The latest news from Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery at Bellevue Place in downtown Bellevue:

We are pleased to offer the newest works by our youngest and emerging artist, Brooke Westlund to our main gallery. Last year, Brooke was kind enough to let us show her works for an all too short exhibit as she helped lead us into our annual Dr. Seuss exhibit.

Her opening and one week exhibit was overwhelmed with patrons and friends all supporting her.

While we might not be the brightest color in the paint box, we do have over 30 years experience in the art business and when you come across an artist like Brooke Westlund, it isn’t a difficult decision to make the most out of that opportunity. So over the past year, her work has had a constant presence in the gallery with her Seattle and Northwest scenes being very popular with residents and travelers alike.


Keep in mind that her work is very affordable right now, but I don’t expect that last for too much longer and this exhibit might be a good opportunity to add not only a Westlund to your collection, but one that is very affordable also.


Exploring her love of life and all that it encompasses: texture, simplicity, complexity, movement, color, spontaneity, awareness.  Brooke’s mixed media abstract paintings show her world through each moment she spends in the studio creating.

Brooke Westlund uses many different techniques and materials to create her abstract paintings.  Different typed of paints, transparent photographs, dry pigment powders, stamps, encyclopedia cut outs, ribbon, etc.  She blends them with big brushstrokes, splatters, drips, bold colors.  The result of her time spent in the studio, the paintings, are her way of sharing her love of life with the world.  



On the painting – “They are composed of many different moments of their own layered upon one another, there is a certain point where the painting seems finished but really it is just time to move onto a different stage in its life, in fact each painting continues to change each moment as more and more people experience it, it is ever evolving. It changes depending on where it is hung at the time and who walks by.  Even if you see the painting in a bar for a second as you walk by you had a moment with it and so you and the painting each contributed to each others lives even in a tiny way.  This process of being in the moment is how we should view our lives, not being attached to any one moment but just moving along.  Not worrying about the future or the past.” -Brooke Westlund





 Gallery II – New Works


 Ricco DiStefano


Along with our exhibit of emerging artist Brooke Westlund, we are pleased to exhibt a small selection of new works by seasoned professional, Ricco DiStefano.


Known as a “Contemporary Expressionist Impressionist” DiStefano exhibits widely across the western US and has found his work making it into top collections everywhere, both public and private.

“I feel my paintings should take the viewer to another place, and even another time. My landscapes give me the opportunity to interpret deep feelings and strong memories of valuable moments in my own life. Drawing on my love of my native Eastern Washington, many of my works are not literal views, but idyllic windows to a specific feeling. My work often takes into account the ambient sounds that color a moment, as well as the visual. I intend for collectors to be reminded of special times in their own lives. It’s important to me that there is a feeling of movement or animation in my work. My use of shadows allows me to do just that, as the shadow represents a fleeting moment in time. The shadowman is not intended as a literal image, but rather a reflection or the shadow of one’s spirit.”


Shadow Man Works


“I just love these pieces. They result from layers of color and shape being worked and reworked with no particular goal in mind, except to catch a spirit. I chose to make the beings more a feeling or reflection of a mood. To me, they all have very distinct personalities, and are as complete as any detailed illustration could ever be.”

As we walk through life, we are not just the physical body we occupy. We cast shadows all around us, and visit our reflection on surfaces. The shadows and reflections are as much a part of us, however temporary, as the body we carry. What we really are at any given time is the memory of a physical moment, a snapshot in time.

Man’s ongoing struggle with loneliness and longing for meaning are very predominant in these works. These paintings are my attempt to freeze time, leaving the world a reminder of just how fleeting life is, and how amazing the human creature is that experiences it.

All these paintings are mixed media on gallery wraped deep canvas. Finished with protective varnish. Ready to hang with or without framing.





“I was born into a family of artists, both visual and musical. As an artistic child, boredom was a foreign concept to me. My passion is to take the moments that happen in my mind and share them with the world. In doing so, I hope to provoke thought or inspiration, or just a momentary escape for the viewer. I feel stronger than ever that – as William Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth –“Life’s but a walking shadow.” We can only experience life, moments at a time. We cannot control time, and it stops for no one. As an artist, I try to leave my personal stamp on this temporary world, hopefully giving something beautiful as a gift for those who follow.”  Ricco DiStefano




Window Gallery – Selected works held over


Bob Ichter


We are pleased to welcome back R. John Ichter for another exhibit showcasing some of his interesting and creative works.


R.John Ichter is an award-winning artist who resides in Atlanta Georgia and who is quickly captivating the art scene wherever his work is shown.


Also known as “Bob” to his friends, Ichter’s romantic pastels are richly colored and hand-rubbed onto lushly textured black suede archival board. The strengths of Ichter’s pastels include vibrant, saturated colors and strong compositions. According to Ichter, each piece is designed to evoke a certain time of day and to transport the viewer to another place.


Autumn and dusk are favorite themes, which have been inspired by landscapes from around the world.


You may find yourself gazing into the rolling hills of the French countryside, strolling along a windy Normandy beach, exploring a pathway through a North Carolina Blue Ridge forest, gazing at a dragonfly resting upon a patch of waterlillies in Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny or floating along the river Seine. Be it sunrise, sunset or a full moonlit night, you are certain to want to return again and again.


New to Ichter’s creative endeavors are 3-D paintings of fish in bowls. These pieces are actually multiple layers of paint and resin stacked on top of each other in a box or bowl.


The piece starts out with a layer of resin in the bottom of the vessel, then must cure a minimum of 12 hours depending on temperature and humidity. The resin is a 2 part mixture that must be precisely measured and mixed, otherwise the resin will never cure. Once the first layer is fully hardened, the initial layer of acrylic paint is applied, in the case of my fish paintings, that is usually the bottom fins. Once the paint has dried, I mix another batch of resin and apply it, then wait another 12 hours. This is repeated over and over, often twice a day until I’ve built up enough layers to give the illusion of a 3 dimensional fish in the bowl or glass.

Investors and collectors range from well known celebrities to Fortune 500 companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, Equifax, Bank of America, Boeing Commercial Airplane Corp. and Accenture.


Al Alshuler, editor of Design South Magazine, writing in a feature article, called Ichter “an undeniable talent” and his paintings “real show stoppers”.


Ichter lives in the Little Five Points section of Atlanta, a very “ Bohemian” area, where he just built a new house and studio. In his spare time he trains and teaches in a form of martial arts called Cuong Nhu. His hobbies include golf and raising tropical fish and the orchids found in some of his paintings.





Livingroom Gallery – Selected works


Svetlana Shalygina



We have been pleased to offer Svetlana Shalygina’s works for a few years now and she has quickly become a gallery favorite with a variety of collectors adding her paintings to diverse collections. It is always interesting and a compliment to an artist when their works span a variety collector’s tastes.


This year Shalygina offers us a beautiful selection of works and the largest paintings  to date and we look forward to sharing her newest works with you.


In 1973, Svetlana Shalygina was born into a poor, humble working class family in Efremov, Russia. She and an older sister were raised in a small, studio apartment 200 miles south of Moscow by parents who worked in a local factory but were very devoted to their children. Svetlana grew up close to nature in wide-open Russian countryside and picturesque valleys which she sketched and painted throughout her childhood. It was here she developed a strong interest in Russian classical art, poetry, music and literature.


A naturally romantic curiosity about life took Svetlana to Moscow and St. Petersburg at age 18, where she lived and worked on her own. In Moscow, her intuitive art talent was fed by the greatest museums in the world, and nourished by the inspiration of the world’s unsurpassed classical masters. Svetlana also continued her quest for knowledge by travelling to Paris, Milan, Rome, Vienna, and other European cities to better harmonize her developing identity with the original work of modern masters. At 20, her life took a dramatic turn when she seized a remarkable opportunity to come to the United States.



America was to become her second home, but

saying goodbye to her supportive family and friends in the former Soviet Union was made especially difficult because complex immigration laws prevented her from returning for at least a decade. Her new life in the Land of Opportunity was difficult at first. She cleaned houses and washed dishes in a New Jersey restaurant. Discouraged and lost, Svetlana came to realize that no matter how hard she worked, an expensive formal art education in New York City would not become a reality.


In 1996, Svetlana Shalygina’s interests took her and her few belongings to Phoenix, Arizona where the desert’s sunny weather, great beauty, and affordable living heartened the young artist. For the next twelve years, she lived and maintained her studio in the American West. Without a formal art education, Svetlana took a different route to success—self-study, experimentation, and the development of a unique creative path.


The foundation of Svetlana’s unique style is the poetry and beauty she treasured as a child, and the love she still feels for her Homeland. The core of her creative expression is both personal and nostalgic—to the point she was originally reluctant to share her vision openly with others. Her maturing style has been strongly influenced by her love of nature and her interest in human behavior and emotion. Several years ago, Svetlana’s intriguing and sophisticated body of work was discovered by an accomplished fellow artist and art collector who encouraged her to expand her palette and unveil her creative vision to the world.


Svetlana Shalygina is now a full-time artist living and painting in California and happily, she now returns to her native soil each summer to visit family and friends.

New Works in the Gallery




Every month we acquire new and interesting works for the gallery that don’t always get seen as part of an exhibit. 

Also, please keep us in mind for any Dr. Seuss work you might be interested in collecting as we continue to offer these fun and playful prints as Washington’s only authorized dealer for the works of Dr. Seuss.

Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery
800 Bellevue Way N.E. Ste. 111
Bellevue, WA 98004

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