Artfully Edmonds: Local publisher showcases artists statewide, plus upcoming book, theater and music events

Lillyan Hendershot holding a copy of Art State Washington at The Branding Iron. In the background – original art by Lillyan Hendershot.

When Lillyan Hendershot graduated with a fine art degree from Western Washington University, she began actively promoting and selling her original works of art at galleries and art fairs. As she tried to get her work included in publications of current artists, she would always run up against hefty application fees that essentially prohibited her from being included.

She promised herself that if she were ever in a position to publish a book of artists’ work herself, there would be no costly fees associated with it.

Last month, she did exactly that. Hendershot has just published Art State Washington – a vivid, 140-page, eye-popping, graphic-rich tribute to 33 Washington state artists with a focus on showcasing the great diversity and culture of art in our state.

None of this would have been possible had she and business partner Mesfin Mengesha not taken the bold step of opening their own full-service print shop in Edmonds four years ago.

Hendershot and Mengesha had worked together for a large corporate printing concern, but had the sense that they were just not appreciated and valued for the hard work they put in. Hendershot added a master’s degree in media design to her resume, and as her freelance design business was getting off the ground, Mengesha suggested they team up and start their own shop. The Branding Iron, located at Harbor Square in Edmonds, was born.

Art State Washington by Lillyan Hendershot, published by The Branding Iron.

Their shop does graphic design, website design and about every kind of printing you can think of. Customer orders can range from thousands of dollars, to 10 cents, depending on the job. Once The Branding Iron became established, Hendershot returned to the idea of publishing Art State. She began with a call for art, which she advertised on social media and with posters and postcards in galleries and art-related shops. In response, she received 50 artist submissions and was able to narrow that down to 33.

She has succeeded in including a wide cross-section of fine art being produced today across Washington state. Submissions range from photo realism to highly abstract, and ceramics, photography, sculpture, digital, acrylics, oils, pastels, pen and ink, watercolors, and mixed media are all represented.

The book includes artists who’ve been working for decades, as well as some who are just beginning to develop an emerging style. Ethnic diversity was also very important to Hendershot, as was the inclusion of art that some might consider controversial.

The one common element for each of the 100-plus images included is that all are outstanding works of art, created by artists who are making a mark in their respective areas, each of whom deserve our attention.

Interest has been strong. I purchased a copy and pored over it with great enthusiasm. If sales continue as expected, Hendershot hopes to produce a similar volume each year.

This May, Café Louvre will be featuring some of the artists included in Art State. Their artists’ reception on Art Walk night that month will be one you won’t want to miss.

Art State Washington would be a great addition to any collection and will be particularly interesting as a point of reference as each new publication is produced. It’s available for sale at The Branding Iron, 120 W Dayton St. and at

~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, Jan. 27
Noon to 1 p.m.

Edmonds Bookshop Author Event
Magickal Family: Pagan Living In Harmony With Nature

By Monica Crosson

Edmonds Bookshop
111 5th Ave S.

A real-life guide for those who want to practice magick and simplicity but need a little nudge to take a break from the workaday world. Filled with tips, ideas, stories and projects to bring you and your family closer to nature and to celebrate the God and the Goddess, this book shows how to be true to your magickal self while raising little Witchlings―or helping others with theirs. Discover how to create the life you want through gardening, Kitchen Witchery, DIY projects, and celebrations based on the Wheel of the Year. Includes more than 65 rituals, blessings, recipes, crafts and activities.

Monica Crosson is a Master Gardner who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, happily digging in the dirt and tending her raspberries with her husband, three kids and small menagerie of farm animals, including a very grouchy donkey named Rosetta. Learn more at

~ ~ ~ ~

More Fun Than Bowling opens Feb. 2 at the Phoenix Theatre.

Friday, Feb. 2 – Sunday, Feb. 25
8 p.m.

More Fun Than Bowling

By the hilarious Steven Dietz – writer of last year’s hit Becky’s New Car

Directed by Eric Lewis

The Phoenix Theatre
2673 Firdale Ave.
(Firdale Shopping Center)

Need a good laugh? The latest Phoenix production (opening on Groundhog Day) has got you covered.

Jake was once a promising pianist, but a foul ball broke his fingers, which subsequently healed into the perfect bowling grip. Jake now owns a bowling alley, but spends much of his time sitting on a hilltop where 2 of his ex-wives are buried. (Both women died due to tragic bowling accidents). As Jake replays the key frames of his life, he is frequently visited by his daughter Molly, who has become adept at talking women into marrying her father for love and free lane time. But who is that mysterious stranger dressed in black and holding a gun lurking in the shadows? This play runs through Sunday, Feb. 25.

Buy tickets here.

~ ~ ~ ~

Friday, Feb. 2
5:30 to 9 p.m.

Meadowdale Arts & Music Booster Organization (MAMBO) Presents

Hawaiian Escape – Auction and Variety Show

Holy Rosary Parrish
630 7th Ave. N.

A luau-inspired dinner with entertainment provided by Meadowdale‘s choir, jazz band, orchestra, The Meadowdale Players and The Improv Team. Student fine art and photography will also be on display.

This, the fourth annual MAMBO auction and dinner, will benefit the arts and music general fund, which helps provide for such things as repairing and purchasing equipment; paying for students competitions and workshop fees; buying scripts and production rights; and providing student financial aid.

Tickets here

~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, Feb. 3
9:30 a.m.


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

Edmonds Center for the Arts presents its 6th annual Kidstock!, a free arts celebration for children and families. As the cornerstone of ECA’s family programming, Kidstock! engages kids from a young age in diverse and exciting arts experiences. The event features musical performances, theatre, arts education workshops and activities throughout the ECA campus.

The Kidstock Main Stage will feature Grammy-nominated band Recess Monkey, kindie-rock quintet The Not-Its!, DE CAJoN Project, Morning Star Korean Cultural Center, and Book-It Repertory Theatre’s new play WHOOSH!

Additional Kidstock! 2018 programs will include an intergenerational art workshop with Silver Kite Community Arts, ukulele workshop, bouncy houses and more.

Details here.

~ ~ ~ ~

Call For Artists

Closes Wednesday, Feb. 7 – 5 p.m.

Gallery North
401 Main St.

It’s time once again for Gallery North’s call to artists for their popular small works show. Last year, 75 artists submitted 200 pieces. Online registration for this exhibit closes on Feb. 7. Juried by Seattle artist Barbara Noonan, this show will run throughout the month of March.

For details, visit

~ ~ ~ ~

The Allspice Band

Saturday, Feb. 10,
7-10 p.m.

Sno-King Sweetheart Dance
Featuring The Allspice Band

Cedar Valley Grange
20526 52nd Ave. W.

Sno-King International Folk Dance Club invites you to celebrate Valentines with dancing.Come with or without your sweetheart. No formal teaching this night, but lots of easy dances, including couple, no-partner and set dances from many countries. They encourage potluck snacks, and it’s a good time to wear reds and pinks — be a valentine! During band breaks there will be request dancing to recorded music.

More info here:

~ ~ ~ ~

— By James Spangler

When not actively scheming about ways to promote the arts in Edmonds, James Spangler can be found (highly caffeinated) behind the counter of his bookstore on 4th Avenue.

Leave a Reply

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