Arts and Entertainment

Federal Way artist highlights unique work in showing this weekend | Photos

A painting:
A painting: 'Blessing Place' (Oregon Caves National Monument) by Hester Mallonee.
— image credit: Contributed by Hester Mallonee

Hester Mallonee, a local artist whose work ranges from religious iconography to landscapes to paintings of the interior of caves, will be showcasing her work this weekend at the TK HUB! Event Space, located at 34428 Pacific Highway South, Suite A, Federal Way.

Saturday guests will be able to view her work from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday from 12-6 p.m. Live music will be provided both days by Mallonee’s brother and nephew, Arthur and Corwin.

Mallonnee’s work is diverse and eye-catching. Whether it’s her religious iconography in the style of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, or the soft, almost impressionistic colors and shapes of her landscapes and cave paintings, all of it will be on display at the exposition this weekend.

“You will see original icons. A lot of landscape paintings, some of my best from the past, a lot of my recent things, both above and below ground,” she said. “There will be a certain amount of still life. There will be a bunch of little paintings, which I call my ‘Postcards from the Road.’”

The little paintings, Mallonee  notes, are 5x7 paintings she does when she travels about. Oftentimes, they’re landscapes of where she’s been in recent months or years, she said.

Her references to “above and below ground” touch on the fact that Mallonee is a “caver,” someone who explores caves. She typically has a small paint set with her even when caving, and some of her most unique works stem from the paintings she’s done from the interiors of caves. This unique art form was something that she stumbled upon, she said, but has been a mainstay of her work for some time now.

“As soon as I started to paint icons, I knew I wanted to paint a whole lot of other things,” she said. “I started landscaping, which took me into underground painting, which I’ve been doing for 14 years,” she shared.

While the purpose of the exhibition is partially commercial, Mallonee said the chance to share her art with the community is just as important.

“What really makes an event like this get my blood going, is the pleasure of seeing lots of different kinds of people enjoy the art, interact with it, see things in it that maybe I haven’t seen myself,” she said. “When you get to show a whole lot of art, you get to share your heart. You get to share the way you see things with people, and then get their feedback.”

The new space, owned by Tatyana Koshevaya, is set to be a classroom for Mallonee in the near future too, she said. She has plans to teach both adult and youth classes starting in January, and hopes this weekend’s show will also help spread awareness that she will be offering those classes to the community.

“In terms of what I want to accomplish with the show, in a way there’s also a teaching function,” she said. “We don’t have the luxury of having well-funded public schools for kids to get instruction in art, and we don’t have the infrastructure in Federal Way for adults to learn either. Selling, teaching, showing, it’s all bound up in the same mission to help the art move more energetically throughout the community.”

To explore Mallonee’s artwork, visit


Icon of the Virgin and Child by Hester Mallonee.


A painting: "Indian Pot with Fig" by Hester Mallonee.

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