by Kirby LindsayOn Friday, February 4th from 6p – 9p, a variety of venues around Fremont will display art, and showcase artists, as their part of the monthly First Friday Art Walk. New ‘A’ frame signs identify official Art Walk locations – including some new venues to explore – all of which offer great intermediary stops during a full evening, or a complete evening’s entertainment for those with time to stroll, sip and see.
Yet, Fremont’s Art Walk is only one of many monthly opportunities for the curious and the culture-starved. Now representatives from area art walks – including Melanie Masson, the organizer for Fremont First Friday – have gathered together to form the Art Walk Consortium, and united to raise awareness, and promote, the local art scene.
Check Your Dates
Yet, even as the Consortium gathered, Brian Lane and Jess Rees unknowingly gave them a boost. Lane, of Print Zero Studios (in Georgetown,) wanted to create something in his print studio, “something we could sell at Christmas time,” he explained. “It’s really hard to get people to spend money right now,” he said, “to make something affordable works best.”
As he and Rees considered it, and sought a way to incorporate art, the two created an 11” x 17” hand-printed, two-color, silkscreened calendar. They offer six versions, each with a different, original image by a local artist – for only $10.
Lane also went on-line, and started Goggling. “I only go to one or two of the Art Walks,” each month, he admitted, “because I can’t remember. Most people don’t remember.” So he collected a list of 10 area Art Walks, and included their dates on the calendar.
Until recently, he had no knowledge of the Consortium. He simply wants to support the Art Walks, even if his studio doesn’t always participate. The Georgetown Art Attack (on 2nd Saturdays) takes place on the same day as two other Walks, and he likes to be able to explore. He does hope the Consortium can open a dialogue about five of the Walks scheduled on top of one another.
Just beginning, the Consortium has their first goal in sight, according to both Masson and Sheri Hauser, of the Art Up Phinneyood art walk(on 2nd Fridays.) This spring the organization hopes to launch a website, to give locals and visitors (and concierges) information on all the monthly Art Walks, plus their venues, artists and associated events.
Hauser helped found the Consortium, shortly after she opened her own venue in March of 2010. Her shop, Tasty (7513 Greenwood Ave N) features hand-made local art, ‘kitschy curiosities’, collectibles and creative treasures. While new to being a shop keeper, and Art Walk promoter, she arrived with twenty years’ experience in artist representation and marketing.
As she sees it, roughly 12 neighborhoods host 20 – 50 venues a month, and “that’s something Seattle should be promoting. That’s quite a showcase of independent art!” She wants tourists to hear about the Art Walks as much as they do about Ride The Ducks and Pike Place Market.
The Consortium mission speaks to promotion, but Hauser also sees where they can aid one another, and other business districts interested in launching art walks. “Why aren’t we pooling resources?” she asked, rhetorically. “We should be helping each other.”
That help can only bring more folk to Fremont, and Art Walks like the one on Friday, February 4th. It is also to be hoped that it will encourage our own Walkers to step beyond the Center of the Universe.
Calendars, that list the Art Walk dates, can still be ordered through Print Zero. “Response has been good,” Lane admitted, and he expects to do another in 2012 – but order the 2011 edition today. Also, check out Tasty either during the Art Up Phinneywood on February 11th, or during a special preview (and Valentine shoppers’ paradise) on Wednesday, February 2nd from 6 – 9p.
©2011 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.