PhinneyWood Art Walk: A feast for your eyes
By Julie Gangler
The PhinneyWood Art Walk returns this weekend at participating businesses bordering Phinney and Greenwood Avenues. Continuing its theme of “Art Up, Chow Down,” the event will feature local art and great eats on Fri, Sept. 23 from 6 to 9 pm and Sat, Sept. 24 from 12 to 5 pm. Come enjoy art ranging from photography, sculpture, collage, oils, watercolors, prints, glass, metal, and fiber art to ceramics and mixed media. Sample the cuisine at your favorite neighborhood restaurant or discover a new eatery.
Stop by the PNA’s Blue Building to pick up a PhinneyWood Art Walk map and enjoy a new exhibit curated by Emerald City Art Collective in their upstairs gallery. The exhibit features more than 15 local artists and there will be an opening night reception with live music, food, and drinks on Fri, Sept. 23.
Over the years, this popular event has turned into a neighborhood party with art, music, and performances at participating businesses. The PhinneyWood Art Walk map and information on participating venues and artists are now online. Participating businesses will also have printed maps available.
Greenwood Pencil Box is offering 15% off all shirts and posters during the PhinneyWood Art Walk on Fri, Sept. 23. They will showcase the work of Stasia Burrington, who will be attendance on Fri, Sept. 23 with additional products.
This year the PNA is organizing the PhinneyWood Art Walk, taking over from the PhinneyWood Arts Council. An all-volunteer organization, the arts council began the event in 1995. It organized art walks on the second Friday of every month in addition to the annual, two-day BIG One. Then COVID hit, and all art walks ceased in 2020. The BIG One cautiously resumed last year in September, instead of May as before.
Ann Bowden was a key member of the PhinneyWood Arts Council and single-handedly ran the walks for several years. “Over the years, this hugely popular event has turned into a neighborhood party, particularly on Friday night. With PNA now coordinating it, we’re all looking forward to a reenergized event,” shared Ann.
Taproot Theatre will show works by Robert Wade Photography (upper right) during the PhinneyWood Art Walk. Robert will be onsite for an artist talk on Sat, Sept. 24 at 12:30 pm. Taproot Theatre is also offering 50% off tickets (limit 4) for performances of “A Night with the Russells: The Legacy of Us” from Sept. 21 to 24: use code PHINNEYWOODTHEATRE online.
Jeanne Barwick joined the PhinneyWood Arts Council shortly after opening Mae’s Café, which used to be on Phinney Avenue, in 1989. She became very involved with the art walks, from coordinating with artists to distributing posters to participating businesses. “I loved working on this event,” said Jeanne. “It was so great to see local folks getting out and popping into businesses they didn’t usually visit—a key purpose of the art walk. The special event posters, designed and produced by Robynne Raye of Modern Dog Design, were wonderfully creative and really helped us promote the event each year.”
Indeed, Robynne has designed all 26 of the annual art walk posters, including one for 2020 that did not get printed when the art walk was canceled. Robynne is an award-winning graphic design artist whose work is exhibited internationally and collected by museums worldwide. “The 2022 Art Walk Poster is designed to make people smile,” said Robynne. “I want viewers to stop what they are doing, approach the poster, and take a closer look. Then I know it’s a success.”
This year’s Art Walk posters and stickers are on sale at the Phinney Center Blue Building: posters cost $25 each, stickers are $3 each, the PNA accepts credit or check, and proceeds support their community arts and culture events.
PNA Community Projects Manager Mary Campbell is managing this year’s PhinneyWood Art Walk. “We plan to run The Big One pretty much as in the past,” said Mary. “While the monthly art walks are paused for now, we’ll reassess bringing them back after September. Right now, we’re focused on making this year’s PhinneyWood Art Walk a huge success.”
Calico Salon will host a participatory sound installation, “I promise I won’t scream”, by Tiffany Danielle Elliot during the PhinneyWood Art Walk. The neighborhood can join this act of collective documentation on Fri, Sept. 23 from 6 to 9 pm.
Many businesses have been regular participants for years, and all say the Art Walk is a special event not to be missed. “Art Walk is just so much fun,” said Kristine Kyle of Luxe Lighting Company. “It’s a wonderful way to interact with the neighborhood in a relaxed, fun way and for potential new clients to discover your business.”
Phinney Books’ Tom Nissley agreed, “This is a great event for customers, friends and family, plus it draws folks who might not otherwise discover your business.”
“Some of the artists we’ve hosted have become our customers,” said Tim Nolan of Phinney Ridge Cabinet Company. “And one of our clients liked a particular artist so much, he commissioned a special artwork. The Art Walk benefits everyone in so many ways.”
Aide-mémoire Jewelry will show fiber art works by Olivia Montoya during the PhinneyWood Art Walk. Olivia has been creating for the past 8 years, focusing primarily on the mediums of hand embroidery, punch needle, and tufting. Aide-mémoire Jewelry is participating on Sat, Sept. 24.