This weekend: Plan an arts vacation in Edmonds, whether you live here or not!

Unclad postcard cover resized
Edmonds is ready with hotel space, restaurants and sights to see for this weekend’s exhibition opening of UNCLAD 2016. Visit Edmonds — whether you live here or not!

The organizers of the art exhibition UNCLAD 2016 are heralding an invitation to spend this upcoming weekend in Edmonds – for the sake of art. In its revival, UNCLAD is the renown art exhibition that celebrates the human form. The brainchild of Stanwood artist Gayle Picken, UNCLAD 2016 is enjoying a revival right in downtown Edmonds – along the waterfront.

Whether you are living in Edmonds but haven’t been downtown over the winter months — or you are a visitor arriving by boat, rail or ferry — there’s a treat in store for you this weekend. And this particular weekend starts early!

Thursday, March 17, coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day, the Edmonds’ art tradition Art Walk Edmonds (AWE) will take place. This month, all eyes are on Cascadia Art Museum (190 Sunset Ave.), which will welcome visitors for a preview of several pieces from the UNCLAD 2016 show.

The Cascadia Art Museum is offering UNCLAD 2016 visitors discounted tickets to the museum. Visitors who bring their UNCLAD 2016 programs to the museum will get $3 off regular admission. (Offer good through March 27, 2016.)

With roots in the art community of Camano Island, UNCLAD went on from its 2002 beginning to tour the communities of Stanwood and even Portland during the next 11 years. Economic factors forced the show into hibernation, but its popularity ensured that it would not stay dormant for very long.

In celebration of its revival this year, 500 entries were received in the call-to-artists and 142 pieces were selected for the show.

My Edmonds News (MEN) had an opportunity to sit down this week with Gayle Picken (GP) this past week to ask some questions about her decision in choosing Edmonds as the new home for UNCLAD.

MEN: Gayle, first of all in appreciation of the time that you are taking with us, thank you for this exclusive interview. The first question we’d like to ask is, “Why Edmonds for the unveiling of UNCLAD 2016?”

GP: First of all, I chose Edmonds because it’s it is a beautiful destination for the arts. I love the community and I’m attracted to the fact that residents help, care for and support each other in their various endeavors. It’s closer to Seattle than say, Stanwood – and Camano Island – yet won’t get lost in the landscape of big city events. It also helps that there’s a spectacular waterfront, a new art museum and most importantly – a community of art lovers!

Edmonds is a destination that will enhance the show because of its amenities.

– – –

MEN: What’s it like to set up a show of this magnitude? Who helps?

GP: UNCLAD 2016 has involved so many people! And so many sponsors. But if you are asking literally how the show will be set up in a short window of time, the art panels will go up on Friday, then the lights. Artist check-in will begin by 11 a.m. as artists arrive to hang their work. I expect a lot of laughter, reunion moments augmented by my mom’s now famous cookies! It will be a whirlwind of crazy, hectic activity – and I will be so happy!

– – –

MEN: Artfully Edmonds will be in attendance at the VIP preview, but what about folks who are coming for the Saturday and Sunday showing? Any “peeking” opportunities?

GP: Actually, yes. We are encouraging previews and pre-sales. Visitors can go to our website and preview the work of each juried artist.

– – –

MEN: Any other for-the-good-of-the order news that you would like to share at this time?

GP: Yes. I’d like the community to know that proceeds from the show’s refreshment bar will benefit the Clothes for Kids organization. Treats will include fresh home-baked cookies, coffee, bottled water and a selection of other goodies.

– – –

MEN: Well, you are certainly going to be busy over the next week. Thank you for the opportunity to sit down and learn more about the behind the scenes work of establishing UNCLAD 2016. Best wishes on another “first” for the Edmonds’ art world.

Highlights and features:

The 90 artists participating in UNCLAD 2016 come from all over Washington state (from Blaine to Bremerton, Steilacoom to Colfax) and as far away as New York, Michigan and North Carolina. We also have artists from Quebec and Montreal in Canada.

You can learn about the artists and preview the art online at

The exhibition juror is local artist and Edmonds Arts Commission member Marni Muir. Marni has been active in the art scene for forty plus years. She holds a BFA from the University of Washington, owned a gallery in Pioneer Square and has represented artists locally and internationally. Marni is also a trustee board member of the new Cascadia Art Museum.

Awards to be presented:

“Juror’s Award” to be selected by Marni Muir.

“Paula Gegax Memorial Award” presented by the family and friends of Paula Gegax. Ms. Gegax was a true patron of the arts, supporter of local artists, a great fan of the UNCLAD art show and is missed by the art community of north Puget Sound.

“People’s Choice Award” – allowing attendees to vote for their favorite piece in the show

– – –

Music will include:

The Michael Gotz Jazz Duo as the Friday night VIP Preview Party entertainment

Saturday, from 2-4 p.m., attendees will be treated to the magical flute playing of Paul Nyenhuis.

Sunday, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the music of Alison of Austin Harp Arts will be featured

Call to Artists:

Saturday, March 19
Noon to Midnight
Edmonds Senior Center
220 Railroad Ave, Edmonds

12 hours of life drawing, 6 different models

Join us for the Life Drawing Marathon dedicated to the memory of Lyle Silver.

UNCLAD is presenting this 12-hour life drawing marathon in memory of Lyle Silver, Seattle artist who ran a life drawing group in Seattle for many decades, was a member and past president of The Puget Sound Group of NW Artists, and a friend to many artists.

The show will provide coffee and snacks, and bring in pizza in the evening. Artists should bring their own easels and drawing materials. Chairs and tables are available.

The Edmonds Senior Center is just a few blocks north of the Edmonds Yacht Club (326 Admiral Ave.) where the UNCLAD show is being held.

Registration required, $35.

Click here to register now.

— by Emily Hill


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