Walking with Ten Years of ArtWalk

Newer residents who have not experienced our ArtWalk may wonder what the fuss is about. Twelve years ago, a Leschi CC Board member came up with the idea that we should recognize our local artists and show off our local businesses at the same time by an event that put the two together. Kim Murillo was a photographer in her free time and knew how hard it is to find a venue for one’s work. Several of us felt this was an idea worth pursuing and gathered at monthly meetings at BluWater to plan something we had never done before. Ann Conroy was a Leschi business owner at that time and she stepped forward to be one of Kim’s assistants.


Our first ArtWalk was in June, but we received many disappointed comments as it interfered with June activities: weddings, high school and college graduations and the ongoing summer art shows across the region. We moved the event to September after Labor Day and after the first day of school. Families were back in town, and we attracted more vendors as the usual slate of regional art events was dwindling.


We have had many repeat vendors including our candy man, Lanier’s Fine Candies. One taste compelled you to part with your credit card number to purchase gifts for others and a secret stash of your own to satisfy those chocolate cravings. The artwork ranges from pottery to handmade jewelry, graphic art, photography, handmade clothing, leather purses and beautiful wooden bowls. And let’s not forget food products! We have had barbecue sauces and homemade preserves as well as chocolates and cotton candy.


We have music throughout the event. Our favorite Brazilian jazz band is coming back this year. Our first year, we had a Marimba band, and that hypnotic music seems to pull folks out of their houses and down the hill to see what’s happening. Marimba bands are harder to find these days!

There are many pieces to putting this together from permits to small tasks on the day of the event. Seattle’s Special Events office handles the permit for the booths along the business side of the street on the east and Parks permits use of Leschi Park where we put the stage and children’s activities. Seattle Parks will give us equipment from the stage to the many tables, chairs and canopies for the vendors. Parks crew sets it up in the morning at 9am and comes back at 4pm to take it down and cart it away. We usually have a few tables in the park, and we have our own canopies (6) for those tables. We do need help setting those up in the morning.


We need some young folks to pass out the water to vendors and pick up recycling and trash throughout the day. Community service hours are given to students who come forward to help! If you have a few hours to give, sign up for a task!


NEXT ARTWALK MEETING IS MAY 12 AT 3PM. AT BLUWATER!


~Diane Snell


SUBMIT YOUR STAR NOMINATIONS BY MAY 1OTH

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