Artfully Edmonds: Mid-September Art Studio Tour a family affair for local artists

Barbara Childs at her pottery wheel.

The Edmonds Art Studio Tour is a remarkable showcase of local talent. Slated for the weekend of Sept. 15-16, this year it features 30 local artists at 15 locations who will open their home studios to the public to view.

Much of the work will be available to purchase. This is a great opportunity to see firsthand the places where so much of Edmonds fine art is produced. You can talk to the artist about their process and technique. This provides context for you — you can learn the story behind the work. If you have a little ones with a creative streak, taking them around to see real live artists and their studios can be an invaluable learning experience for them.

Giant Pacific Octopus. Katie Childs

Looking through the Studio Tour brochure, I saw well-known local potter/ceramics artist Barbara Goodfellow Childs on the list. As I explored further, I discovered that with her that weekend will be her sister (noted woodturner Molly Winston) and two of her daughters (Annie Childs – photography, and Katie Childs – pen and ink, and watercolor).

Art is clearly important in this family. If it’s a gene the blame or credit lands squarely on Childs’ and Winton’s mother, who was an amazing seamstress and who excelled at all the skills in what used to be known as home economics. When Winton, the older of the two sisters, arrived at elective time in high school, there was no way she was doing more home economics.

Woodturner Molly Winton

Woodshop looked interesting. But in the dark ages of 1976, girls were not permitted to enroll in woodshop. Undaunted, she and a friend petitioned the school and were allowed in – on probation. The girls immediately set themselves apart as excellent students. One machine that never seemed to have a line was the wood lathe. The first time she used it, she knew she was on to something.

Two years later, Childs followed this path – again, she was required to petition the school. Both sisters credit a high school program, closed to all but the most persistent young women, as sparking an interest in what would became a life-long love of art that has produced some spectacular results.

Tuxedo Trio Naked Raku. Barb Childs

Childs discovered pottery in college, again seeking an elective that looked interesting. She describes pottery as a hobby that got out of hand. When her kids were at the Maplewood Co-op, she let them choose their own creative direction. Ultimately, this resulted in producing a photographer and a fine artist.

I don’t need to convince Childs how important early art education is. When she not working in her studio, she’s the Edmonds School District’s Community Arts Program Coordinator.

Childs’ exhibits in multiple galleries and participates in several art sales each year. Right now, in addition to this year’s studio tour, she’s preparing for the Puget Sound Artist’s Gift Show coming up in November in Edmonds. Since she does a mix of fine art pieces and more functional pieces, she’s able to make an easy transition from one show to another. During the last big economic downturn, she found that she was selling a whole lot more functional pieces and not so much fine art. Now, as before the downturn, the mix is about 50-50.

Open baking dish. Barb Childs

Childs is pretty forgiving of people unfamiliar with just what goes into producing a piece of pottery. They generally don’t have much of a clue about the difference between commercially produced and artisan created pottery.

Childs explains that “At first they say ‘Isn’t that a lot to pay?’ I start to describe the process – the throwing, the three days to dry, firing once, firing twice, glazes, then I mentioned the $3,000 kiln, the $1,500 wheel, the slab roller – by the time I’m done they’re saying “Geez, is that all you charge?”

Often times the story behind the work will sell the piece. Childs recently needed a halibut slightly less than 24 inches wide for a cast so that the finished product will fit her kiln. Just trying to track down a small, whole halibut proved to be a challenge in itself. Winton and Childs are full of stories like this. Each story makes the piece they’re describing that much more intriguing.

Don’t miss stop number three in the Studio Tour this year. If you’re lucky, you might witness some of the merciless back and forth banter that only two sisters can dish out to one another. I’m told that when you add Child’s daughters into the conversation, it rises to yet another level.

Winton jokes, “We like to keep it real. We keep each others egos in check!”

Edmonds Art Studio tour info at

Annie Childs

Barbara Childs in action:

Barbara Childs’ website:

Molly Winton website:

Annie Childs’ website:

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Storm Chaser. Leah Rene Welch

Through Sept. 29

Gallery North’s September Exhibit, “Eclectic Approach”

Featuring paintings by Edmonds Artist Leah Rene Welch

Gallery North
401 Main St.

Leah Rene Welch is known for her vibrant, heavily textured paintings. She paints a wide range of subjects in a variety of styles from meticulous realism to expressive abstracts and impressionism, always with an eye toward keeping things interesting.

“I like to paint with non-traditional implements — with my fingers being my go-to tool,” said Welch.

Salish Sea. Leah Rene Welch

During the month of September there will be a silent auction for one of Welch’s paintings with the proceeds going to Orca Network. Orca Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about whales in the Pacific Northwest and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.

The artist reception for Eclectic Approach will be on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 1- 4 p.m. at Gallery North. The public is invited to come see the art, meet the artist  and enjoy refreshments.

Learn more at or call 425-774-0946

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Saturday, Sept. 8
12 -1 pm.

Edmonds Book Shop Author Event

Edmonds Bookshop
111 5th Ave S

Avril van der Merwe will be on hand, unveiling her new children’s book: Once Upon a Rhinoceros.

Rhinoceros has a magnificent horn, which all the animals admire. All, that is, except Hippo. Hippo is jealous of Rhino’s horn, and desperately wants one of her own. While Rhino is asleep, Hippo steals her horn and sets it on her snout. But Hippo quickly discovers that wearing a large and heavy horn brings more problems than rewards. Soon all the other animals are telling her that a rhino horn belongs on a rhinoceros. Hippo starts to doubt her decision, and when she comes face to face with the compassionate Rhino, Hippo understands there is no room in the world for jealousy.

The author has written several prize-winning children’s stories set in Africa, including the most recent, How Cheetah Got His Tears, published last December.

More at


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The work of Yvonne Twining Humber (1907-2004). Work untitled, circa. 1936. Courtesy of Francesca Zambito.

Wednesday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Art Walk Edmonds: Third Thursdays, 5-8 p.m. – Free

Drama & Design: Yvonne Twining Humber & Blanche Morgan Losey

Cascadia Art Museum
190 Sunset

Keeping with their commitment to revive the reputations of our region’s women artists, Cascadia Art Museum presents this important exhibition that brings together the work of two prominent regional artists active in Seattle during the period 1930-1950.

Yvonne Twining Humber (1907-2004) was a Northwest transplant, arriving in Seattle in 1943 after her marriage to local businessman Irving Humber. Originally from New York and Boston, Humber had developed an impressive national reputation for her unique paintings created for the WPA Federal Art Projects during the Depression. Her hard-edged Precisionist style was highly unusual in the Northwest, gaining her additional local and national attention including a solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum in 1946.

Blanche Morgan Losey: Tired Harlequin, 1945, tempura on illustration board (private collection)

Blanche Morgan Losey 1912–1981 was born in Los Angeles, California but raised in Olympia and Tacoma. She moved to Seattle in 1937. She studied at the University of Washington where she received a BFA in architecture and interior design.

“Of special interest will be a selection of her original watercolor designs for the stage sets and costumes created for Seattle’s Federal Theater Project as well as the Negro Repertory Company during the Depression”, said museum curator David Martin. “We are very excited that these works will be shown publicly for the first time at Cascadia Art Museum.”

Losey held the position of senior interior designer at Seattle’s Frederick & Nelson department store from 1939 to 1977. Her noted design projects included the Seattle Opera House and the “Higashi Nishi” (East-West) Japanese Garden and Room for the Uniroyal display at Century 21 Exposition, Seattle World’s Fair in 1962.

More information at

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Now through Sunday, Sept. 16

Shoreline’s 7th Annual Pop-Up Pianos

Various locations – see link to map below

Shoreline’s popular “Pop Up Pianos” exhibition series returns for a 7th season during the reliably dry weather until September 16th. Altered and decorated by local artists since 2012, please welcome all 8 pianos this year; new commissions will return in 2019. This year’s artists: Joseph Brooks, Heather Carr, Jennifer Carroll, Cynthia Knox, Marhsa Lippert, Kelly Lyles, Megan Reisinger. A printable brochure and map detailing locations can be downloaded at

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Cascade Symphony Orchestra

Rising Star Competition

The Cascade Symphony Orchestra is encouraging talented young musicians to enter its “Rising Star” competition for the upcoming 2018-19 season.

The winning musician, to be selected by Cascade Symphony Music Director Michael Miropolsky, will perform as the soloist at the orchestra’s concert Feb. 9, 2019, at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

The competition is open to young performers of piano, violin, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, euphonium, percussion, and harp.

A complete entry information, including an application form, rules, and the music repertoire for each instrument, is available on the orchestra’s website. The deadline for submission is Nov. 1.

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Call To Artists
40th Annual Arts of the Terrace juried art show

The Mountlake Terrace Art Commissioners and Friends of the Arts are proud to present the 40th annual Arts of the Terrace juried art show. Mountlake Terrace Arts Advisory Commission is seeking paintings, prints, drawings, miniatures, calligraphy, photographs, 3-Dimensional and Artisans’ works for its 40th Annual Juried Art Show.

“Arts of the Terrace” will be held Sept. 22 – Oct. 7, 2018. Deadline for entries is Aug. 30 and over $5,000 in prize money is available this year.

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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