Artfully Edmonds: Savor sights and sounds of holidays during Art Walk Edmonds Thursday

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Art Walk Edmonds (AWE) is a free community event held monthly throughout the year, rain or shine. Every Third Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., galleries, merchants, neighbors and friends join in celebrating the arts and cultivating local vitality by hosting local artists, demos, food and music in downtown Edmonds.

I think December‘s Art Walk in Edmonds is my favorite, at least when the weather cooperates. And hey, even if it doesn’t, that what warm clothes and those green umbrellas are for.

Almost everyone seems to be in a festive mood, and the town is lit up beautifully in the best of holiday traditions. There’s so much to see and do it’s a little intimidating.

It’s such a relief to have a map that lays it all out for you.

By the third Thursday in December, most kids are out of school, students are home from college, and parents beginning to relax. If you’re like me, you’re still on the hunt for a couple of nice things to round out your holiday gift giving. Art Walk can be a magical time to explore Edmonds with family and friends.

Let’s hit some of the highlights for this month:

Pelindaba Lavender will be serving up some yummy lavender hot chocolate and lavender shortbread. Stocking stuffers abound here. While you’re in the area, enjoy our dazzling holiday tree, just a half a block north of Pelindaba.

At ARTspot, our local art supply store, have some fun by dropping in and making an ornament or a mini canvass with the helpful elves on staff — their treat. There are some great gift ideas here too — look for Mike O’Day’s cool ceramic creations in the display window. I wrote about him recently.

There are more fun things to make at The Edmonds Bookshop. They’ll be having several little construction projects going that will help get you in the holiday spirit.

The Cheesemonger’s Table will have live music this Thursday. Drop in and listen to Sophie Herman as you enjoy glass of wine and share a cheese plate with friends.

At 6:30, Joan Archer can be found doing a fine art demonstration at her Aria Studio Gallery.

Art Walk Edmonds’ featured artist this month is Whitney Buckingham-Beechie. You’ll find her vivid work on display at Christopher Framing and Fine Art. You may have seen her indigo pieces, but did you know that she also works extensively in the medium of encaustic? Some of her most recent creations include a hybrid of indigo, mixed media and encaustic.

String Theory Horizon (16 x 20) Whitney Buckingham-Beechie

As Buckingham-Beechie puts it, “I interact enthusiastically with the dye, in dramatic contrast to traditional methods. My approach, “Rambunctious Indigo,” is an exuberant process requiring spontaneity, allowing the piece the freedom to express itself. My relationship with the dye encourages me to be receptive to what develops, to be completely in the moment creatively. I’ve developed an interaction where my role is to coax the die to dance.“

Drop by and meet the artist.

George Tsutakawa’s early watercolor, Maxwelton Beach #1 1956

I’m not sure if people fully appreciate the remarkable quality of the fine art and furnishings available at Driftwood Modern.

Offering a unique and finely-curated collection of authentic mid 20th century art and design, Driftwood Modern places special focus on the artists of the acclaimed Northwest School. Gallery owner, Hannah Alex-Glasser is an accomplished artist herself. She carries work by artists such as Mark Tobey, Kenneth Callahan, George Tsutakawa, Frank Okada — internationally acclaimed artists who lived and worked here, inspired by the beauty and spirit of our natural surroundings.

Currently available at Driftwood Modern are original paintings and prints by these artists, as well as over 30 others — American and international — who created their work in the 1950s -1970s. The gallery also offers beautiful, original mid-century modern furnishings.

Map illustration by Elizabeth Person

Admission is always free on Art Walk night at the Cascadia Art Museum. They’ll be featuring Northwest illustrator Elizabeth Person this month.

She specializes in unique map illustrations and informational art. As she puts it, “I love precise information, quirky detail and Northwest themes in my pieces. My preferred medium is ink and watercolor, which invite both control and surprise into my work.”

While you’re down at Salish Crossing, don’t forget to check out Cascadia’s fun gift shop.

If you save Cascadia for the end of your Art Walk tour, you’ll just happen to be near 190 Sunset for snacks and drinks or dinner.

— 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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