by Kirby LindsaySure, say it now and it sounds an obvious pairing, but it took Becca Fugate, Retail Manager for Theo Chocolate, to put it all together. On Friday, May 7, from 6p – 9p, acclaimed Seattle poet Sara Brickman and old time band Tonic will offer poetry and music in the tasting room of Theo, as Fugate and her crew serve samples and sipping chocolate during the May Fremont First Friday Art Walk.
Art Walk Races
The combination may have influence from the First Friday Walk coordinator, poet and photographer Melanie Masson. Since taking over coordination of the Walk this year, she has spoken of her desire to see more art, beyond the visual, in the Walk, and Fremont has satisfied.
In fact, as of mid-April, the May Walk had over 17 venues listed – many of them out of the ordinary. A few Seattle Art Cars will display in the parking lot near Studio R gallery. Kylie’s Chicago Pizza, Flying Apron Bakery, Caffe Vita and 509 Winery & Tasting Room will all have art on display – and sustenance for sale to help walkers maintain their energy level to dash between sites. Fremont Brewing Company will also have art, and five crafted, organic, home brewed beers.
Fremont does host traditional gallery venues – like Pots Gallery and the Evo TimesInfinity Gallery, plus the brand-new Infinite One Wellness which lists works on-display by five different artists. Yet, the standard bearers remain shops like Art F/X and Fremont Jewelry Design, which show art alongside their artisan product lines.
Don’t Forget, Chocolate
“I’m really optimistic about getting an audience,” Fugate admitted about the evening at Theo, although gaining customers isn’t a reason behind this poetry exhibition. “I have a lot of friends in performance and musical art,” Fugate explained, including Brickman, a Seattle Slam Poet, and the band members. She’d like to be able to offer them a new venue, especially before an interested and enthusiastic audience.
For in her role as Retail Manager, Fugate works to manage the volume of traffic already coursing through Fremont’s chocolate factory. This summer, to better meet demand, factory tours will expand to four a day, with five on weekend days. Fugate would like to attract more school tours, although she already schedules many for adult groups. Fugate also manages the rental of the tasting room for parties, corporate events and non-profit gatherings.
Additionally, the creative folk at Theo continue to expand the product line. They’ve added more limited edition bars, and designed gift sacks made from reused cocoa bean bags. They’ve invited famous chefs to help design ever more creative confections, and expanded the number of partnerships with local companies. They’ve also paired chocolate with, well, everything yummy. They’ve created a Caffe Vita Coffee Caramel, a Single Malt Scotch 4-piece confection box, and confections made of chocolate & tea, chocolate & beer and chocolate & flowers.
Poetry & chocolate form may prove to be another natural pairing. Fugate offered, “if anyone has a unique performance piece,” to contact her about future Art Walks at Theo, so “I could potentially fill-up the calendar.” If artists find the evening rewarding and audiences make staying open late one night a month fun, Fugate allows this could put a little chocolate in the Walk on a regular basis. For May though, to be on the safe side, don’t forget Theo while out walking…
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.