By Janette Turner
An Edmonds kind of town is one that appreciates the arts. That’s why we have the sun dial pictured above, the school of metal fish at the pier, and other pieces of public art around. You can thank your fellow citizens and leaders for recognizing the benefits of investing in art, which do more than dress up our environs: they differentiate us from other less-lovely cities and, in theory, give us the edge when folks decide where to live or set up business. So, if you have a chance before summer ends, take a walk around town and check out the pieces you own. The City has a map and photos here.
For more artwork, publicly and privately owned, along with the best events this final week in August, read on.
Edmonds Library: Whirligigs galore
One of the most fascinating – and frustrating – art exhibits is showing now at the Edmonds Library. In the entry’s glass case is a congress of whirligigs by Ben Thai, featuring Vincent Van Gogh frozen in action as he chops an ear, alongside Newton discovering gravity, and dancers kicking up their heels. As appealing as the collection is, it begs to be whirling. To see a few of these pieces of folk art on the move, check out YouTube clips here.
And while you are at the library, take a look at the large paintings by nationally-renowned artist Alfredo Arreguin. These pieces aren’t intended to move.
Gallery North: “Color and Light” on display in September
At Gallery North starting in September, Paula Parks, a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, displays her artwork in a joint show titled, “Color and Light,” along with fused glass artist Gayle Franklin.
Parks’ penciled pieces have nuances that are new to the medium. The artist explained the process, which is now finding its way into galleries and museums: “Colored pencils are translucent, so instead of a single color, you see as many as 10 layers of color, creating rich, complex hues. The color can be applied with a very light touch and sharp-pointed pencil, the layers then can be dissolved with solvents and additional layers applied, or the layers can be burnished with heavy pressure to blend the colors together.”
Accompanying artist Franklin works in fused glass. Her pieces were inspired by her recent trip to Kauai, where snorkeling brought her close to fish, coral reefs and seaweed. “I sketch my design, cut and grind the glass, use micas, glass paints, metals, and powders, and then I put it in the kiln,” said Franklin. “Fifteen hours later, I open the kiln to discover whether the resultant piece is as I had envisioned it in the design stage. Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not, but it is always exciting and serendipitous!”
ArtSpot: Tattoo Art class for teens on Saturday
Instructor Kim Brayman invites teens to learn tattoo techniques at ARTspot, Saturday, 1-3 p.m. Students will learn designs based on Maori, Celtic, and Art Nouveau styles. This first class will work on a poster, and students who take the additional classes on September 2 and 9 will need to bring canvas sneakers or a T-shirt. More info here.
Saturday: Edmonds Bookshop hosts author Ivan Doig
Capturing the “big sky” in words is the gift possessed by author Ivan Doig. Join him at the Edmonds Bookshop, Saturday, noon, which happens to be a few days before his book, “The Bartender’s Tale,” is released (Tuesday).
EPIC: Looking for a writing home and writers
When it comes to the arts in Edmonds, the visual and performing arts stand out, but what about the literary arts? Yes, our fantastic local bookshop and library handle the end product, and Write on the Sound (WOTS) is a noteworthy annual event. But for year-round support of writers, there is EPIC, which stands for Edmonds Prose|Poetry Interactive Community. EPIC is currently looking for an office in downtown Edmonds, so if you know of an available space for our town’s expanding writing community, let EPIC know here.
Advance notice: Phoenix Theatre’s season opens Aug. 31
For folks who like to plan ahead, Phoenix Theatre’s Fifth Season of laughs opens Aug. 31 with “The Sugar Bean Sisters,” by Nathan Sanders. The Phoenix website describes they play as: “Lies unravel (and) the truth is revealed when a strange women dressed in feathers arrives out of the darkness.” More info here.
If you’ve ever wanted to play the Seattle Golf Course, now is your chance. Edmonds Community College is holding its annual Golf Classic fundraising benefit on the coveted links, Sept. 10, 1 p.m. For $300, you get to play 18 holes and enjoy dinner, plus a partial tax deduction. Golfing talent and plaid pants not required. https://www.edcc.edu/foundation/golf_classic/
Advance notice: Overton Berry Ensemble benefit for Driftwood on Oct. 6
Raise the roof for the Driftwood Players at the October 6 benefit featuring Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame inductee, Overton Berry and his ensemble. This event will literally be “raising the roof” to replace the current one on the Wade James Theatre. www.driftwoodplayers.com
For more information about the Driftwood Players, director Carissa Meisner Smit and fellow thespians have posted YouTube videos here.
Advance notice: Olympic Ballet Theatre auction Oct. 27
The Nile Country Club will host Olympic Ballet Theatre’s Beaux Arts Dinner and Auction event on Oct. 27. Guests will see a preview of the April showing of “Giselle” and raise their paddles to support our vibrant arts scene. More information here.
Arts reporter Janette Turner is your guide to local culture. In addition to covering visual, performing and literary events for My Edmonds News, Janette is managing director of EPIC Literary Series and a member of the Swedish Hospital Art Committee. (Photo by Jennifer McKinney)