Artfully Edmonds special: Welcome, new Art Walk Edmonds Director

Elizabeth Martin-Calder
Elizabeth Martin-Calder

You’ve come along way, Baby!

My Edmonds News and “Artfully Edmonds” has the delight of welcoming to the Edmonds art scene Elizabeth Martin-Calder – the newly-hired Art Walk Edmonds Director. Ms. Martin-Calder is a seasoned arts administrator and marketer with over 15 years in nonprofit management.

Making the announcement that she would be stepping aside as Interim Director, Denise Cole (who serves as President of the Art Walk Board) explained that Elizabeth advanced to the forefront of qualified, and noteworthy candidates following an in-depth search that involved many weeks of candidate-screening, interviews, and discussions among board members.

“The Board of Directors looks forward to working with Elizabeth. It is an exciting time for our organization as we launch a new phase of the 18-year old Edmonds Art Walk. Elizabeth’s background in the arts coupled with her achievements in building recognition for unique lifestyle destinations is a great fit,” Cole continued in her early morning announcement.

Art Walk Edmonds (AWE) is THE fastest growing art scene dynamic in Edmonds right now and news of Ms. Martin-Calder hiring will spread fast, and far.

Owner of MartinCalder Productions, Elizabeth is versed in branding, marketing, PR, design and event management for businesses and organizations vested in the lifestyle industries, particularly food, wine, art and travel.

“I am extremely excited to join the Edmonds Art Walk team,” said Martin-Calder. “The galvanizing of this community to preserve what has been a catalyst for presenting the great art and artists of the Puget Sound region is a true sign of this communities innovation. It’s a continuing legacy I am proud to be part of.”

I interviewed Denise Cole and Tracy Felix, ARTspot co-owners on the eve of Elizabeth’s hiring regarding the meteoric rise in popularity of Art Walk Edmonds over the past several months.

If you’ve been one of the thousands of gallery strolling, busker-loving Edmonds-area participants you’ve noticed that (as Tracy proclaimed during our interview) “Small town in the new hip!” Felix went on to explain, “There is fellowship in community that we see manifesting in Art Walk Edmonds.”

Cole agreed with her business colleague and went on to explain the ongoing, and vibrant, interactions among merchants who envision, “Edmonds as an arts destination and want to be a part of that developing reality.”

Cole, who is also the owner of the Cole Gallery on 5th Ave. has guided what for years was coined, Third Thursday ArtWalk, into a new chapter beginning with organizational changes that, in part, resulted in the organization’s new status in June as a registered Washington State non-profit, and applicant for 501(c)(3) status.

As this past spring approached, a different name, fresh logo, a redesigned website at – and more – signaled to the community a new direction for a popular institution that began in 2002. Currently a four-member board manages the nuts and bolts of bringing 34 galleries, banks, investment firms, realty offices, and jewelers onto “the scene” each third Thursday of the month – a number that increases each month. Cole is joined on the board by Tracy Felix, who serves as board secretary and Events Committee chair; Clayton Moss (owner of FORMA) board vice president; and James Spangler (Re-Read Books) who serves as board treasurer.

New, innovative ideas for the future of Art Walk Edmonds are advanced as Cole and Felix, who laugh together, finish each other’s sentences and have an obvious joy for one another’s company talk in animated tones about what they expect AWE to become.

The August art walk saw one of the first campaigns that the Art Walk Edmonds team advanced — “The Art of . . .” featuring the Art of Wine by Arista Wine Cellars, 320 5th Ave. S and “The Art of Baking” hosted by The Wooden Spoon, 104 5th Ave. S. “Expect to see a whole array of The Art of . . . campaigns in the coming months,” Cole promises.

“We have a hope and a vision to be able to engage merchants who participate in Art Walk Edmonds in more creative ways,” she adds.

Felix notes Edmonds’ “village setting” which she says facilitates the Events Committee’s interactions with downtown business and civic organizations. She notes how easy it was to strike up a partnership with Edmonds Historical Museum board member, Faye May, which has resulted in developing “Art Stalk” as an October event – incorporating the museum’s Scarecrow Festival with Art Walk Edmonds.

Cole concluded her interview with My Edmonds News by revealing two things she would like to bring to Edmonds as board president of Art Walk Edmonds — “a national-class art walk event” and a “festival atmosphere” surrounding the third Thursday event.

We see both of those visions being realized, as Elizabeth Martin-Calder is welcomed as a member to the Art Walk Edmonds team – and to the Edmonds community.

— By Emily Hill

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *