Being chosen to paint the official Sequim Centennial Celebration poster is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
To say she’s excited is an understatement, said Cindy Mangutz, a well-known Port Hadlock primitive Americana folk artist.
“This is the most important commission I’ve ever done because it doesn’t just represent a person or an event, it’s for an entire town,” Mangutz said. “I’m really honored to be chosen.”
The Sequim Centennial Celebration is a year-long commemoration of the city’s incorporation. Events begin Oct. 27, 2012, with a pancake breakfast at the Sequim Prairie Grange and end with a finale in Club Seven at 7 Cedars Casino on Nov. 3, 2013. Events held throughout the year will be categorized into different “eras” each month.
“We’ve been planning this for almost two years,” said city clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese.
Kuznek-Reese, who also serves as the city’s wellness coordinator, is incorporating a “getting healthy for the 100th” theme and organizing monthly seminars to encourage healthy living habits while preparing community members for the centennial celebration. Recent topics include “Things you can do at home to exercise” and “10 things science says will make you happy.”
Wellness seminars are held at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.
Before she sketched the Sequim Centennial Celebration poster, Mangutz did plenty of research, talked to people, looked through old books and magazines, and drove around imagining what the town looked like 100 years ago.
The poster, packed full of colorful images, features several Sequim landmarks, including the Dungeness Schoolhouse and the Hotel Sinclair, not to mention multiple cows, barns and dusty country roads.
“There’s a lot in it,” Mangutz said. “It tells the story of Sequim.”
Mangutz said she expects to have the poster completed by the second week of March at the latest.
“It might be the hardest painting I’ve ever done,” she admitted. “It is a daunting task to be sure but I’m enjoying getting it done.”
When the poster is finished, the city will organize a grand unveiling event, according to Kuznek-Reese.
Mangutz started painting at an early age in southern California and was commissioned by one of her mother’s friends to paint a conquistador at the age of 16. By her early 20s, the young artist knew she’d found her calling.
After finding true love and marrying a woodcarver, she moved with her husband to Leavenworth to follow their artistic dreams of selling their work at street fairs, going to art shows and opening a gallery.
In the early 1990s, the couple and their two children moved to Port Townsend. More than 20 years later, Mangutz continues to paint every chance she gets.
When the couple isn’t traveling to shows or fairs, they can be found on their 10 acres of rugged land. In addition to several “recycled” structures is Mangutz’s art studio: a converted school bus.
In 2005, Mangutz was selected as the poster artist for the ninth annual Lavender Festival. Her style of art offers a blend of realistic with primitive folk scenes and figures and her medium of choice is acrylic on canvas.
For more information about the Sequim Centennial Celebration, go online to www.sequimwa.gov.