Arts Walk, the twice-yearly celebration where everyone’s an artist and businesses become galleries, brings an embarrassment of riches.
There’s just too much see and do during the 13 hours (5-10 p.m. Friday and noon-8 p.m. Saturday) when downtown Olympia is filled with art and music and kids with painted faces and probably some old friends you haven’t seen in years.
To help get you ready for the big days, here are a few of the many beautiful, tasty, surprising and informative possibilities.
The magic touch
Darcy Goedecke, whose “Mother Earth” is on the cover of the Arts Walk map, says she likes to add a bit of magic to her paintings, which display wide streaks of whimsy. Her creations include baby chickens (on 5-foot canvases), a sloth with flowers in its fur and unicorn-inspired animals from a “grizzly-corn” to a pair of “seahorsicorns.” “Mother Earth,” a goddess Goedecke painted in honor of Arts Walk’s connection to the Procession of the Species and Earth Day, has wings made of waves and constellations in her long black hair. The artist shows off her sense of fun in the video the city made about her, which includes both bloopers and a special guest appearance by her cat. Check out “Mother Earth” and other paintings — and meet Goedecke — at Childhood’s End Gallery, 222 Fourth Ave. W., Olympia. Her work also can be seen during Arts Walk at The Mouse Trap, 408 Washington St. SE, Olympia, and The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, which has been showing “Mother Earth” as part of its current exhibit, “Community Canvas: Celebrating 30 Years of Public Art” and will have a print of the piece during Arts Walk. Find out more at darcygoedecke.com.
More than skin deep
Olympia’s Kimberly Saltiel paints images that are positive, uplifting and soothing — and that’s by design. Inspired by research that suggests that such images change the brain’s response to pain, stress and anxiety, Saltiel is making work meant to bring joy to people in hospitals, elder-care facilities and other places of healing. See how you feel after viewing her first solo exhibit, “Healing With Beauty,” at Art House Designs, 420 Franklin St. SE, Olympia. In July, the show will hang at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, where Saltiel will be the featured artist at the annual Center Gala. For details, visit kimberlysaltiel.com.
Eat, drink and be entertained
South Puget Sound Community College will strut its stuff — including upscale food and beverages — for Arts Walk. The college is hosting Percival Place at Ben Moore’s, transforming the longtime restaurant space into a showcase for the creations of students and faculty. (That will last beyond Arts Walk, thanks to the city.) There’ll be art, music and film as well as opportunities to sample the culinary program’s offerings and try the libations prepared by the brewing and distilling program. The former Ben Moore’s Restaurant, 112 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Other than the lobby, where student art will be shown, the space is open only to ages 21 and older after 5 p.m. Admission is free to the lobby and for events happening before 5 p.m. Saturday; there’s a $15 charge after 5, which includes appetizers and a drink token as well as entertainment. Get details at spscc.edu/community/ben-moores.
Make a home
Arbutus Folk School’s “A Town Square for Everyone” invites all ages to play with clay and think creatively about housing issues. Participants will build a home, apartment or other shelter from clay, and the results will be combined into a village, said Nicole Gugliotti, the artist leading the project. The art will last only for the evening, but folks at Arbutus hope the project could inspire both new ideas and more community involvement. “I’ve found that wonderful conversations, even around difficult topics, can be had when you have something for your hands to do,” Gugliotti told The Olympian. The school, at 610 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, also will host demonstrations of metalwork and spinning and show ceramics, jewelry and wood. Arbutus’ Arts Walk hours are 5-9 p.m. Friday and noon-3 p.m. Saturday. Get details at 360-350-0187 or arbutusfolkschool.org.
The Olympia Film Society’s “Collab: A Multi-Media Experience” will fill the Capitol Theater with art of many kinds. The free spectacle, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, will include art in the mezzanine, music in the lobby and a fashion show by Cal Ledbetter of Olympia, a film and more music in the main theater space. Ledbetter, who hatched the idea for “Collab,” has enlisted drag-queen models from Legacy Olympia and model-actors from Olympia Little Theater to wear his designs in the show, which begins at 3 p.m. “A fashion show is so much more when it includes live music, film, and theatrics,” Ledbetter said in the show announcement. Find out more at olympiafilmsociety.org.
Shabbat in the park
In honor of Arts Walk, Temple Beth Hatfiloh will mark the Sabbath in Sylvester Park. The observant will gather before sunset to light the Sabbath candles, sing and share reflections. The ceremony is scheduled from 7:57 to 8:17 p.m. Friday in the park, 615 Washington St. SE, and will replace the temple’s regular Friday Shabbat service this week. Get more information at 360-754-8519 or bethhatfiloh.org.
Artists are abuzz about “Anthropocene,” a collection of work by Olympia art icons Susan Christian and Lucy Gentry and Seattle oil painter Lauren Boilini. Among the large-scale pieces on view is an elaborate dress Gentry created from hundreds of razor-clam shells gathered on Washington beaches. The exhibit, whose name refers to the geological age during which human activity has been the dominant influence, opens at Gentry’s LGM Studio (formerly Christian’s Salon Refu), 114 Capitol Way N., and will be on view through May 26, with an artist talk scheduled for 6 p.m. May 22.