While downtown merchants brainstorm for future, this Thursday’s March (Artwalk) is on:
The Downtown Edmonds Merchant’s Association (DEMA) and members of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce met with downtown retailers and members of the community Friday morning to discuss the mission and direction of Edmonds’ art walk.
Led by DEMA co-chairs Andy Cline and Alexandra Rousu, the gathering numbered more than 25 representatives from such downtown Edmonds businesses as Rick Steves Travel, ARTspot, Edmonds Frame Design, Arista Wine Cellars, Stunningly Strange Gallery and Housewares, among others. The group met to brainstorm and lay out possible plans for the future of the popular Edmonds event.
Cline and Rousu detailed the history of art walk, and its formation as an ad hoc committee under the Chamber’s pervue before turning the meeting over to Denise Cole, owner of Cole Gallery and chair of DEMA’s Art Walk Committee.
Cole began her opening comments with the acknowledgment that there is “a real desire to grow the walk into something that embraces all of the downtown businesses, restaurants and galleries.” The art walk has grown from humble beginnings over the past 15 years to a monthly event, that by December 2013 was hosted by more than 45 businesses.
“We are here to develop a new vision for Edmonds Third Thursday Art Walk,” she stated, noting “the incredible momentum” that the art walk enjoys.
One of the highlights of the meeting was the unveiling of “The March Is On!” poster created just in time for next week’s art walk by environmental graphic designer Clayton Moss. Moss owns FORMA, located at 114 4th Ave. N., and is a member of DEMA’s Art Walk Committee.
Some of the ideas discussed at the meeting included the development of an online “match-making” platform that would allow businesses to direct-select their featured artist based on an artist’s genre and style. The example of a “Kinder Art Night” for a children’s store in Kalamazoo, Michigan was given as a possibility for pairing art shows, artists, and retailers. Themed events, wine walks, a roster of annual celebrations, and lifestyle-demonstrations such as “the art of cooking” and décor design were among the ideas discussed.
The DEMA Art Walk Committee is comprised of Cole and Moss, plus Tracy Fraker, co-owner of ARTspot and Robert Boehlke, owner of Housewares. The Art Walk Committee is currently seeking additional community participation in a focus group that will take into the future what DEMA Art Walk Committee members describe as “the greatest art walk in the state – the Edmonds Art Walk!” Interested? Email Denise Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org
— By Emily Hill