ArtEAST invites heron art to roost

April 10, 2012

ArtEAST presents the Rookery Project April 16-23 at the artEAST Art Center, 95 Front St. N.

About 30 local artists pay tribute to the Lake Sammamish heron in the 2012 Rookery Project, with each beginning with the same metal framework.

The resulting colorful and creative flock of birds will roost at selected public locations around Issaquah and the Eastside throughout summer. Learn more at

Toast Downtown Issaquah Wine Walk as series ends for season

April 3, 2012

Visitors on Front Street who enjoyed wine tastings, snacks and live music in February during the Downtown Issaquah Association’s Wine Walk have one more chance on April 6. By Greg Farrar

Oenophiles can sip and stroll through town as the Downtown Issaquah Wine Walk series concludes for the season April 6.

Organized by the DownTown Issaquah Association, merchants host musicians, and offer sips from Washington vintners and hors d’oeuvres, during the monthly event. The inaugural Downtown Issaquah Wine Walk occurred in February.

“We got a lot of people down here that had either never been to downtown Issaquah or hadn’t been down here in a long time,” association Executive Director Karen Donovan said. “I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from people saying how much they enjoyed it. They enjoyed the music and the appetizers and the wine, of course.”

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College News

March 27, 2012

Student earns master’s degree from Saybrook University

Pam Heeke, of Issaquah, received her Master of Arts degree in organizational systems: leadership and organization development on Jan. 22 from LIOS Graduate College of Saybrook University.

Heeke owns Philomena, a coaching and consulting company based in Renton.

Heeke will teach at the artEAST Summer Workshops at the Hailstone Feed Store. Her classes include a Modern Day Muses one-day introductory workshop July 15 and Introduction to SoulCollage on Aug. 13.

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Marianwood and artEAST exhibit showcases groups’ talents

February 21, 2012

Providence Marianwood and artEAST are teaming up for another art show.

By Catherine Kail-Tucker

The shows are a good way for both local institutions to promote themselves, said Liz Ashley, an artist and member of artEAST, Issaquah’s community arts center, as well as a board member at Issaquah’s Providence Marianwood skilled nursing home.

Joint ventures of Marianwood and artEAST, art showings were launched at the nonprofit nursing facility about two years ago, Ashley said. The latest runs through the end of March and features three disparate area artists.

“They are all different, but I think they compliment each other very well,” said Ashley, who curates the shows for Marianwood.

The featured artists are Michelle Sidnie Ryan, Margaret “Joyce” Van Duine and Catherine Kail-Tucker. The trio hosted an artists’ reception at Marianwood on Feb. 18.

Ryan is a self-taught Northwest artist inspired by nearly everything she sees in everyday life, according to information provided by Marianwood. Kail-Tucker works with old-style etching techniques, according to Ashley, while Van Duine paints on glass.

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Delayed artEAST exhibit puts images to ‘Love Songs’

January 24, 2012

Virtually every month for six years, Issaquah’s artEAST Center has put together a different themed exhibit with entries from members and invited artists.

Just in time for St. Valentine’s Day, the coming monthly exhibit is “Love Songs!” with works from 17 artists reflecting the lyrics and moods of various classics love ballads, said Sally Penley, a calligrapher and painter who makes her home in Olympia.

Penley also is a member of artEAST and the curator for “Love Songs!” She noted that, importantly in her mind, “Love Songs!” is a juried show, which generally means works were reviewed before being accepted into the show.

For the coming exhibit, Penley and others created a “playlist” from which artists could draw their inspiration.

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First Friday Wine Walks offer a new taste of downtown

January 17, 2012

The artEAST Art Center and UP Front Gallery, which always participates in ArtWalk in the summer, will be one of six locations on Front Street to take part Feb. 3 in the inaugural First Friday Wine Walk. File

Adding to its list of events to draw more visitors to downtown, the DownTown Issaquah Association announces First Friday Wine Walk from 5-8 p.m. Feb. 3.

Wine Walk, following other popular events such as ArtWalk and a zombie invasion, will feature boutique wine tasting at six locations up and down Front Street.

“It should be fun,” said Karen Donovan, the association’s executive director. “I’m excited.”

Wineries will include Lodmell Winery in Walla Walla; Woodinville’s Smasne Cellars; and, Castillo de Feliciana. Several Wine Walk locations will feature live entertainment to include acoustic guitarist “Uncle Phil” Hansen; guitarist and composer Angelo Pizarro; vocal group Bodacious Ladyhood; and, pianist Meg Mann.

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Who’s News

January 10, 2012

Local truck driver is recognized for safety milestone

Cheryl M. Wilson, of Issaquah, has been recognized by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association for eight years of safe, accident-free driving of a commercial tractor-trailer.

Wilson has been driving professionally for eight years and currently hauls general freight.

The OOIDA Safe Driving Award Program is sponsored by Shell Rotella and is designed to recognize and reward OOIDA members for their safe, accident-free years while operating a commercial vehicle. Safe driving awards are available to all eligible OOIDA members who qualify based upon the number of years for which the member has operated a commercial vehicle without being involved in a preventable accident.

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Leftovers transformed into art for show at University House

November 8, 2011

Seattle artist Kelly Lyles is one of 22 local artists who took part in ‘Unfinished Business,’ an art exhibit set for Issaquah’s University House. Contributed

June Sekiguchi, a founding member of public art center artEAST, said every artist has unfinished pieces or unused bits of this or that sitting around their studios.

Mulling over that fact led her to the unusual idea for “Unfinished Business,” an original art display done in conjunction with artEAST and to be displayed at Issaquah’s University House retirement community beginning Nov. 12.

Essentially, artists were handed raw materials or uncompleted projects donated by other artists. Each artist was then asked to complete a finished piece with the provided materials.

The unused items covered a wide range of territory. One was a 5-foot-tall welded steel frame for a sculpture. Another contribution consisted of bits of broken glass.

“Some people got some very raw materials,” Sekiguchi said.

Seattle artist Kelly Lyles, a painter, ended up donating a bag of cocktail sticks with tops that resembled donkeys, apparently at the request of Sekiguchi. Lyles was excited to see what someone made of the items.

For her part, Lyles turned a partly finished canvas with a blue background into a whimsical painting of a hamster resting atop a can of Spam. The title: “Spamster,” of course.

Other Lyles works have names such as “Lays Potato Chipmunks.” A few of her other creations will be on display during “Unfinished Business” as Sekiguchi invited each artist to submit the specially made projects along with some of their other works.

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Downtown artEAST Art Center celebrates milestone

November 1, 2011

“It’s alive, it’s lively,” said Gail Baker, one of dozens of area artists whose work decorates the walls and displays of the artEAST Art Center.

Baker added that artEAST provides a friendly atmosphere in which anyone can enjoy many different types of art, from various painting styles to pottery and sculptures. She said there is none of the exclusivity or pretentiousness that you might run into in other galleries.

Founded six years ago, the nonprofit artEAST opened the doors of its current gallery and teaching space at 95 Front St. N., on Nov. 1 of last year. An anniversary celebration and fundraiser will be held at the gallery Nov. 5.

“The move here was really a major step forward,” said Karen Abel, artEAST’s executive director.

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Issaquah businesses target tourists for attractions, events

October 25, 2011

Issaquah leaders often describe local qualities as treasures — a quaint downtown, mountain panoramas, historic buildings and more.

Local businesspeople describe such attractions as “tourism assets” all set for out-of-town guests to enjoy and, in the process, spend dollars in hotels and restaurants.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce officials gathered representatives from local “tourism assets” Oct. 18 to discuss successes and opportunities to lure more tourists to the area.

Leaders from artEAST, Cougar Mountain Zoo, Village Theatre, and other Issaquah attractions and events, said attendance is strong, but sometimes people overlook local offerings.

“Tastin’ N Racin’ — unfortunately — is Issaquah’s best-kept secret,” event organizer Craig Cooke said. “Nationally, it’s not. There are events in 13 other states that have all called and patterned their event on what goes on on land and what goes on in water.”

Tastin’ N Racin’ attracts 20,000 people — and sometimes up to 50,000 — to Lake Sammamish State Park each June for hydroplane races and onshore offerings.

Other long-established attractions face a similar challenge in luring potential tourists.

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