Yitagesu Dowty, 18, was attempting a full-but-not-crowded look for his table at Arts Walk outside Browsers Bookshop on Capitol Way.
“Maybe put these on the chair … there’s more of your pieces, did you get those out?” said Deb Nickerson, the librarian at Black Hills High School in Tumwater, where Dowty is a senior. This was his first time showing at Arts Walk, and Nickerson was the one who got him the table.
“Maybe you can stop the wind?” Dowty joked as a gust blew through his collection of ink drawings.
Olympia’s 55th Arts Walk, the twice-yearly festival of arts, music and more, kicked off Friday at nearly 90 locations downtown with more than 140 artists.
“It’s a big thing for downtown,” said Paul Shepherd, owner of Compass Rose on Capitol Way, which has hosted Arts Walk artists for years. “Anything that brings a bunch of people to downtown we naturally love.”
On Washington Street, Jerry Baker was unloading birdhouses, birdfeeders and planters made from wood from a 126-year-old farmhouse in Onalaska. Baker, who is retired, started making them as a hobby and has sold them at Arts Walk the past few years.
"I love it," he said.
At Gallery Boom on Adams Street SE, Kimball “Holt” Dunbar of Olympia was making display signs for his art, including turned-wood bottle openers he started making in July.
“I’m just learning to make these, so I made a lot to practice,” he said.
Dunbar has leased space at the gallery since it opened downtown last year. He called Arts Walk a great opportunity for artists and visitors alike.
"It's a wonderful place for people to come with their kids, their families, and see all kinds of art, all kinds of expressions."
Arts Walk continues from 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday in downtown Olympia.