Arts & Culture

Arts walk planner


Utterly at home

Olympia native Sarah Utter was the guitarist and vocalist for Bangs, a power-pop and punk hybrid that recorded three albums on the Kill Rock Stars label. Then she moved to Los Angeles and switched her focus to art. Now living in Kamilche, Utter is experimenting with adding letter-press printing to her paintings, using the press at Community Print, a print-making studio inside Dumpster Values. She'll show her hometown what she's up to now with an exhibit at Room 30, 408 Washington St. S.E. Call 360-352-3300.

Healing arts

That's a literal term when it comes to the work of Robin Landsong of Olympia. Landsong, a craniosacral therapist, uses colored pencils and pastels to create images of spirit animals she calls medicine art. "I use the word 'medicine' in the traditional Native way to hold all things that move us toward balance as medicine," she said. "Each image is part of a whole story being told to all of us about the great web of life we live in." Landsong's work will be shown at Fusion: The Integrated Body, 302 Columbia St. N.W. She also will lead "Ancient Soul Sounds," a singing circle, at 7 p.m. Also at Fusion: photos by Aaron Barna and fiber vessels by Jeanne Murdock-Zvonchenko. Call 360-596-9696.

And now for something completely different

You can see paintings and drawings of animals at Arts Walk. You can see sculptures of animals. You can see people walking their dogs. But Friday, you can also see dead animals presented as art. Persmoen Campbell of Olympia turns taxidermy into art by taking the animals, posing them and dressing them in things like tutus and tiaras. For Arts Walk, she'll create scenes with her finds, including fetal kittens, and put them into the window of Hot Toddy, 410 Capitol Way S. "I thought perhaps it might be too much for Olympia, but then I thought, it's Arts Walk. I don't care," said Sydney Hann, who owns the quirky boutique. "That's my attitude: Anything for art," she added. "It has gotten me in a bit of trouble at times." (Also at Hot Toddy: paintings by Mel Haywood and music by the Treehouse Dreamers.) Call 360-753-0868.

A full menu of art

Olympia foodies have been talking about Swing, the wine bar and restaurant at 825 Columbia St. S.W. Last fall, the bar hosted a wine-tasting benefit for Harlequin Productions. Now, for Arts Walk, the restaurant has mosaics by Jennifer Kuhns and music by Vince Brown. But there's also a lot of art that's part of the premises, including more mosaics by Kuhns, fabrics by Janice Arnold, and photo shadowboxes using vintage photos of Olympia designed by Jill Carter. Oh, and for edible art, try the cheeses from Estrella Family Creamery in Montesano. Call 360-357-9464.

Clay painting

Normally, we'd think of clay and painting as two separate art forms, but more artists are combining them these days, and the results will be shown at the State of the Arts Gallery. "This unusual art form is growing in popularity as more people have larger houses with more windows and need art that can take direct sunlight," according to the folks at State of the Arts. Landscapes in clay by Susan Witham, Rita Bauman and Patrick Noe and oil pastels will be shown at the gallery, 500 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. Call 360-705-0317.


Walking with big feet

The balloons and face painting on Washington Street are an Arts Walk tradition for families with young children. (Hey, face painting is art, right?) This Arts Walk also features two hands-on activities for the youngest artists: One is art lessons taught by students at Nova School. The other is a chance to journal about the search for Sasquatch. The latter activity is sponsored by the State Capital Museum in conjunction with its exhibit "Giants in the Mountains: The Search for Sasquatch," opening with special activities from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 211 21st Ave. S.W. Call 360-753-2580.


Sounds and silence

The Olympia Film Society will celebrate Arts Walk XXXV with lively music and a silent auction. Performing are the Blackberry Bushes, Devil's Boots and Rodeo Kill. Among the contributors to the auction are James Davies (copper), Nikki McClure (illustration), Bill Fleming (sculpture), Diane Kurzyna (recycled art) and K Records (music). You also can buy hand-made clothing and furniture, and all proceeds benefit the Olympia Film Society. Doors open at 5 p.m. The theater is at 206 Fifth Ave. N.E., Olympia. Call 360-753-5463.

Fiddle me this

Traditions Cafe's annual Fiddle Fest has become a fall Arts Walk tradition. The festival, now in its fourth year, features six acts playing styles from old-time to Irish to contra and back to old-time. "Each of the bands is really fun, from some very talented kids to some veterans and noted local musicians," said Traditions owner Dick Meyer. The evening of music lasts from 6 to 9 p.m. and was created with help from Carla Wulfsberg of the Tumwater Falls Harvest Festival (see story Page ??). Call 360-705-2819, or visit

Much ado about Teenie

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is one of the few places downtown to see art from beyond South Sound at Arts Walk time. This fall, the center is hosting a nationally touring show of work by Charles "Teenie" Harris, the most important black photographer of the 20th century. The photojournalist's work documented the experience of black Americans in Pittsburgh from the Depression through the Civil Rights Movement. His work inspired "One Shot," a dance choreographed by Ronald K. Brown that will be performed by the Evidence Dance Company Oct. 30 at the center, 512 Washington St. S.E. Call 360-753-8585, or go to

Molly Gilmore loves Arts Walk but will be out of town on Friday.