Art's Alive!

Lighting up La Conner


What: 34th annual "Art's Alive!"

When: 5 pm Fri., Nov. 9 -11

Where: Throughout La Conner

Cost: Entry is free


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Whether it’s to catch a cruise to Deception Pass, check out the latest thought-provoking exhibit at the Museum of Northwest Art, or show visitors the lovely locale where world-famous scribe Tom Robbins resides, pretty much any time I visit La Conner I end up wanting to hang around way longer than the amount of time allotted.

I don’t think my urge to hunker down and stay awhile is unique. Judging by the success of “Art’s Alive”—the three-day event celebrating art and those that make it that takes place every November in the creative enclave adjacent to the Swinomish Channel—there are plenty of other day-trippers and longtime residents who also know a good thing when they see one.

The 34th annual event taking place Nov. 9-11 throughout La Conner kicks off with a free reception for the Invitational Art Show from 5-9pm Friday night at Maple Hall on Commercial Street. While you’re perusing the works by the 14 painters, photographers and sculptors who were invited to share their work, as well as pieces by the 60 local artists in the Open Show who will also be showing and selling their creations for the duration of “Art’s Alive!,” enjoy live music by classical pianist Ben Starner and Brian Lee & the Orbiters, nosh on alluring appetizers sourced from local restaurants, and pay a small donation to sip wine from Skagit Cellars.

From 10am-6pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday, demonstrations by artists and live music performances will continue at Maple Hall and throughout town at 15 different locations. Special attractions this year include a Student Art Exhibit featuring works by high schoolers from throughout the Skagit Valley at a pop-up gallery in the Tillinghast Seed Complex, the environmentally aware “Surge” exhibit at MoNA, various demos at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum, a 50th anniversary exhibit at the Skagit County Historical Museum, and Skagit Artists’ Juried Art Show at the La Conner Civic Garden Club.

Per usual, a lot of the allure of attending “Art’s Alive” will be discovering attractions and artists along the way—whether it’s via the Sumi stylings of Janet Laurel at the LUX, listening to author and artist Jack Gunter reading excerpts from his latest work at Razzle Dazzle Gifts, watching a textile demo at Africa Mama, sitting in on demos from Salish Sea Plein Air Painters at Caravan Gallery, or taking part in a hands-on project at Book Paper & Ink Arts.

A handy brochure with specifics on additional receptions, live music offerings and artist lineups can help guide your journey, but I’m of the opinion that the longer you spend parsing out your specific trajectory, the less time you’ll have to revel in the wonder that can be had when you wander without a plan that’s set in stone. After all, if you can’t complete your “Art’s Alive!” goals in one day, you can come back the following afternoon and look for more magic. Maybe you’ll never want to leave.

New Money Silver Reef
More Visual...
Subject Matters
Flower power with Ruthie V.

Does art need to be ugly or shocking to be taken seriously? So worries the highly talented Ruthie V., whose work has been called “erotic, challenging and frighteningly vulnerable.” But even though she loves flowers, until recently she hadn’t let herself paint them.

She actually…

more »
Ruckus Gallery
Art with an attitude

I’m not sure how I failed to notice the giant skeleton head dangling outside the front door of Ruckus Art Gallery, but when I inquired within, I was told the startling sculpture had only been in residence since Halloween—meaning I haven’t been completely clueless about what’s been…

more »
Visions from Brazil
The cutting edge of fabric art

Exploding stars in dazzling colors greet visitors to the current exhibit of Brazilian art quilts at La Conner’s Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum.

The fireworks in “2013” make a beautiful, dramatic statement—but why is there a black band across the top? Sadly, the piece…

more »
Bellinghamster One-Act Theater Festival (BOAT)

7:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Cascadia Weekly's Fiction 101 Contest


A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Ferndale Book Group

2:30pm|Ferndale Library

Infra-Supra Opening Reception

5:00pm|Western Gallery

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Ferndale Books on Tap

6:30pm|Downtime Taps

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

A Sea Change

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Intro to Improv

7:00pm|Improv Playworks

Plant Society Talk and Meeting

7:00pm|Sustainable Living Center

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Bellinghamster One-Act Theater Festival (BOAT)

7:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Cascadia Weekly's Fiction 101 Contest


Call to Artists for Spring Juried Exhibit

10:00am|Jansen Art Center

Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers


English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Wine Tasting Social

5:30pm|Lighthouse Grill


6:00pm|Ciao Thyme

Basic Emergency Preparedness

6:00pm|Ferndale Library

Winter Soups for the Body and Soul

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Bangladesh Travelogue

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Good, Bad, Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Village Books Trove Web
Bellinghamster One-Act Theater Festival (BOAT)

7:00pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Cascadia Weekly's Fiction 101 Contest


A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Call to Artists for Spring Juried Exhibit

10:00am|Jansen Art Center

Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers


Wild Things

9:30am|Lake Padden Park

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Peace Vigil

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Art Auction Gala

5:30pm|Lightcatcher Building

Photography Exhibit Opening

6:00pm|Fourth Corner Frames and Gallery

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Quieting the Monkey Mind

7:00pm|Village Books


7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Courthouse Vaudeville

7:30pm|Territorial Whatcom County Courthouse

Sanford-Hill Piano Series

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall


7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Los Vivancos Trove Web Choir of Man Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1