Downtown Issaquah ArtWalk returns May 4 for 11th season

May 1, 2012

ArtWalk returns May 4, as the Downtown Issaquah Association launches the spring and summer tradition.

The event is from 5-8 p.m. along Front Street and Sunset Way. The event is held the first Friday of each month, May to September.

Artists from local high schools add a special feature to the season’s first ArtWalk, Downtown Issaquah Association Executive Director Karen Donovan said.

Look for the young artists’ works at the historic Hailstone Feed Store, 232 Front St. N., and the former Stella’s Vintage Clothing, 195 Front St. N.

ArtWalk participants can also listen to live music. Kaleidoscope is due to perform in front of the Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way. Hear the Issaquah Singers at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way. Participants can also listen to music at the feed store.

Downtown restaurants, businesses, galleries and other venues plan to participate as ArtWalk launches its 11th season.

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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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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In another shakeup, DownTown Issaquah Association leader resigns

December 13, 2011

The leader of the DownTown Issaquah Association resigned Dec. 6 — after only a few months on the job and less than a year after board members replaced the organization’s longtime executive director.

Executive Director Annique Bennett joined the organization as cultural events coordinator in early spring and then, months after another employee left the organization, board members promoted Bennett to the top spot.

“I have not been empowered by the DIA board to accomplish the goals they set for themselves or for me,” she said in a resignation emailed to association board members. “I have enjoyed working with each of you and wish you the best of luck on your community wine events and marketing.”

The announcement came a day before a major event on the DownTown Issaquah Association calendar, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the historic Hailstone Feed Store.

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DownTown Issaquah Association director resigns

December 7, 2011

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 2011

The leader of the DownTown Issaquah Association — the second person to hold the post since board members replaced the longtime executive director in February — resigned Tuesday, after only a few months on the job.

“I have not been empowered by the DIA Board to accomplish the goals they set for themselves or for me,” Executive Director Annique Bennett said in a message emailed to association board members Tuesday afternoon. “I have enjoyed working with each of you and wish you the best of luck on your community wine events and marketing.”

The announcement came a day before a major event on the DownTown Issaquah Association calendar, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the historic Hailstone Feed Store.

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City, DownTown Issaquah Association need citizens for parking study

November 15, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 15, 2011

The city and the DownTown Issaquah Association volunteers should start fanning out across downtown in the days ahead to determine if the historic district needs more parking.

Municipal officials and representatives from the merchants group, partnered to conduct a downtown parking study to understand the demand for existing public and private parking stalls.

The effort is meant to update a 1998 downtown parking study. The city should release results from the latest effort early next year.

Throughout the study, volunteers plan to check downtown stalls’ occupancy. The effort runs at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. If weather causes delays, organizers plan to reschedule the survey until later in November.

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Find quiet contemplation in Issaquah’s Christian Science Reading Room

October 11, 2011

The Issaquah Church of Christ, Scientist Reading Room features a distinctive reflecting pool. By Greg Farrar

One of the staples of the Christian Science religion is its reading room.

Usually, it’s a quiet atmosphere that lends to the pursuit of thoughtful prayer, studying Bible lessons, reading Christian literature or investigating the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist.

With the church located on 238th Way Southeast, leaders have long had to rent out space in Issaquah for a reading room to serve its congregation of fewer than 200.

However, Issaquah’s last reading room didn’t have an ideal location for its intended pursuits in the Brandt Building on Front Street, not with its neighbor — The Kaleidoscope School of Music — pursuing its intended purpose.

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City offers 2012 arts grants to local organizations

September 9, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 9, 2011

The city Arts Commission seeks cultural organizations and programs for the latest round of arts grants.

The city offers grants each year for organizations to present performances and programs in public spaces and local schools.

Only projects inside Issaquah city limits or at Issaquah School District campuses qualify for funding. The deadline to apply for the grants is Nov. 4.

Commissioners awarded about $120,000 to 21 projects. The lineup included ArtWalk, Issaquah Farmers Market entertainment, Concerts on the Green, Shakespeare on the Green, performances at local schools and programs to help troubled youths.

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Discover digital surprises as ArtWalk season concludes

August 30, 2011

QR code exhibition is designed to launch conversation

The latest exhibition from artEAST is a series of stark images — square and oblong patterns in a “Tetris”-esque arrangement against a colorless background.

The smartphone-equipped in-crowd recognizes the patterns as QR codes, barcodes designed for mobile devices to read.

Expect to see oversized QR codes along Front Street North as the spring- and summertime ArtWalk concludes Sept. 2. The nonprofit artEAST collective plans to deploy the codes to connect attendees to images and videos at the Art Center & Up Front Gallery and along the street during the event.

Seattle artists Stephen Rock and Nichole DeMent used QR codes to connect smartphone users to data and images during a spring exhibition in Seattle.

Now, the duo plans to offer a similar experience to ArtWalk attendees. Rock is creating a sculpture up to 12 feet tall designed to evoke building blocks — and covered in QR codes — for the event.

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Economic downturn returns upbeat agent to first love

August 23, 2011

Artist Cammy Davis, whose first public showing is on display at the Issaquah Coffee Co. through mid-September, shares some of her paintings, including the large red work on the wall behind her being considered for placement in a local fire station. By Tom Corrigan

About 20 years ago, Cammy Davis, now 46, was a single mom with an overriding interest in art.

“But the thought of being a starving artist and a single mom … The two just didn’t go together,” Davis said.

Davis took up studying architecture, but never was able to finish her degree. She married, became a stay-at-home mom and later became a single mom once again. At that point, Davis thought she had her future pretty much charted out, gaining her license to work in real estate escrow.

Then, the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008. Instead of helping other people with their home sales, Davis said she was forced to sell her own residence.

“I’d just started painting again at that point,” she added.

Davis is now nearing the end of an interior design program at Bellevue College. Her artwork is getting its first official public viewing at the Issaquah Coffee Co., in Gilman Village along Juniper Street in Issaquah.

Hanging on nearly every wall in the homegrown coffee shop, Davis’ work will stay on display between now and Sept. 18. The closing date of her show is important to Davis since it means her art will stay on display through the last Issaquah ArtWalk of the year Sept. 2

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