Artfully Edmonds: Get out of the studio!

Juliet Brewster
Juliet Brewster

For many artists, the hardest part of the job has nothing to do with what goes on in the studio space and workshops. Finding the resources (and courage) to share the fruits of your labor with the outside world, on the other hand, can be daunting. I can’t help you with the confidence aspect, but there are plenty of local businesses more than happy to provide venues for performing artists looking to gain public appreciation for their work.


Reuben Sapien, owner of the non-profit thrift shop at 519 Main St., Homestyle Mercantile, has put out a call to musicians to play in the covered entrance to his shop during the Saturday market and Third Thursday Art Walks. He welcomes any genre, acoustic or electric (though bands will need to bring their own mics and amps, Homestyle Mercantile does have outdoor power) and will provide a tip jar. Homestyle Mercantile: “Where it’s about people and not about things!” is a Christian non-profit benefiting injured and disabled veterans of war.

Red Petal Tunes, part of MaJe Gallery’s agenda to turn the arts on in Edmonds, happens every Friday night from 5-8 at Red Petal Cupcakes at 321 Main St. Contact Manya Vee at if you would like to play.

Busy Friday nights? Red Twig offers regular open mic nights on Thursday nights, welcoming both musical and spoken performances in an intimate setting.


Two new open audition opportunities with the Driftwood Players! There are parts for men, women, and children of all ages in the musical “Wizard of Oz” with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. Prepare a one-minute dramatic monologue and 16-24 measures of a non-contemporary song in your key to be sung with an accompanist. Auditions will be held the evenings of Aug. 26 and 27.

The “Fall of the House of Usher,” adapted from a story by Edgar Allen Poe, is the company’s Halloween special this year. Driftwood has parts for three women (15-60’s) and four men (30’s-60’s). Auditions are the evenings of Aug. 11 and 12. Prepare a two-minute dramatic monologue, and bring a headshot and resume. For either production, visit the Driftwood Players Auditions Page for more information and to secure a time-slot.


If an open mic session doesn’t appeal to you, contact me at or leave your name and number at the Edmonds Bookshop to read at Poets in the Alleys during the August Art Walk! Each poet will give a 5-minute reading during the traveling show on Thursday, Aug. 15.

Everybody Else

Big news, hot off the rumor mill! The old American Legion building at 6th & Dayton has a new owner who would like to rent to artists looking for studio and workshop space. Not sure how to contact the owner though. If anyone knows who it is, could you please comment below?

Ready to dabble in visual arts?

For art fans like myself, appreciative of visual work but afraid to commit to making drawings of our own, Hifa Alhussieni’s free art classes at Café Louvre may be the key to breaking that barrier between brain and pencil. Hifa offers a free class the first Monday of every month at 5 p.m. That means this Monday, folks! I sat down with her earlier this week to learn more about what inspired these classes. Hifa is a classically trained artist who is happy just to spread her knowledge to artists who may have patched together an education, or who simply don’t know where to start. She is passionate about teaching the basics, and believes that abstract art cannot be good art if the creator does not also know how to draw from reality. In the class, which so far has ranged from one to about six students at a time, Hifa gives some instruction on a basic concept, such as line and shadow, and then allows the artists to explore the technique however it inspires them, giving pointers and advice as questions come up. In a recent class on composition, the group collaborated on making a collage and then, having seen the building blocks of compositional process, the students were instructed to reproduce the collage in a drawing. Classes are free, and students should bring at least paper and a pencil, though other materials are fine. When I asked what her plan was for this Monday, Hifa smiled and said, “I’m very spontaneous…” Café Louvre also displays and sells art at with no commission fee. Get in touch Hifa, who can usually be found at the café, if you are interested in displaying your finished work.

For the birds

Nancy Thompson’s mixed-media painting, "Flight."
Nancy Thompson’s mixed-media painting, “Flight.”

Puget Sound Bird Fest is coming up! In preparation for the festival, the weekend of Sept. 6-8, two exhibits of avian art are currently on display at the library and the Frances Anderson Center. The Edmonds Arts Commission Display Case at Frances Anderson features backyard photography by Terry Olmsted, Bill Anderson, Craig Smith, Ken Pickle, and Michael McAuliffe.

Artfully Avian, in the Edmonds Library, features paintings by five local artists: Janis Graves, JR Hawse, Kathleen A. Johnson, Mary Anne Nagy, and Nancy Thompson all find inspiration in our feathered neighbors. See their art during library hours, and meet all five of the artists on the Edmonds Art Studio Tour Sept. 21-22.

Five Corners Roundabout Update

CJ Rench – “Drawn to the Water: Connected by Community”
CJ Rench – “Drawn to the Water: Connected by Community”

The selection committee has chosen CJ Rench’s “Drawn to the Water: Connected by Community” as their preferred design for the art feature in the center of our new roundabout. The Arts Commission will motion to approve the decision at their meeting on Aug. 5, and the recommendation will be taken to the City Council Parks, Planning and Public Works Committee from there. The public hearing  will most likely take place during the Aug. 20 City Council Meeting.

– By Juliet Brewster

Artfully Edmonds columnist Juliet Brewster, an Edmonds native and Edmonds-Woodway High School graduate, has a degree in literature from Bennington College. To have your arts happening listed, email her at

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