Arts and Entertainment

Meet local merchants, artists in Old Town

Artwork, like this piece by Mike Bay, will be on display throughout Old Town Silverdale Friday, Sept. 12 for the final Old Town Art Walk of the summer. - Courtesy photo
Artwork, like this piece by Mike Bay, will be on display throughout Old Town Silverdale Friday, Sept. 12 for the final Old Town Art Walk of the summer.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

In its fifth year of existence, Silverdale’s Old Town Art Walk has become known as much for bringing art into the heart of Old Town Silverdale as it has for its aesthetic of community.

Which is fitting given the quarterly community event was basically created by the Old Town community itself.

Art walks, popular artist-centric events around the region and throughout the country, are typically sponsored by some local gallery, or consortium of galleries, and in some cases receive support from their local city government.

In Silverdale’s case, at the time of the Old Town Art Walk’s inception in 2003, it had neither a gallery or financial support from a city government to pave the way. What it did have was a handful of energized artists and art-loving merchants looking to attract attention to an already charming business district.

Those artists and merchants banded together, forming a committee with the ideal of making the Old Town businesses center stage and featuring local artists as the stars of the show.

Each committee member chipped in money out of their own pocket for the construction, promotion and production of the first show in December 2003. An estimated 300 people turned out, deeming the event a success. And the Old Town Art Walk has been growing, and strolling, ever since — bringing art, food, wine, flowers and entertainment to Old Town for your enjoyment, they say.

Monica’s Waterfront Bakery, a founding merchant of the Art Walk, gives out free baked goods in exchange for donations to the local charity during each art walk, while featuring local artists on both levels of their big yellow building. Another of the art walk’s founding merchants — Linda’s Knit n’ Stitch — has become a coveted stop on the tour, regardless of who is showing there, because of their renowned refreshments table — an art form in itself, some say.

Grape Expectations has been known to give out free wine samples, while Jeanette’s Flower Shop gives out free roses to the first 200 ladies through the door. Other Old Town businesses host their own drawings and promotions on the evening, while local galleries and specialty shops put their goods on display — all for free.

And then of course, there’s the stars of the show, the artists — from the professional grade to the artist-next-door.

They’re juried in, given the stamp of the Old Town Art Walk committee, and selling their work sans commission on the walls of businesses throughout Old Town.

Even the Olympic Veterinary Hospital dons its arts hat for the event.

Check it all out at the next Old Town Art Walk, the last of the summer, 6-8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12 in Old Town Silverdale.

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