With the city of Olympia’s official Arts Walk map in hand, Carol Horner of Lacey had her Friday evening planned out.
“I have a list of all of the really great artists that I’m going to visit tonight,” she said. “I think I’ve already run into three or four of them. It’s an exciting time.”
Horner was one of hundreds of people who flocked to downtown Olympia for opening night of fall Arts Walk. The city’s twice-yearly celebration of visual art, music, theater, street performance and everything else that’s artsy continues through 5 p.m. Saturday. Nearly 100 businesses and organizations in downtown Olympia are participating in the free event.
One of Horner’s first stops was Gallery Boom, which opened Oct. 1 at 520 Adams St. SE, just in time for fall Arts Walk weekend.
“It’s a really kind of debutante ball for us today,” said owner Christine Malek.
The gallery previously operated in Tumwater for about two years.
“Being in the other space, we had 30 artists, but it was only about 250 square feet, where here we put 100 artists in 5,200 square feet,” Malek said.
The new location features two rentable gallery spaces, a community art studio and a variety of media. Anti-Mattery Gallery and palm-reader and psychic Amelia Romoff also share the space, Malek said.
One of the bigger gallery spaces housed a two-day installation for Arts Walk by Shilo DeLaCruz of the Littlerock area. It was her first time participating in Arts Walk, and her show featured a collection of paintings, sculptures, metalwork, collages and mixed media — all with the underlying message of wealth versus worth.
“It’s basically work I’ve put into maybe the last eight years just trying to explain an idea of how we could possibly balance our capitalist problems with an entirely new value system,” DeLaCruz said. “It’s kind of my take of creating something totally new.”
Meantime, retired costume designer Colleen Weston of the Carlyon Beach area of Olympia demonstrated how she creates leather formed masks in one of Gallery Boom’s studios. She said she’s participated in Arts Walk numerous times and has never been at a location that’s drawn as many visitors.
“I like Arts Walk,” Weston said. “I think it introduces a lot of different, new art to the community. … I like meeting the people and getting the art out, and getting the community involved in art.”