The don't-miss list of Arts Walk events

April 25, 2013 

Overwhelmed by the hundreds of things to see during spring Arts Walk? Features writer Molly Gilmore, who has written about and attended many, many Arts Walks, offers up this list of highlights that you shouldn't miss.

DANCE -- Living art: RANDOM ACTS OF DANCE COLLECTIVE (Radco) is known for an array of creative and surprising work. The spring Arts Walk performance is no exception. The performance – at 3 p.m. Saturday at Breathe Olympia, 601 Capitol Way S. – begins with “Light & Breath,” in which eight dancers move with almost imperceptible slowness. Choreographer Roel Hammerschlag describes the piece as “more like an installation than a dance.” The second dance is “Structural Limitations,” a solo by Karen Kirsch. The dance explores the limitations of the body and how those inhibit or accentuate creative expression.

DRAWING -- Trading on history: P. CALAVARA, also known as Rick Perry, is probably best known for his comics and the funny characters that adorn his T-shirts. But he’s also created Thurston County History Cards, which feature caricatures of famous figures and sometimes-funny facts about them on the back. (“Did you know Samuel Thurston lived on a strict diet of acorns based on a misread passage in the Bible?”) Check out some of the original art used for the cards in the New Caledonia Building’s “History Window,” 116 Fifth Ave. SE. Calavara will sell the cards at his booth at Make Olympia market, happening on Fifth Avenue between Franklin and Adams.

FEATHERS -- Flying high: Artist and scientist CHRIS MAYNARD’s medium is feathers, which he cuts and arranges into shadowbox scenes. His work was a highlight of the fall Arts Walk, and since then, his work has generated international interest, and been featured on Huffington Post and Reddit. In the fall, he’ll be the Arts Walk cover artist. Meanwhile, he’s showing about 40 pieces (some new) at The Yoga Loft, 219 Legion Way SW. Maynard will speak about his creative process at 7 tonight.

FOOD -- Culinary creations: Food in an art gallery is usually limited to cheese and crackers and other such nibbles, but when businesses become galleries this weekend, at least two will showcase edible art.

CHARCUTERIE: Christopher Leach of Longview is a cellist and a visual artist, but his newest creative endeavor is gourmet dry-cured meat. “If you talk to any chef, they’ll tell you that is art,” said Leach, who markets the meat under the name “The Beautiful Pig.” “It is considered one of the highest forms of working with food.” Salami and kielbasa don’t exactly look beautiful though; that’s why tasting is needed. Leach will have samples and meats for sale at Buck’s Fifth Avenue, 209 Fifth Ave. SE. (Just look for the big sign outside that proclaims “Procession of the Spices.”)

CAKE: If you’d rather partake of sweet than savory, Lisa Bowman has the culinary art for you. Bowman has created a dragon-shaped cake covered with fondant that will be on display at The Rusty Rooster, 117 Columbia St. NW. The shop will hold a drawing Saturday and give the cake, which serves 35, to the winner. Bowman also will sell cake pops, cookies and cupcakes — all animal-themed in honor of the Procession of the Species.

MIXED MEDIA -- Transcendental trio: A love of nature unites photographer DUNCAN GREEN, potter TRUDES TANGO and fabric artist SHARI TRNKA. But the connections among the three — doing an Arts Walk show together at Capitol Florist, 515 Capitol Way S. — go beyond that. “We all tend to be drawn to the things just beyond what can be seen in the natural world,” Tango said. For Trnka, that means clothing that echoes nature’s palettes and shapes, and could be worn by the fairies. Green takes nature photographs that feel like dreamscapes. Tango’s recent work focuses on animals turned mythical, such as the tattooed and tough “Ms. T,” somehow both bull and woman.

MUSIC -- The sounds of music: Fans of choral music will have plenty to keep them busy downtown. The OLYMPIA PEACE CHOIR will sing from 7 to 8 tonight at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE. (The center’s façade project looks daunting, but the center is open as usual inside.) The a cappella PUGET SOUNDERS CHORUS performs from 7 to 9 tonight and from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Olympia Federal Savings, 421 Capitol Way S. And the FOREVER YOUNG rock-and-roll chorus sings at 12:35 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles Hall, Plum Street and Fourth Avenue.

Full moon fever: New indie rock band FULL MOON RADIO headlines a free concert at the Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE. Both Full Moon Radio and GLASS ELEVATOR are celebrating the release of new music videos with this show. Also on the bill: THE HARD WAY. The concert begins at 5 tonight. It’s early, so enjoy it and then head out with time to catch the Luminary Procession, beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Washington Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues.

PAINTING -- Cityscapes: GREGG CAUDELL lives on a ranch near Republic. As a plein-air oil painter, he does a lot of bucolic landscapes. But his Arts Walk show, at Art House Designs, 420 Franklin St. SE, has an urban flair inspired by Olympia. He spent the winter here and loved the change of scenery. “This is the capital city, and it seemed like a great subject,” he said. “And then, too, I haven’t lived in the city much, and when I got here, it was a revelation to me that the lights are on all night, so I can paint all night. Some of my subjects are night scenes — neighborhood porches, the Reef cafe, city lights.”

Scenes from a battle: When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, JULIE SIMPSON used her art as a tool for healing. Simpson, whose work was on the cover of the Arts Walk map in 2010, found painting to be a form of art therapy. “I was searching and determined to survive and conquer but at the same time surrender to what was now a lifelong journey. Rejoicing in colorful reflections was important as I was rebuilding my body, mind and future,” Simpson said. Her work, which incorporates thick paint, paper collage and fiber, is on display at Red Door, 430 Washington St. SE.

SCULPTURE -- On the move: Olympia sculptor BIL FLEMING assembles his work from seemingly improbable combinations of salvaged parts — bicycle wheels, wood, grocery bags and furnace blower fans. For Arts Walk, he’ll be showing two of his trademark Human Powered Kinetic Sculptures outside Matter Gallery, 422 Washington St. SE. These are not the traditional look-but-don’t-touch artworks. “They are interactive sculptures that are meant be touched and made to go, “ said Fleming.

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