What a difference a day makes.
After a week of record-setting highs and blue skies, the start of spring Arts Walk on Friday was a less-than-sunny affair. But that didn’t stop people from flocking to downtown.
Tess Yost of Olympia arrived before Arts Walk officially started. Her first stop was the Olympia Art League’s juried art exhibit at The Olympia Center.
“The talent is just so obvious. It’s intimidating,” said Yost, a painter who hopes to show in next year’s event.
This weekend’s event covers 92 venues across downtown with art, live music, dance and creative activities for kids.
At the Olympia Gear Exchange on Fourth Avenue West, manager Jared Lambing cleared the outdoor gear from the window display to make room for Alice Liou’s collection watercolor and sumi ink paintings.
It’s a 12-hour workday for Lambing — but worth it. “Because it brings a bunch of people into the store who wouldn’t usually come in,” he said.
Liou, who works for the state’s Department of Social and Health Services, has shown at the store each spring and fall since 2015.
“You can always see trees and water and wildlife in my paintings. I think the inspiration is limitless,” she said.
On the sidewalk on Washington Street, Dean Anderson stopped to admire a newly-installed mosaic honoring Verne Eke, a composer and orchestra leader who helped open the nearby Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
It is one of three mosaics honoring local musicians the city commissioned and will dedicate Saturday.
“I walk around here a lot and I’ve never noticed it,” he said. “It looks so fresh and new.”
Arts Walk continues Saturday and includes the Procession of the Species at 4:30 p.m. Plan to come an hour early, when volunteers will hand out 7,000 pieces of chalk for people to decorate the route.