Artfully Edmonds: Enjoy sights and sounds of Arts Festival weekend, plus other events around town

Joan Ringstad (Photo by Amanda Ringstad)

Well, this is it folks. The weekend that hundreds of volunteers have spent thousands of hours to bring to you. The 61st annual Edmonds Arts Festival is upon us.

Joan Ringstad has been one of those volunteers going on 20 years. Her job is to place the 3-D art in the juried galleries –- you know –- sculpture and stuff like that. It’s a big job. All fine art included, “we display about 500 pieces of art in two-and-a-half days. It’s not just about displaying the pieces in the best light, the pieces each need to be cleaned, tagged, properly labeled and displayed — that’s a lot of work by a lot of people in a very short time,” Ringstad said.

“I put in at least 30 hours over three days last weekend, there’s also a fair amount of pre-planning that goes into it,” she added.

This year, the galleries will have a new look. The room that was once devoted entirely to sculpture will instead contain about half sculpture and include miniatures, prints and drawings as well. The miniatures will be broken up a bit in an attempt to make viewing of each piece a little less overwhelming. The gym, or Gallery One as it’s known for the festival, will contain the rest of the sculpture and much of the remaining juried fine art.

The goal is to lighten the mood of Gallery One — by installing fewer partitions, lighting is improved and incorporating sculpture here provides more open space -– both will be conducive to better viewing experience.

Ringstad has nothing but admiration for her fellow volunteers. “It’s a pretty phenomenal group. There must’ve been 12 to 15 of us pitching in to get this new look going. Whether they were initially on board with the change, everyone put their doubts aside and got the job done. It took some real cooperation. I think people will be pleased with the outcome,” Ringstad said.

We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the amazing volunteers that make our Arts Festival great. Hats off to you all!

Jazz on the Plaza. (Photo courtesy Pete Bennett)

An Arts Festival highlight that some of you might not be aware of happens on the Plaza above the Library throughout the festival. Jazz on the Plaza is a mini jazz festival within the Arts Festival, comprised of high school and college students from nationally recognized local programs.

As coordinator Peter Bennett puts it, “ We have crazy nationally  talented local jazz all around us — the first thing that people say to me when they hear these kids is: I had no idea these kids could play like that!”

This is the fourth year for Jazz on the Plaza and Bennett has plans to keep building the program so that these talented young musicians continue to have this great venue to perform.

Plan to relax on the Plaza, have a drink at the Grotto, or grab a snack -– the jazz will be happening up there all weekend.

Of course, the main stage has some great acts in store this weekend as well, so you’ll want to save time to check that. So much great music, so little time!

Artist in Action Angela Bandurka

Another notable feature of the Arts Festival is Artists in Action on the Plaza. Our local professional artists who participate in the Edmonds Studio Tour (which is slated for Sept. 15 and 16 this year) will take turns demonstrating their craft on the plaza (hopefully within earshot of that great jazz I mentioned) You’re encouraged to drop by watch them make art before your very eyes. Feel free to ask questions.

Those are just a couple of highlights of a festival that has more than 240 booth artists, a thousand works of student art, 20-plus food and drink venues, hands on art projects for the kids, and amazing, juried fine art in the Festival galleries.

See you there!

Learn more at

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Prom Queen’s Leeni Ramadan

Thursday, June 14
8 p.m.

190 Sunset Presents:

Sunset Live: Prom Queen

190 Sunset Ave.

Have you been to any of 190 Sunset’s live music events yet? They’re bringing in some great acts.

Leeni Ramadan fronts Prom Queen – an ultra-cool, late ’50s/early ’60s-tinged, atmospheric, rock/ballad band. Think of a modern version of a do-wop band like the Shirelles, but on the surreal side, with edgy lyrics. This should be a very fun show.

See a YouTube video here.

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Asa Sholdez (Linus Larrabee, Jr) and Rebecca Erickson (Sabrina Fairchild) in Driftwood Players’ Sabrina Fair. (Photo by Dale Sutton, Magic Photo)

Now through June 24
Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.

Wade James Theater
950 Main St.

Driftwood Players presents

Sabrina Fair

Directed by Rick Wright

See my review here.

Set on Long Island in the ’50s, Sabrina Fairchild is the daughter of the Larrabee family chauffeur. Bright, well-educated, and just returned from five years in Paris, Sabrina has come home to find out if she is still in love with the younger Larrabee son, David. The elder son, Linus, a cynical, good-humored tycoon, lays a trap to bring them together for his own amusement. It works: David falls in love with Sabrina and wants to marry her. At the same time, a rich young Frenchman who has known Sabrina in Paris turns up and asks her to marry him. But who does Sabrina love and will she get her heart’s desire?

(Note that limited accessible seating will be reserved for Deaf and Hard of Hearing patrons during the ASL Interpreted performance, June 16. Contact the box office for more information.)

Tickets here.

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Now through Sunday, June 17

8 p.m.
Matinees Sunday at 2 p.m.

Phoenix Theatre
9673 Firdale Ave.
(Firdale Village)

The Foreigner by Larry Shue

Directed by Eric Lewis

See my relatively spoiler-free review here.

Plot summary – some spoilers here:

The setting is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by “Froggy” LeSeuer, a British demolition expert. His friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie, is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. “Froggy,” before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Once alone, the fun really begins, as Charlie overhears more than he should.

Tickets at

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Edmonds Arts Festival Poster Painting by Ned Mueller.

May 21 to June 17

The Edmonds Art Festival Foundation Gallery Presents

Ned Mueller – Festival Poster Artist

Frances Anderson Cultural Center
700 Main St.

This year’s Edmonds Art Festival Poster is really exceptional.

Ned Mueller has been drawing and painting all of his life. He graduated from the prestigious Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles, where he also taught drawing while still a student. His love for life and art is reflected in his superb paintings of a wide range of subjects including portraits, figures, animals and landscapes, both studio and plein air.

More information here.

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Monday, June 18

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra Presents:
Dee Daniels – My Favorite Things

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

Renowned vocal star of the international stage in performances with symphony orchestras and big bands, Dee Daniels joins the SRJO for a swingin’ concert of her favorite music – from the jazz hits of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn to great American songbook classics by Gershwin, Porter and Kern. Dee is a unique talent who transcends all musical borders as she shares her remarkable four-octave range and jazz styling infused with gospel and blues. This concert will feature special arrangements from her most recent CD recordings, including “Nature Boy” and “Almost Like Being In Love”.

Tickets here.

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Most Monday evenings –
(Check ArtWorks calendar for exact dates)
6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

201 2nd Ave. S.

Open Figure Drawing Sessions

Drop-in figure drawing from nude and clothed models. No instruction provided. All are welcome.

Participants work independently with their own choice of materials in this three hour session administered by a monitor.

Carol Adelman is a highly experienced painter who has taught at Louisiana State University, Kutztown University, and Dickinson.

For information on how to register and class dates:

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Artist Danny Pierce – Tom Codding – 1963

Now through – Sunday, July 1

Modern Alaska: Art of the Midnight Sun, 1930–1970

Cascadia Art Museum
190 Sunset Ave. #E

Cascadia Art Museum will present works of art created by mid-century Northwest artists related to their travels to Alaska. Photographer Verna Haffer, painter and printmaker Danny Pierce, Stephen Fuller, and native Alaskan artists Bernard Katexac and Joseph Senungetuk are featured. More at

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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.



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