Artfully Edmonds: A sneak peek at DragonFire Gallery, comedy competition’s Alien Warrior


Edmonds is Out of This World!

Yes, that is my lead this week and it is easy to understand why I would make that proclamation if you have visited the new neighborhood gallery “DragonFire” located at 529 Dayton St., and are looking forward – as I am – to seeing Alien Warrior in the Seattle International Comedy Competition. But there is so much more going on in Edmonds, and not too far out of town that we should add to our arts and events calendars.

This week I learned of the soft opening for DragonFire Neighborhood Art Gallery from Denise Cole, president of the board for Art Walk Edmonds (AWE).

Within an hour or two of receiving the introduction from Cole, I was welcomed to DragonFire by gallery director Kurt Mattingly and invited on an exclusive tour of the new storefront gallery.

DragonFire has taken the space formerly occupied by Country Cove, but the only elements that remain in this new iteration of space is the footprint and architectural elements of the historic location. The front-of-the-house now reflects a chic, hip environment and shows off a palette of soft sage, muted cranberry and smoky grey, with bright glossy-white accents and trims. Its warm welcoming tones are perfect for the Northwest’s winter bluster, but also offer subtle sophistication that will be perfect for summer evenings for the May through October art walks.

Randal Southam of Southam Creative is owner of the Dayton Street space. Carol Renaud, business manager, and Steve Carson, general manager of Lease Art (a sister company to Southam Creative), “assisted greatly in the vision and evolution of DragonFire Gallery,” according to Mattingly.

One of the primary missions of Southam Creative is the manufacture of lease art to corporate spaces. The new gallery is divided into the exhibit area directly off the Dayton Street sidewalk, and the manufacturing space at the rear of the building.

The gallery portion of the business, DragonFire, currently has photography as its primary focus with the selection point being “diversity” and “specialty”.

And to prove the point, DragonFire Neighborhood Art Gallery opened with a photography exhibit that IS out of this world, “The Art of NASA”. 

Kurt Mattingly, whose personal mantra is, “changing the world one smile at a time,” tells me that each piece of photography art that he manufactures at the back of the gallery “represents love.” But for my take on it, each piece also represents the impeccable perfection on which reputations are built. Mattingly explained during my visit to the gallery that he builds each art piece for Southam Creative knowing in his heart that “it will find a good home.”

Mattingly has already joined Art Walk Edmonds and will be working with Tracy Felix on AWE’s events committee. I’m expecting more good things, and exciting events and news, from DragonFire Neighborhood Art Gallery.

Kurt sent me off with a generous hug and forecasts that the launch of DragonFire Neighborhood Art Gallery will add significantly to Edmonds’ art horizon.

Southam, and DragonFire Gallery are new members to the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and will enjoy their ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 20 – just hours before November’s Art Walk Edmonds.

DragonFire Gallery opens at 11 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Follow gallery hours and news on Facebook.

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Alien warrior
Alien Warrior

It has always been the Mission of Artfully Edmonds, in the Space allotted each week, to provide our readers with a chronology of events from as broad a range of perspectives as possible. And for that reason, once we learned that the Alien Warrior was in the Seattle International Comedy Competition line-up we sent out an invitation in warp-speed, requesting that the Alien Warrior confer with us in the peaceful confines of the Internet.

So, here is the exchange between the peace-loving columnist who writes Artfully Edmonds (AE) and the Alien Warrior (AW) whom we suspect will handily make it to the comedy competition semi-finals for an appearance at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Let’s see what the Alien Warrior has to share with us:
– – – –

AE: “Greetings Alien Warrior!”

My hologram is being beamed to your cabin from My Edmonds News with the mission to welcome you to Edmonds on the eve of the Seattle International Comedy Competition, scheduled (Intergalactically-speaking) to take place on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Edmonds’ Earthlings would like to know more about you.
– – –

AE: What is your mission here on earth; i.e. what do you hope to accomplish, Alien Warrior?

AW: My mission is, “Deride and Conquer!” But, also . . . (ahem) do you know of a good steakhouse in the area?
– – –

AE: Hmmm . . . let me think on that one. In the meantime, Earthlings have at least two TV series perspectives of alien life, plus many cinema sources for what life as an Alien might be like. What source, program, or movie will give Edmonds Earthlings the best insight in how to engage with your species?

AW: Yes, I’ve seen some of your Aliensploitation films and TV programs. And, really?

If you’re looking to define your relationship with the Alien Species through movies, then let’s use the “Wizard of Oz” as a comparison: For instance, I came though a wormhole, which is quite similar to a tornado; wouldn’t your agree? And, similar to Dorothy’s predicament, I’m stuck here and can’t go home.

I often find myself around people who have no brains, a lack a heart, and who [bleep] their pants whenever they see me.

. . . And, enough talk about ruby red shoes! There is a woman who insists she represents your government who wants my Gravity Boot technology.

Plus, let’s not overlook Oz inhabitants’ avoidance of the sleepy-dust poppy fields. Why, just last week I passed out in a field after eating strange mushrooms. All apt comparisons to the “Wizard of Oz,” wouldn’t you say?
– – –

AE: Well, quite possibly. But let’s move on. I think I speak for all mankind in relaying gratitude that you’re not trying to fool us into thinking you’re something you’re not. I mean, “Warrior” says it all!

Did the idea of deceiving us into thinking you are peace-loving occur to you?

AW: Yes it did. But, I just couldn’t bring myself to wear cashmere; and I ate the dove of peace on my way down the wormhole.
– – –

AE: So, “I come in peace” means nothing to you?

AW: Those words can easily be interpreted by both of our species as “Cliché!”
– – –

AE: What observations would you like to make to us about your “landing” in Las Vegas?

AW: Not necessarily in order of importance:
(1) Not all Humans can stand upright;
(2) Cirque Du Soleil will rule the world if we don’t stop them;
(3 Las Vegas would be a great place to shoot an episode of “Intervention”;
(4) For a Land carrying the moniker “City of Lights”, Las Vegas can be a pretty dark place.
– – –

AE: How do Earthlings from the Edmonds area get on your good side?

AW: It’s simple, really; “Like” me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Bring me Tribute. Buy my T-Shirts.

Certainly: “Fetch Shatner – And bring him to me!”

And, once I’ve arrived in Edmonds, kneel when you see me.
– – –

AE: Do you have a message for our mayor, Dave Earling?

AW: Yes . . . Dave! Why can’t you be more like Mayor Rob Ford? He’s accomplished more for the Comedy Community on Earth than you ever will.
– – – –

Being wildly curious about what an Alien Warrior sounds like, I went to YouTube and picked up this message.

So, Dear Readers, if you have any suggestions for the Alien Warrior of where to grab a good steak while His Honor is in town for the comedy competition, leave a comment (or a dinner invitation) in the comments section of Artfully Edmonds and we will make sure that our new friend receives your message.
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Theatre News


Friday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m.

Seattle Public Theater at
The Bathhouse ~ Greenlake
7312 W. Greenlake Ave.

Edmonds Student Authors Take the Seattle Stage

Fourteen students from Edmonds’ Scriber Lake High School will be taking the stage at Seattle Public Theater this Friday afternoon to perform true stories about serious issues facing teens and the deep physical and emotional scars these teens experience.

Friday’s production was adapted from the student story collection, “Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Inside Out,” published by Scriber Lake students through WritetoRight, a program that helps teenagers find their voice and power through personal storytelling.

“So many teenagers have endured trauma and hardships that are difficult for people to comprehend, and feel alone and unheard,” notes Ingrid Ricks, a Seattle author and teen mentor who co-founded with Scriber Lake English Teacher Marjie Bowker. “But the student authors we work with have discovered the enormous healing power and validation that comes from writing and sharing their stories.”

Friday’s performance marks the second collaboration between Scriber Lake High School and Seattle Public Theater and culminates a week-long acting workshop led by Director Samara Lerman. Along with “shining the spotlight on the issues teenagers face”, she says the “experience helps students to empathize and identify with the struggles of their peers.”

The 30-minute performance will be followed by a short Q & A with the student performers.
For more information, please contact Ingrid Ricks at 425-281-0415 or
– – – –

The Phoenix Theatre
Firdale Village
9673 Firdale Ave.

Spirited Away!!

Blithe Spirit
By Noel Coward, will be spirited away after this weekend’s Sunday, Nov. 9 matinee.

It’s not difficult to conjure up an answer as to how much Artfully Edmonds loved Blithe Spirit once you read our review of the production.

For show times, go to the theatre’s online box office.
– – –


Dessert First!

Thursday, Nov. 13 ~ 7 p.m.

There will be Dessert, Laughter, and Auctions at The Phoenix Theatre’s first Gala. And what better “Let’s Dress The Part” location than Edmonds Center for the Arts.

Tickets are going fast! Get yours by visiting The Phoenix online ticket office.
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The Driftwood Players
Wade James Theatre
900 Main St.

Miracle on 34th Street

Production runs
Nov. 28 – Dec. 21
Thurs, Fri, Sat at 8 p.m.
Sat and Sun at 2 p.m.

The Edmonds Driftwood Players is making ready for the arrival of Santa in Edmonds. From Nov. 28 to Dec. 21, Santa will appear on stage in Miracle on 34th Street, adapted from the novel by Valentine Davies and based on the 20th Century Fox motion picture.

Nikki Fey-Burgett directs the production. If you don’t know the story, it features “a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus, and a young girl who doesn’t believe in Santa.

When a department store Santa is fired for coming to work drunk, an indignant Kris Kringle takes the job. But his claims that he isn’t pretending land him in court! Christmas itself is on trial, as a young lawyer must convince a jaded New York City that Kringle is the real thing.”

The Driftwood Players production features local talent Eric Bischoff as Kris Kringle with Jason Gingold as Fred Gayley, and Molly Hall as Doris Walker. Add to the fun and season’s wonder performances by the “Elf Theatre.”

If you want to see Santa while he is in Edmonds you’d better hurry, because according to Kathleen Huston, tickets are going fast!

Letters to Santa:
The theatre also has a special mailbox standing ready outside the Wade James Theatre door collecting letters to Santa.

“And yes, Santa assures us that he will be answering all letters posted in this special mailbox,” promises Huston.

Tickets for Miracle on 34th Street are available online at or by calling the box office at 425-774-9600.
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Saturday, Nov. 15 ~ 2 p.m.

Nutcracker Excerpts

Benaroya Hall
Union Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues

Edmonds’ Olympic Ballet Theatre will perform excerpts from The Nutcracker with live orchestra accompaniment by the Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestra. This youth orchestra, consisting of students 21 and under, has a history of presenting exciting repertoire in the form of major symphonies, concertos and overtures.

The energy and excitement of the young Olympic Ballet dancers makes Olympic
Ballet Theatre the ideal arts experience!

Visit the Benaroya box office for ticket information
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More Gallery News

Spirobranchus giganteus, Christmas Tree Worm

Gallery North
401 Main St.

Sunday, Nov. 9 ~ 1-4 p.m.

Neptune’s Treasures

Gallery North is pleased to announce the opening of their November exhibit which features underwater photographer Mary Bess Johnson.

For over 40 years Mary Bess Johnson has made regular visits to the underwater world. On her first dive, the shock of cold water was quickly replaced by fascination with the myriad forms and brilliant colors worn by undersea animals. A desire to share the wonder she experienced in this secluded world motivated her to pursue the photographic skills necessary to make worthy pictures.

Mary Bess says “I am especially interested in creatures that live on the ocean floor. There are thousands of variations in shape and color combinations. I have sought to depict their delicate beauty in their home environment.” The bright colors, feathery appendages and distinctive forms of worms, slugs, corals and fish are a natural form of art that Mary Bess documents with her stunning photography.

Gallery North is open seven days a week. For more information, call 425-774-0946 or visit the website.
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ECAWhat’s Happening
This Week at ECA

Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

Thursday, Nov. 6 ~ 7:30 p.m.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band ~ If you do not have tickets to this breath-taking history-making event, you have 17 more chances at press time to get in. That is exactly how many tickets are left – 17!

Want to give it a try?
– – – –

Let’s give it up for the ECA and the acts they’ve booked for this season! Bravo, ECA!

Didn’t make it to see Jimmy Fadden and the guys? The ECA offers so much more . . . like:

Saturday, Nov. 8 ~ 2 p.m.

Infinitus Beat Boxing

Infinitus is quickly becoming one of North America’s premier chamber groups. This dynamic trio from Vancouver, BC Canada engages young audiences with music ranging from familiar classics to classic rock, and from TV theme songs to hip-hop beat boxing.

Ticket Link here.
– – – –

Monday, Nov. 10 ~ 7:30 p.m.

Veteran’s Day Commemoration

Letters Aloud, the reading series that brought you last year’s Valentine’s Day event, With Or Without You, will honor our country’s Veterans in the upcoming “From the Front”.

Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all of the military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans, and we will do our part by reading powerful, heartfelt letters that were written to and from soldiers and their loved ones from the battlefields of our past.

Tickets are available at ECA’s online box office.

Emily ~ Square jPeg

— By Emily Hill

Emily Hill is an author of two novels and a short story collection and a long-time resident of Edmonds. She is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her at

  1. Not to be missed tonight – Opening at Frances Anderson
    Northwest Masters Exhibit – Toby – Graves, et al……
    Can almost hardly wait for this tonight!

    Our town, our mountains, our sea, our beach, our sky, our birds, etc.
    helped give spirit to the art
    of these artists

    Not to be missed

  2. Hi Tere,
    Thank you;
    Let’s also direct readers to the Front Page side bar titled “Event Alerts” that outlines this evening’s program at the Frances Anderson Center.

    The “Event Alerts” front page placement is intended to give readers THE quickest at-a-glance reminder of what is happening on any given day.

    ~Warmest Regards, and thank you for reading “Artfully Edmonds” ~ Emily

  3. We have enjoyed Alien Warrior Comedian often in Las Vegas and hope to welcome him to Edmonds on the 19th. Very pleased to read your interview with AW. He’s unforgettable!

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