Visual

Fourth Friday

Fairhaven gets its own art walk

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

When it came time to choose a recurring day of the week for a monthly art walk in historic Fairhaven, artist and organizer Scott Ward admits that it came down to the way the event sounded when it rolled off the tongue.

“To be honest, it was the alliteration of Fairhaven Fourth Friday,” Ward says. “We looked at the first Friday, but knew that downtown has their walk then. We didn’t want to compete with that but, rather, complement it.”

If you’re in the camp of citizens who were under the impression the Southside district already had art excursions open to the public, you’re partially correct. For years, the Historic Fairhaven Association has hosted a Solstice Art Walk kicking off summer and a Holiday Art Walk happening in late November. Both events showed that people will flock to the view-worthy district by the bay to merge art appreciation with activity.

But starting Fri., July 28, the event will become a monthly one with the debut of the Fairhaven Fourth Friday Art Walk—which will see the event taking place nearly every month of the year (they’ll take a break in December).

“The participation and response to those walks has been very strong, and it felt like the next step was to make it a monthly event,” Ward says. “Now is the right time, because the right group of people came forth to give it life. Those two traditional walks will be incorporated into the monthly event.”

Ward says he and several artists from the Whatcom Art Guild’s Whatcom Art Market started meeting in March to suss out whether there was interest in a monthly art walk. They figured if they could get 10 more venues to take part, they’d be golden. As it is, 18 businesses will be participating.

Much like the Art Walk in downtown Bellingham, each month will highlight different artists at the participating venues, which, in addition to the art, will also include food and drink and, in some cases, entertainment.

Examples of Friday’s features include painter Ben Mann at Mambo Italiano and Morgan Block studios, photographer and painter Andrew Friedlander at Tony’s Coffee, Studio UFO’s Trish Harding at Blessings Spa & Salon, adventure photographer Brad Andrews at Stones Throw Brewery, pottery and fiber art by Larry Richmond and Peggy Condo at Good Earth Pottery, and more. Other venues include the aforementioned Whatcom Art Market, Lovitt restaurant, Village Books, Paper Dreams, Scandi Butik, A Lot of Flowers, Artwood Gallery, Cooper Lanza Gallery, Whimsey, Fairy Godmothers, and the Mount Bakery Cafe. Ward, an oil painter with a penchant for surreal fun, will show his works at Current and Furbish.

With 18 venues featuring new artists each month, Ward estimates more than 200 creators will be able to share their hard work via public exhibits over the course of each year, something he says is one of the biggest challenges of being an emerging or professional artist—which Ward has been since 1999.

“I love being part of Fairhaven and its creative scene,” he says. “I am inspired by other artists and I love bringing creative folks together. The sense of community here is very strong, and there is a great appreciation for art and artists. I think Bellingham and Fairhaven’s pool of talented artists is one of Washington’s best-kept secrets.”

Aaron Neville
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