Celebrate the creative and spirited arts community of Olympia as Arts Walk XLIV takes to the streets of the city’s historic downtown. Tucked into a valley at the foot of South Puget Sound, Olympia is the state’s Capital, and also home to a vibrant mix of musicians, filmmakers, writers and visual and performing artists. Dates for the event are Friday, April 27 from 5-10pm and Saturday, April 28 from Noon-8pm.
As day reaches into night, Arts Walk brings together over 120 businesses, hundreds of visual and performing artists with over 30,000 visitors as they welcome the arts in all forms during this twice-yearly event. Literary and performing arts share the limelight with paintings and sculpture. Meet artists from all career levels: pre-school through professional. Listen to a variety of live music including jazz, classical, folk acoustic, bluegrass, blues and rock & roll. Learn to swing dance, or attend performances from Middle Eastern Dance to martial arts. Check out “Poetry From the Heart”, storytelling and classic car design. Take in impromptu street performances, and of course, exhibition of fine art from photography, painting and drawing to sculpture, glass, fiber, ceramics, printmaking and more. Always new and different, Arts Walk events and activities reflect the interests of a community dedicated to the role of art in their lives. The festival also includes the spectacular Procession of the Species, an artistic and environmental celebration presented by Earthbound Productions, a colorful and joyous street pageant using the languages of art, music and dance to inspire cultural appreciation, understanding, and protection of the natural world; the Procession begins at 4:30pm on Saturday. Due to the popularity of the Procession, cars parked in the route will be towed after 2pm on Saturday, April 28. Drivers are advised to pay attention to street signage. Arts Walk is the largest festival of this type in the region – an unparalleled opportunity to embrace the arts and meet the artists.
Pollinators, by artist Susan Aurand, adorns the cover of the Arts Walk map this spring, constructed with oil on board. Her work is strongly influenced by her passion for nature and philosophical inquiry into symbols, metaphor, memory and consciousness. Susan has exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally with numerous solo and group exhibitions spanning from 1977 to present. Her work is included in several public and private collections. Susan received her graduate training in studio art from Ohio State University. She has been a Professor of Art at The Evergreen State College since 1974. Susan’s work can be seen during Arts Walk at Childhood’s End Gallery, located at 222 4th Ave NW.
Arts Walk is sponsored by the City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation Department and Olympia Arts Commission, with support provided by Art House Designs, Capitol City Press, Heritage Bank and MIXX 96fm. Arts Walk maps are available after April 14 at participating locations, Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Ave. East and The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW. For more information, contact Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation at 360/753-8380.
Photos by Lonnie Paul, courtesy of the Olympia Camera Club