By Ellen Chappelle
If you have been searching for just the right piece of art for that empty spot in your home, you’re in luck. ARTSplash is coming! The Edmonds-based artists’ group, ArtistsConnect, is gearing up for its sixth annual ARTSplash exhibit and art sale. The highly anticipated show will be held at ArtWorks at Second and Dayton in Edmonds, kicking off during July’s Third Thursday ArtWalk on July 21 and running through July 24.
Art for sale by more than 40 local artists will include paintings, color and black-and-white photography, pottery and sculpture, fiber art, printmaking, fused glass creations, and precious metal, glass and beaded jewelry.
In addition to wall after wall of exquisite pieces of art, the show will feature an Artists in Action area, where artists will be actively creating art, demonstrating their techniques as shoppers watch. Artist Amy Peacock curates the popular Tiny Treasures exhibit where, she says, “you can find small works of original art from fabulous artists at very affordable prices.”
Interior designer and show chairperson Isis Charest introduces a new display for larger pieces called Off The Wall. “If you are looking for a signature piece to add some artistic flair for that special place in your home, there is a very good chance you will find it at this show,” Charest said.
Many of these talented artists also display their work in local galleries, studio tours and juried art shows. ARTSplash is a volunteer-run effort that is professionally presented in a comfortable indoor setting that spills out into the July sun, where you can watch artists as they demonstrate their skills.
Although professional potter and art instructor Rick Holst is fairly new to the area, he already sees ARTSplash as a very special event. “ARTSplash is set apart from other shows because the participants (artists) are responsible for its creation,” he said. “It becomes a community-building activity which strengthens the group as well as giving opportunity to each individual artist to exhibit.”
He sums up the event this way: “ARTSplash presents the flavor of the artistic community of Edmonds and reflects its inner fabric.”
Glass artist Lynn McManus agrees, encouraging local art lovers not to miss this show. “You will experience a dazzling display of art that will touch you in one way or another,” she said. “You will also be able to watch demonstrations by artists and talk to some of the artists,” perhaps even giving you “the opportunity to work with someone local to do a perfect one-of-kind piece” just for you!
Why surround yourself with art?
Why bother, some may ask? Why buy art in these difficult times? And yet, many believe that times like these are precisely when we should all be surrounding ourselves with art. As life seems to move faster every day, adding more tasks to each plate and more stress to each life, it’s never been more important to find ways to unplug, refocus and restore ourselves. Art can help do that.
Not only can art de-stress you, it can even improve your health. Renowned brain imaging specialist and psychiatrist Daniel Amen says, “Experiencing the arts and culture has been shown to increase good health, overall satisfaction with life, and decrease levels of anxiety and depression.”
Our local artists agree.
“Owning art contributes to one’s self being, Holst explained. “Art is part of the ‘food’ that feeds the soul. For me, having art in the home is like reading the chapters of a book… ideas flow when I revisit each piece.”
McManus added: “To have a piece of art in your home is to have something beautiful to look at every day. It brings life to whatever room it’s in by adding texture, color and a message from the artist. It is important for me to have because I enjoy it every time I see it. Sometimes a piece of art just reaches out and grabs me, by evoking a feeling inside. I’ve actually changed the paint color in a room so it displays that piece of art better and I find I like the room better with the new color since it enhances the art.”
ArtistsConnect is a group with over 150 members from all over the Puget Sound region, ranging in experience from emerging artists to seasoned professionals. Affiliated with the Edmonds Arts Festival, the group is pleased to share a portion of this show’s proceeds with EAF to benefit local art programs. The group meets monthly at ArtWorks, where ARTSplash will be held.
McManus explains that being part of ArtistsConnect and ARTSplash “is a way for me to give back. We are supported by the Edmonds Arts Festival and they help us so much that I feel privileged to be able to give back to them. I just want to give them the biggest thank you for all their support. We couldn’t do it without them and everyone pitching in to make this show one of the best our beautiful city of Edmonds has to offer.”
ArtistsConnect members also appreciate the networking and creative growth opportunities the group offers. “This group has expanded my experiences in exhibiting and working with new mediums,” said Kim Brayman, a mixed-media artist and instructor in Edmonds. “I’ve found so many highly capable, encouraging people to share my artistic endeavors with.”
McManus hopes to expand the group’s reach by sharing all they have to offer with local art patrons. “Come to ARTSplash to see what is being created in your community by some very talented people,” she said.
We think Dr. Amen would agree. After all, he writes on his blog: “Don’t forget to take in a little art and culture along the way. Your happy brain chemicals will give you a standing ovation.”
ARTSplash will run July 21-24 at ArtWorks at Second and Dayton in Edmonds. Show hours are Thursday and Friday, 4-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission and parking are free and refreshments will be served. Artists will be on hand throughout the show to answer questions and to demonstrate their processes. You can find more information and preview some of the art on the ARTSplash website and Facebook page.
With a background in theatre and journalism, Ellen Chappelle is perfectly poised to covers the local arts scene for My Edmonds News. She also keeps busy writing and editing for artists and small businesses, publishing an informational site for dog owners and creating handcrafted jewelry. Please keep her posted about all things artistic in Edmonds by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.