First Friday

Take a summer stroll


What: Art Walk

When: 6 pm Fri., Sep. 7

Where: Downtown Bellingham

Cost: Free


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

On the first Friday of every month, downtown Bellingham becomes an enormous gallery with creativity at the nexus of scores of spaces, be they traditional studios, restaurants or businesses.

If you’re like me, choosing what Art Walk exhibits to view during the four-hour span of time allotted for the event can be a puzzle—one that is fun to put together, but that can also be confounding if you try to visit each and every establishment on the lengthy list of participants.

For the last Art Walk of the summer taking place from 6-10pm Fri., Sept. 7, I’ve decided to stroll with purpose. I’m going to start at the top of Holly Street and make my way to Old Town without leaving the main thoroughfare, and if I have time left over, my date and I will then meander to points nearby.

Our first stop will be at the Community Food Co-op on the corner of Holly and Forest streets, where Karen Hanrahan’s collage and photography will be on display. These two mediums, Hanrahan says, help narrate her life.

“Collage for me is meditative, storytelling, personally insightful and sometimes dead-on about the nuances of my subconscious mind,” she notes.  “I love to share the process I use to collage and to facilitate and prompt others to tear apart magazines for image sources.”

A few blocks later, Wandering Oaks Gallery will be showing a plethora of Washington-based art and offering up details about its fused glass classes.

Sticking on the right side of the street, I’ll drag my escort into Bayou on Bay’s Annex Bar for a peek at pixilated paintings by Katie McGarry. Since it’s a 21-and-older establishment, we can take advantage of our legal status by ordering a mojito or a cold beer before continuing on our way.

After crossing Bay Street, we’ll pass by Rocket Donuts before veering into Honey Salon and Gallery, where Prairie Sandblom’s “Earth/Sky: Interconnection of the Cosmic and Natural World” can be seen. The inspiration for this mixed-media show is pulled from the natural patterns and topography of the Earth and the vibrant psychedelic colors of the cosmos, and promises to be a stunner.

It will be necessary to traverse Holly Street to get to the Waterfront Artists Studios at 1220 Central Avenue—across the street from Jalapenos—where more than a dozen artists will be opening up their individual studio spaces. Additionally, live music, refreshments and conviviality can be expected.

Circling back, we’ll take a gander at “From the Studio of Captain Steve Mayo,” where historically accurate watercolor paintings of tugboats and sailing ships can be studied at Fourth Corner Frames and Gallery.

Bay Street Village will be next on the list. On the ground floor, Trish Harding’s Studio UFO will house the reception for “PAPO 2018,” the exhibit touting the work of artists who participated in the recent Plein Air Paint Out—which, every summer, draws attention not only to the act of painting outdoors, but also to the variety of artists who make Bellingham a unique place to live.

If time remains, we’ll veer from Holly Street and check out exhibits at places such as Allied Arts, Bank of the Pacific, Bellingham Frameworks, Boundary Bay, Brazen, Cafe Velo, Imagine Studio/Gallery, the Leopold Hotel, Make.Shift Art Space, the Max Higbee Center, Novato, Plum Hair Studio, Redlight, Sharon Kingston Studio, the Sylvia Center, Uisce, Western City Center, Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, and Woods Coffee. Either way, we’ll be at it until the clock runs out.

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