Arts Around Terrace: It’s a family affair for art at Mountlake Terrace HS

Student Yupo designs. (Photos by Lori Knight)
Student Yupo designs. (Photos by Lori Knight)

By Lori Knight

Tim Cashman, one of the art instructors at Mountlake Terrace High School, recently had his family visit the school for an art lesson in Yupo throughout the day on March 6, and after school for the art club that meets twice a week.

You say, “What is Yupo?” — and the Cashmans all roar into full paint mode! Yupo is a synthetic paper that works a little bit like hot press watercolor paper, and can hold not only watercolors, but food coloring as the painting medium. You can make Yupo a part of your family art projects at home, too. It’s a great medium for all ages, as some of the MTHS staff even came to paint with the students.

Unlike watercolor technique, Yupo is not about the layers, it is more about a “one pass” method and seems to be a great painting technique for “warming up” to watercolor. The Cashmans have a mantra for this medium and style of painting: “You want your paint juicy!” (If you would like to learn how to “Dance with Yupo,” check out Taylor Ikin’s website that the Cashmans also recommended.

MTHS art instructor Tim Cashman and his mother, Shirley Cashman, trade tips on Yupo painting.
MTHS art instructor Tim Cashman and his mother, Shirley Cashman, trade tips on Yupo painting.

The Cashmans are led by their matriarch, Shirley, from Santa Clara. Encouraged by her own father, who recognized her artistic talent, Shirley graduated from the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts, and had six children in tow that she raised through World War II while her husband was in the military. She worked at Northwest Airlines as a production illustrator during that time and then eventually became an ad designer for a newspaper in Texas, when she and her husband moved there after the war.

Shirley still creates commissioned art pieces for private clients, teaches classes to students at her home, and takes classes at the college in Santa Clara. I want the readers to note that Shirley is an incredible 89 years young! Her husband was her agent, and it’s clear she misses him dearly after his passing last year. As a guiding force of nature, she loves her children and that was self-evident during the class with Tim and her other son, Dennis, as they took the art club through the steps involved with Yupo paper. Shirley is involved in the Santa Clara watercolor society, which was inspired by a trip to France called, ” Footsteps of the Impressionists.”  Shirley said she believes that when you teach, you learn more: “The creative spirit needs to be developed, and everyone has it.”  They are words of wisdom that she has passed onto her sons.

Tim Cashman shows off some of the art his students have submitted for the high school's art corridor wall murals.
Cashman shows off some of the art his students have submitted for the high school’s art corridor wall murals.

Tim Cashman himself is an accomplished artist within the 3-D and sculpture art worlds. He took a break during the class to show me and Director Judy Ryan of the Arts Advisory Commission for Mountlake Terrace some of the more recent art created by his students. Inside the Mountlake Terrace High School Library is a show of self-portraits by his students ( see “self-portrait” student library art show photo). As he walked around noting the evolution of the students’ techniques, it was clear Tim is very proud of each one.  Currently, he also has the students submitting designs to update the art wall murals inside the school’s art corridor at the school.

More Mountlake Terrace art happenings/events

Tuesday, March 19, at 2 p.m.,  Mountlake Terrace High School (21801 44th Ave. W. – Meet in Main Office): Art Commissioner April Richardson is inviting all interested and passionate stakeholders to a meeting of the minds to begin to discuss, describe, define and bring forth an arts festival to Mountlake Terrace in 2014. Thus far, the Mountlake Terrace Arts Advisory Commission, MLT Library, MLT Recreation and Parks Department and numerous teachers from all the Mountlake Terrace public schools, artists, musicians and other passionate people are getting involved to make this happen. Ideas for the activities range from hands-on visual creation and display to choral and instrumental music, dance, dramatic performances, literary and poetry creation, reading and more! Want to become a collaborator? Contact April Richardson at or call her at 425-293-2175.

March 22 and March 23: The Music Man at the Fifth Avenue Theater Rising Star Project: A student-run production taking place at The Fifth Avenue Theatre will feature Mountlake Terrace students: Alexander Croce is in the tech crew working on props, Jocelyn Leggett serves as the production stage manager, and Kathryn Severson also serves in the tech crew as flyman. Mentored by the professional staff at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, over 100 students from across Washington state have come together to be involved in all aspects of the “Music Man,” two weeks after the professional production closed. You can get tickets here.

March 22 – Hot Java Cool Jazz: Tickets may still be available to watch the Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz I band perform at the Paramount Theatre, sponsored by Starbucks. While Mountlake Terrace is the only band to represent the Edmonds School District, other great high school jazz bands will be in attendance including Ballard, Newport High School, Roosevelt and Garfield. Tickets for general admission are $20 and can be purchased through Mountlake Terrace Music Boosters at, through Sherrill Leppich at 425-478-1989 or at the Cedar Plaza Starbucks located at 22803 44th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace, WA.  ( Red Onion Terrific Tuesday Fundraiser picture)

If you attended the fundraiser for the Mountlake Terrace new civic campus/ city center revitalization evening on March 15 at the Nile, you were treated to an incredible dance performance by the Tara Academy of Irish Dance. Four-year-old Haydn Williams stole the show with his Irish dance maneuvers, and it is only fitting to wrap this story up including artisans from the younger generation! Completing 10 dance shows along with the rest of the Irish Dance Academy last Friday, Haydn was beginning to show just a bit of wear during our interview, and then seemed ready to roll for the Seattle Parade on Saturday. The ladies of the dance troupe said their favorite performance was at the Nile that night. When asked what they liked best, the unanimous reply was: The disco ball, harmonica played by the 44th Street Blues band in accompaniment, hardwood floors, space, stage and how everyone enjoyed their dance!

Their secret to keeping their energy going all day? “Water, rest, and Red Vine Candy!” The Tara Academy, owned by Sara Raney, is located on Greenwood Avenue in Seattle but they got their start at the Mountlake Terrace Rec Pavilion. You can learn more about Irish dance and the Tara Academy here. Also performing March 15 was a jazz combo from the Mountlake Terrace jazz band, the Ryan Leppich trio.

Lori Knight sittingArts Around Terrace columnist  Lori Knight co-owns — with her husband Eric — the Knight Visions Studio Gallery.A Brier resident, Knight has been selling, promoting, marketing and framing art for 25 years. She opened her studio at 19533 Filbert Dr., in nearby Bothell. in 1987. Both of her children — Briana and Chris — are Mountlake Terrace High School graduates. (Photo by Patty Linna)


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