By Alec Clayton
Art galleries, bars, restaurants, shops, performance spaces — more than 80 downtown venues will be aswarm with excitement as artists young and old, amateur and professional, bring downtown Olympia to vibrant life for two evenings in early October. It’s been happening twice a year since 1990, when the first-annual spring and fall Arts Walks kicked off. In addition to visual art, there will be street performances, a busking zone and food trucks.
Following is a sampling of some of the art to be enjoyed.
“Sea Level” at Childhood’s End Gallery is an exhibit of nine Pacific Northwest artists in various media, responding to their relationship with the Puget Sound, Pacific Ocean and beyond. From beached treasures, alien lifeforms and dramatic, dynamic shifts in color and light, the waters around us are a constant source of inspiration and discovery.
Painter Christopher Mathie says of his work, “As far as anything, I’d say about this work it’s definitely a continuation of exploring. How can I make energetic abstract shapes and then tame them into recognizable seascapes? I like to express as much movement and energy as possible to hopefully give the feeling of rushing water. I like a feeling of urgency in my work.”
Other artists featured in this show are Elizabeth Berrien, wire art; Andi Clarke, jewelry; Boni & Dave Deal, raku fired ceramics; Mary Denning, pastels; Chuck Gumpert, painting; Julie Kluh, paintingand Judith Smith, pastel and mixed media.
Watercolor and acrylic paintings by David Noah Giles will be shown at Thomas Architecture Studios. Giles’s paintings call to mind the paintings of Robert and Sandra Delaunay — bright, jazzy, and abstract. “My painting is rooted in my early life experience,” Giles says, “amidst the sights and sounds of New York City, where I absorbed the loud rhythmic symphony of the subway (and) the constant construction and destruction of buildings. Moving through diverse crowds that interplay global cultures also had a profound effect. The exciting sounds of jazz, rock and Latin music permeated my being. To this day, I carry these influences within me and express them in my art.”
There will be wheel-throwing demonstrations by David and Jane Stone and Lindsey Warner at Arbutus Folk School, 610 Fourth Ave. E. Susan Christian will be showing recent work at LGM Studio,114 Capital Way, which, not entirely coincidentally, used to be Christian’s studio. The name of the show is “Blue,” a title that shall become self-evident as soon as one steps inside. “There’s a lot of paintings,” Christian says, explaining she’ll drop off everything she’s done since her last gallery showing. “A lot of paintings, some really, really big, a lot on lathe sticks — It’s going to be fairly crowded. A lot about being alone and about being blue.”
Traditions Fair Trade will host its 17th-annual Fiddle Festival, and music by Kate Dinsmore will be featured at Cascadia Grill. There’ll be prints by J. Hukee at Bar Frances and mixed-media mosaics by Sandra Wallace at the Intercity Transit Center.
Olympia Food Cooperative Classroom will show photographs by Daniel G. Bernstein. “I have some amazing new pieces,” says Bernstein, “that, due to the pandemic, have not been on public display yet. So I look forward to debuting them to the public at this event.” Also on display will be wearable art from recycled textiles by Kala Ivry, oil paintings by Karin F Kraft and prints by Gary Wessels-Galbreath.
Some downtown streets will be closed for street performances and to make it easier for everyone to stroll from venue to venue. Also, downtown restaurants and stores will be open. Taking public transportation and getting there early to find parking is recommended. Arts Walk maps with listings of all artists and events can be picked up in any participating venue or downloaded on the Arts Walk website, artswalkoly.com.
Fall 2022 Olympia Arts Walk
6-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6;
Noon – 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7
Various venues in downtown Olympia