinMara and Joanie collaborated, creating cards for friends and family, which Joanie painted and LinMara embellished with collage elements. This is only LinMara’s second exhibition, the last being part of a group show in Port Ludlow several years ago and this is her first show with her wife, Joanie.

Joanie and LinMara’s exhibits are available for viewing and sale at the Bainbridge Public Library throughout the month of September.  Joanie’s art will be in the meeting room, and LinMara’s will be in a lobby display case. The exhibit will available during regular library hours.  For more information, please see the library website,

As always, thank you for supporting your Bainbridge Public Library and local artists. If you have interest in exhibiting your work, feel free to contact Linda Meier, art coordinator, at

***Content and images provided by Linda Meier, Bainbridge Public Library and Joanie Klorer and LinMara Bluebird

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