Young at art
While strolling through town after dark looking at art sounds like a sophisticated pastime, Arts Walk XLVII offers plenty for the kids Friday night, too:
• All dressed up: Kids can get their faces painted (by the Lakefair princesses, no less) and make harvest necklaces with help from the Hands On Children’s Museum staff at the City of Olympia’s kids activity area, at Fifth Avenue and Washington Street. The fun happens from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.
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• A night at the museum: The Hands On Children’s Museum will offer free admission from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. The museum will have several tree-themed activities, and Smokey Bear will be visiting. Visitors also can tour the museum and get a look at “Raccoon Run,” the new outdoor stick sculpture built by Patrick Dougherty. (The sculpture was renamed several times, but this one is official, said museum spokeswoman Genevieve Chan.) It’s also one of the rare occasions when adults can enter the museum without an accompanying child. Go to hocm.org.
• On stage: Olympia Family Theater will present previews of upcoming shows every half hour beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at its Playspace, 112 State Ave. NE. The last preview will begin at 8:30. Go to olyft.org.
Catch him while you can
Soulful singer-songwriter Ethan Tucker of Olympia has a classic local-made-good story: Tucker has landed a major-label record deal. Michael Franti is his mentor, and on Saturday, Tucker heads out on tour with him. But on Friday, though, the hometown crowd can hear Tucker play his eclectic blend of blues, reggae and folk at a free concert for Arts Walk. Also on the bill: Big Blue Van. The show, for ages 21 and older, begins at 7 p.m. at 1230 Room, 111 Washington St., Olympia; doors open at 6 p.m. Call 360-943-5611 or go to 1230room.com or facebook.com/1230room.
With his old-time sound and his old-time style, guitarist Vince Brown looms large on the Olympia music scene. He can be found playing at bars, galleries, restaurants, benefits and farmers markets. For Arts Walk, Brown is teaming up with vocalist LaVon Hardison and violinist and singer Jessica Blinn for two shows at Swing Wine Bar & Cafe, 825 Columbia St. Shows (for ages 21 and older) are at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. They’re free, but reservations are a good idea; call 360-357-9464. For more information on the ubiquitous Brown and where you might find him next, go to vincebrownmusic.com.
Back to school
Olympia’s recently opened Arbutus Folk School is all about learning, practicing and preserving folk crafts of all kinds, whether it’s music, fiber arts, blacksmithing or food. Arts Walk offers an opportunity to see the school at 600 Fourth Ave. E. Check out an array of visual art, and listen to traditional music. The lineup: Benny Sidelinger at 5 p.m. Friday; Chickadee at 7 p.m. Friday; Fiddlie-I-Ay at noon Saturday; and Loch Dhu Band at 3 p.m. Saturday. Call 360-867-8815, or go to arbutusfolkschool.org to learn more.
Salt of the earth
Sculpture Aisha Harrison’s textured clay figures, with some surfaces frosted with salt, are visually striking. The materials also serve as metaphors. “At the most basic level, the brown bare clay refers to my own brown body,” Harrison wrote in her artist’s statement. The salt is meant to represent the residue of privilege. The work will be shown at artist Susan Christian’s studio, Salon Refu, 114 N. Capitol Way. Go to aishaharrison.com.
Nikki McClure’s images appear on everything from sauerkraut labels to storm-drain covers — and, of course, her phenomenally popular calendars. You could plan a scavenger hunt in which competitors looked for nothing but McClure’s work, although it might be too easy. Come Arts Walk time, McClure is a fixture at Bryce’s Barbershop, 198 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia; she’s been showing there since 2002. The original artwork featured in her 2014 calendar will be hanging there this week. Go to nikkimcclure.com.
Still quirky after all these years
Dance Random Acts of Dance Collective, or Radco, is bringing its diverse, wild, funny, dramatic and quirky dances to the main stage of The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. “On a lark, we called the center and asked if we could do a concert there for Arts Walk, and we were actually very surprised when they said yes,” said Mary Nelson, who’s been dancing and choreographing with the collective since its start in 2000. Nelson promises the 50-minute performance will include everything from soup to nuts: One dance is about making soup, and another — a reprise from a past performance — has dancers using peanuts and bags of potato chips as props. The performance is at 6 p.m. Friday at the center, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia. Also at the center for Arts Walk: the annual art exhibit and silent auction, and a display and information about the Olympia Artspace Alliance, which aims to develop affordable downtown work and living space for artists.
Dance to kirtronica
Kirtronica is a combination of electronic dance beats, recorded acoustic music and live chanting. Jaya Lakshmi and Ananda – who are in Olympia to host a weekend of kirtan, yoga and dance at Fusion: The Integrated Body, 302 Columbia St. NW – are kicking things off with a kirtronica ecstatic dance from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday at the Olympia Ballroom, 116 Legion Way. Entry to the dance is by donation. Go to jayalakshmiandananda.com to learn about other weekend events.
They've got the power Art of yoga
Psychic Sister is hosting “By the POWER of Good,” an art show to benefit POWER (Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights) and to raise awareness about welfare rights. Sarah Adams, the owner of the vintage clothing shop, created a collage of activist Johnnie Tillmon. The collage will be raffled off, and postcards of the collage and copies of an essay by Tillmon will be available by donation. Nikki McClure has donated an original papercut, which will be for sale to benefit POWER. The show also will include a variety of work by Olympia artists who are also parents, with a portion of the proceeds going to the organization. The show will be up all month. Psychic Sister is at 109 Fifth Ave. SE. Call 360-943-9595, or go to psychic-sister.com. For more about POWER, go to mamapower.org.
Art of yoga
In addition to showing his work in his own studio, multimedia artist Tom Anderson is showing at the Yoga Loft. Appropriately enough, the latter show is focused on lotuses, the only theme Anderson has ever done as a series. His first lotus piece was inspired by a tattoo, and then he became interested in the symbolism and history of flowers. “It’s this beautiful object born from the mud and muck,” he said. “Making them is like meditation in action.” The artist recently was asked by the governor’s office to present two large lotus prints at the 50th Anniversary of the Sister State Ceremonies with the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. One print was to be hung in the prefecture’s capitol building, and the other will hang in the capitol building here. Yoga Loft is at 219 Legion Way SW. Anderson’s studio is at 117 Washington St. NE. Go to thomasandersonart.com.