News

Patronage without payment

"Impoverished artists are nothing new.It's penniless patrons who are taking to the streets these days - with more places than ever to go.Art can be for everyone, says Meri-Michael Collins, coordinator of this weekend's Arts Walk. It's fun, informal and of course, it's free. The quarterly event, which takes place 12-4:30 p.m. Sunday, features art in 30 venues, twice as many as events last year. Highlights will include poetry in the Pavilion, gallery and artist receptions, and musical performances throughout WInslow, all at no charge. More restaurants than in past years are also getting involved, by offering tastings and culinary demonstrations. Collins is excited by the event's increasing popularity. Participating businesses and establishments have spread from Winslow Way up past city hall to the library, and Collins said she anticipates a mixed crown turn-out. Like Spring, the Arts Walk just keeps growing, she says.'Surround yourself with art is the Arts Walk motto. Restaurant-owner Laura Ramadan takes the maxim literally. This could be a gallery, she says, gesturing around the four walls of Bistro Pleasant Beach on Winslow Way, participating for the first time in the Arts Walk. The paintings on the wall are by Bainbridge artists whose colorful and lively work complements the Mediterranean ambience her establishment, and she warms particularly to two depictions of European city scenes. Ramadan said her business charges no commission. We just want to support local artists, she says.While the bistro's resident artist hosts harp-playing by the resident artist, Dana's Showhouse will bring artists' work to life with quilts collaboratively made to honor Mexican folk art hung around Winslow Mall. Like Ramadan, Dana Berg presents art in the most vibrant and accessible way possible - already the quilts have been incorporated into the shop window display as eye-catching bedclothes and wall-hangings. The point is not to sell, but to raise awareness, she says. Berg believes Art Walk is a good way for artists of all different mediums to gain exposure.And the art exhibited Sunday certainly comes in many different forms. As Bainbridge Arts and Crafts teams fiber sculptures with Raku pottery for its 40th Arts Walk display, wine makers and chefs prepare a no less visual feast.I look at each cake as a blank canvas says pastry chef Jeannie Alexis Wood, whose restaurant La Belle Saison will ply patrons with wine and cake. Collins, citing how labor-intensive culinary art can be, admires the passion with which these professionals serve the public.It is the city hall, however, which exemplifies the role of art in a community context. From Michele Van Slyke's sliding wall curtains to Cecil Ross's countertop simulation of a boat deck, every piece of art work in the building serves a function. Van Slyke said that these days, public buildings often look the same, and she and Ross hope the public will visit the unique Bainbridge hall. Like all the artists involved in Art Walk, they believe it is important for people to find art in unexpected places. We want to make the public's mind work a bit, Van Slyke says.* * * * *The quarterly Bainbridge Island Arts Walk runs noon to 4:30 p.m. May 7, featuring new local visual art in 30 venues, gallery and artists receptions until 5 p.m. and musical performances throughout Winslow. All events are free. Among the highlights:* Latinos on love - Los Nortenos Latino writers give a literary reading at 2 p.m. at San Carlos Restaurant. Information: 842-7901.* Bainbridge Orchestra chamber music - a free chamber concert begins at 3 p.m. in the Playhouse lobby. * Wine and cheese tasting - Island Vineyard wines and Port Madison cheeses are free for the sampling, 2- 4 p.m. in the Winslow Mall. * Public art tours - the new city hall and the library will be open from 1-4 p.m. for guided tours.* Textile art - exhibits including quilts, collages, painted silk and needlepoint will be shown noon to 4 p.m. in Winslow Mall. Information: 842- 8388."

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Dec 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates