Summer in the Pacific Northwest can be sort of like going on a blind date: You’re not sure what the season’s going to look like, and you can’t be assured it’ll stick around long. That’s why it’s important to make a lot of plans during its apex—because if one date doesn’t pan out, another will. Following are a few ways to spend your upcoming three weekends. They all combine amazing art, short drives and the implied promise of sunshine.
First up is the annual summertime soiree known as the Skagit Artists Together Studio Tour happening July 21-22. For the ninth year, the various members of the creative collective will open their studios to the public to showcase their artistic visions. And, since the 16 galleries are scattered throughout the lush environs of Skagit County, the event also acts as a road trip of sorts. For example, you could choose to start your self-guided tour in Sedro-Woolley to peruse Patsy Thola Chamberlain’s ceramic works and Louise- Harris’ art quilts, or instead begin your journey in Anacortes, where Pat Sayre’s acrylics, Donna Nevitt-Radtke’s oil paintings, and Terry MacDonald’s acrylic and watercolor paintings await. In between, you can visit Larry Heald’s painting studio in La Conner, John Webster’s glass gallery in Bow, and a variety of venues in Mount Vernon. And because the event is juried, you can rest assured you’re viewing the best the area has to offer—and, yes, I’m including the majestic views. Whether you choose to stretch your art adventures out for two days or keep it to one, you can be fairly certain the date will not disappoint. When: 10am-6pm Sat.-Sun., July 21-22. Where: Throughout Skagit County. Cost: The self-guided tour is free. More info: http://www.skagitartiststogether.com
Among the current highlights on the Samish Island website is a report of a Friday the 13th electrical storm that caused lightening to strike an evergreen tree on Scott Road. A picture shows a frightening slash on the poor tree, which looks to have survived the assault. Scroll further, and you’ll find news of a road closure, a post about a possible name change for a nearby thoroughfare, and the heads-up on the 16th annual Samish Island Arts Festival. The yearly event, which takes place Sat., July 28 at the Samish Island Community Center, may not be as far-flung as the preceding week’s tour, but it will still manage to highlight more than 40 area artists showing and selling everything from paintings to glass art, fibers, woodwork, jewelry, photography and garden art. Additionally, there’ll be live music, door prizes and food and drink. Think of it as an art party, and enjoy the festivities. When: 10am-5pm Sat., July 28. Where: Samish Island Community Center, 11292 Blue Heron Rd. Cost: Entry is free. More info: http://www.samishisland.net
Finally, it’s not too early to pencil the Anacortes Arts Festival into your day planner. Happening Aug. 3-5 throughout the waterfront town, the 51st annual three-day event redefines the concept of “art” to include everyone from visual artists to musicians and chefs. Once you’ve made the drive to Anacortes from wherever you’re traveling from, you can set out of foot to explore the historic downtown, which will basically transform itself into one big gallery for the duration. And, since August is pretty much a sure thing where good weather is concerned, the date should also involve sunscreen and lots of water. When: 10am-6pm Aug. 3-4 and 10am-5pm Sun., Aug. 5. Where: Anacortes. Entry: Free. More info: http://www.anacortesartsfestival.com
If you happen to be on the Western Washington University campus Mon., June 17, don’t be surprised if the garbage can you just threw your used coffee cup into is… more »
Leaving college isn’t always easy.
In addition to having to contend with the so-called “real” world, graduating students must figure out where and when—or if—they’re going to move, decide… more »
Trish Harding wants the public to know that if they show up to the opening reception for Studio UFO’s “Coal Train” exhibit ready to talk about the many benefits of… more »
This coming Memorial Day weekend, Bellingham will be abuzz with celebrations of many sorts—most of them having to do with the inherent insanity that ensues during the annual Ski to… more »
If you set your alarm early enough this coming Friday or Saturday morning, you can make it to the Bellingham Technical College campus in time to see a spectacle that… more »
Over the years, I’ve found that the best time to visit the Big Rock Garden Park is when I’m showing it to someone who’s never been there before.
Such… more »