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Old Town Art Walk flourishes

East Bremerton artist Augusta Asberry talks to Nancy Lovgren, a customer of Grape Expectations and an art lover checking out Asberry’s work, hanging on the wall. It was all part of the action Friday night during Old Town Silverdale’s inaugural Art Walk. - Photo by Kelly Everett
East Bremerton artist Augusta Asberry talks to Nancy Lovgren, a customer of Grape Expectations and an art lover checking out Asberry’s work, hanging on the wall. It was all part of the action Friday night during Old Town Silverdale’s inaugural Art Walk.
— image credit: Photo by Kelly Everett

Old Town Silverdale’s first Art Walk was a huge success as hundreds flocked to the Friday evening event.

“Once you bring art into a community,” regional artist Augusta Asberry said, “people start to demand it.”

Asberry, of East Bremerton, was showing in Grape Expectations on Byron Street. She’s shown her work across the nation and abroad. Her colorful, dancing stick-figures are well known in the art world.

Her only concern was that most venues in Old Town were also businesses — a difficult combination since there’s not always enough wall space, and workers are busy with the business, not with selling art. She looks forward to art galleries coming to Old Town — the way it is in Bremerton.

She said her art is influenced by body decoration of women in Igbo, southeastern Nigeria. Known as “uli” painting, the decoration can be on the body or as a painting on a wall. The term uli refers to certain shrubs and plants that produce natural dyes.

Grape Expectations, owned by Mary Earl, was doing a landmark business.

At Stuart’s Deli & Espresso nearby, the happily rowdy crowd was enjoying the beer, espresso and art on the walls. Bremerton artists Diane Reinhart was showing. Every bit of wall space was used.

Diane Griffith of Silverdale was perusing art by youngsters at Monart School of the Arts.

“I’m amazed at the artwork these kids have done,” she said, adding she heard of the inaugural Art Walk from one of the artist-participants, her friend, artist Mary Zazone. Zazone was displaying at Madison Sparks Salon.

Artist Jenna Colby — not on the official list but showing nonetheless under a street lamp at the end of Byron — specializes in images of sad-eyed young women. She also sells small versions of her images, under glass, as refrigerator magnets. She shows in Seattle, lives in Bremerton.

“I’ve been painting forever,” she said, “but I just started showing this year.”

Showing and selling, said the young woman, “much to my surprise.”

She said she makes just enough money from her art to live on — a rare thing for most artists, who often subsidize their art with a “day job.”

She makes $650 to $700 per painting.

“I’ve even gotten a little spoiled,” she added with a smile, “now I don’t want to go back to a day job.”

The eclectic gift shop “Inner Winds” was also off the list. No problem, the owner, Cheryl Millard, opened anyway. The small store, at its new location off Byron, was mobbed — like the rest. The store features hand-crafted items from around the world, vintage clothing and hand-made jewelry by the owner.

At the large new Lighthouse Cafe & Wine Bar, Lisa Stirrett — best known for her public-art “salmon fish prints” decorating the new Bremerton Transportation Center — was showing smaller canvases of her work, suitable for home display.

“It’s absolutely amazing the amount of people. We have a nice mix of lookers and buyers,” she said. Stirrett, of Rocky Point, said she plans to set up an open studio in Bremerton in March.

Paul Taylor, co-owner of Jeanette’s Old Town Flowers, said about 200 people came through his and his wife’s store. They were featuring the art of Denise Mahoney, one of the organizers of the Art Walk.

“I was so pleased,” said Mahoney, a Tracyton artist. “I thought it was very successful. The large turnout in Old Town shows we need more events here.”

She added It brings in people who’ll spend money on vendors, as well.

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