Olympia cartoonist Chelsea Baker has been drawing a comic daily since Dec. 13, 2008, making art from her life with documentations of such events as bathroom remodeling and her relationship with her cat. (Check out those strips at facebook.com/chelseascomics.) The Daily Comic is kid-friendly, but Baker tackles more adult material in her Arts Walk show at The Brotherhood Lounge, 119 Capitol Way N. “I'm excited to show my art at The Brotherhood this year,” she said. “Since it’s a bar, I don’t have to keep my work G-rated.” The show draws from her series “True Stories of a Fictional Girl,” about her work as a phone sex operator during the recession.
Taking it to the streets
The Olympia Department of Parks, Arts and Recreation is adding a high-tech element to its family art activities — and it’s likely to appeal to people older than those typically lined up for face painting with the Lakefair royalty and crafts with the Hands On Children’s Museum. The new make-and-take activity is a 6-foot-by-9-foot digital graffiti wall that offers the chance to embellish your photo with designs made with “digital spray paint.” The art on screen is temporary, of course, but artists will get a printed photo of their creations to take home. The activities happen from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday near the corner of Fifth Avenue and Washington Street.
A twist on chess
When he received a chessboard with no pieces, Chris Gizzi of Olympia wanted to make his own. But what he envisioned — pieces that incorporated spiraling double and triple helixes — would have been so difficult to fabricate that he set the idea aside. Now, thanks to the increased availability of 3D printing, he’s put his own twist on traditional pieces. See Gizzi’s work — along with paintings by Lonnie L. Spikes Jr. and Steven Suski — at Hot Toddy, 410 Capitol Way S. Hot Toddy also will host music by The Open Letters at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
See what Simon Kogan — the creator of “Motherhood,” the sculpture of a pregnant woman that stands on Percival Landing — is up to these days at Art House Designs, 420 Franklin St. SE. Art House is showing new sculptures and oil paintings by Kogan, a native of Russia who has shown his work internationally. Also at the Art House: monoprints and paintings by John Lysak, and music by Dennis Hastings and the Free Range Musicians. Jazz singer Hastings will perform from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Think of this show as a free preview of the second annual Olympia Jazz Walk, happening Saturday night at Art House and other downtown venues.
An art walk at Arts Walk
The Evergreen State College has organized what’s believed to be the first Arts Walk walking tour. The tour, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at Three Magnets Brewing Co., 600 Franklin St. SE, will showcase some of the artists and performers with ties to the college. “This is a new event for us,” said Abby Kelso, the college’s director of advancement services and alumni programs. “It is inspired by the many Evergreen faculty and alumni who have been active in Arts Walk and instrumental in building Olympia’s arts and culture scene.”
Traditions Café has a tradition of hosting traditional music for fall Arts Walk at its annual Fiddle Fest, showcasing multiple genres of fiddle-centric music. The 15th annual Fiddle Fest, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the café, 300 Fifth Ave. SW, gets a fresh infusion from young up-and-comers The REDS (7:30-8) and The Bow Weevils (6:30-7). Also on the bill: The Burren Band (6-6:30), Barbara Collins (7-7:30), the Contra Quartet (8-8:30) and Les Gens des Chutes (8:30-9).
An artist on the move
Since she closed the downtown gallery Salon Refu, Susan Christian has shifted her focus to making art, something she had little time for while running the gallery. Friday, she opens a new show at Stable Studios, 607 Fifth Ave. SE, with an artist’s reception beginning at 6. The show, “Susan Christian’s Long Journey,” features paintings in latex on hollow-core door panels. “Horizontal images require your eye to go on a little journey,” Christian said. She’ll give an artist’s talk at 6 p.m. Sunday.
The dancers of Radco (Olympia’s Random Acts of Dance Collective) will be dancing about relationships, community and even climate change on the stage of The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE. The performance will feature live music by the Gravity Quartet and a wide array of dances both choreographed and improvisational. The finale — “Who Gets to Dance?” created by Radco co-founder Mary Nelson — will feature dancers and non-dancers of various ages and sizes expressing themselves through movement.
Storytelling and more
Elizabeth Lord is one of the linchpins of Olympia culture: She tells stories; she hosts StoryOly and “Lord Franzannian’s Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show;” she’s part of the Heartsparkle Players. So it’s no surprise that one Arts Walk gig wasn’t enough for Lord. She’ll offer stories for all ages at 7 p.m. Friday at Little General Food Shop, 500 Capitol Way S., and tell tales aimed at adults at 8 and 9 p.m. Friday as part of the Olympia Eagles Chautauqua, an event that invites you to watch, listen, learn and dance from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Eagles Ballroom, 805 Fourth Ave. E. The Chautauqua will mix performances with swing dance lessons and open social dancing.
Artists of the surf and street
Friday night, famed skateboarder Tony Alva, a pioneer of vertical skateboarding, will be at The Mark, 407 Columbia St. SW, for “Friends/Artists/Heroes,” a show of photos by Lisa Scott Owens, the restaurant’s owner/chef. Alva is among the artists depicted in Owens’ large-scale pieces. “These are the first images from a body of work that will build over time, exposing new audiences to historically important artists who work in mediums, such as surfing and skateboarding, that not everyone considers art,” Owens said.