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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Downtown Issaquah ArtWalk returns Aug. 5

August 2, 2011

ArtWalk returns to downtown Issaquah on Aug. 5.

The summertime event runs 5-8 p.m. along downtown streets and in Gilman Village.

In rain or shine, regional artists set up temporary shows in downtown businesses and on street corners for the evening.

The teen group Electric Foot plans to play a final performance at the Issaquah Library during the August ArtWalk. Catch the set at the library, 10 W. Sunset Way, from 4:45-6:15 p.m. Other bands from the Kaleidoscope School of Music also plan to play at the library throughout ArtWalk.

The last ArtWalk for the year is Sept. 2. ArtWalk is scheduled to return in May 2012.

Off the Press

July 19, 2011

One good mania deserves another

After a decade of sweeping readers and moviegoers off their feet with a school named Hogwarts, games of Quiddich and battles of good against evil, the final wave of Pottermania is now sweeping over Issaquah, the nation and the world, with the last of the epic movies having blasted through every worldwide box office record last weekend.

Greg Farrar Press photographer

Ticket sales of $475 million in three days is not too shabby!

Over the years, we’ve covered lines of fans at the local movie theater, costume parties for the latest book release at local shops, and huge shipments of Harry Potter books making their way from King County Library System headquarters on Newport Way to all of the branches in the system.

The question is, now what? Every generation has its “mania.” We’ve had the Jazz Age, Golden Age of Hollywood, Beatlemania, discomania and now the end of Pottermania. What should we proclaim in Issaquah to be the next all-consuming mania?

For the socially conscious, my personal preference would be to promote “Littermania,” getting us all to join in to pick up every scrap of paper, every beverage bottle and every plastic wrapper. Ever hear of the 1950’s fad of college students cramming into a phone booth? There’s at least one phone booth still in town, across the street from The Press building. Let’s have a contest of bagging up litter around town and seeing how many bags it takes to fill the phone booth!

Or, how about “musicmania?” There are a lot of scheduled music events this summer in town. For instance, during the next ArtWalk on Aug. 5, we could all bring that musical instrument in the back of the closet that we used to play — kazoo, violin, bongo drums, tambourine — and make ourselves a gleeful racket on Front Street and at Gilman Village.

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Issaquah City Council sets ambitious goals for 2012

June 14, 2011

Top priorities include downtown parking, Economic Vitality Commission

NEW — 8 a.m. June 14, 2011

Less than a month after gathering to brainstorm ideas for the coming year, City Council members set ambitious goals for 2012, including possible solutions for cash-strapped Lake Sammamish State Park, a more citizen-friendly budgeting process and a commission to address economic vitality.

The council OK’d the list June 6, and sent Mayor Ava Frisinger priorities for the months ahead. The decision represents the initial step in the process to shape the 2012 municipal budget. The unanimous decision came after council members met for a rare Saturday meeting May 14 to outline goals.

“In my view, these are a balanced set of goals that cover just about every aspect of city government,” Councilman Fred Butler said during the June 6 meeting. “There’s something in there for everyone.”

The list calls for the city to join with the DownTown Issaquah Association and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce to determine options for a structured parking study. Issues related to downtown parking — a headache during ArtWalk, Fenders on Front Street and other summertime events — emerged as the top priority at the retreat.

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ArtWalk returns Friday to downtown and Gilman Village

June 1, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. June 1, 2011

ArtWalk returns to downtown Issaquah on Friday.

The event is 5-8 p.m. along downtown streets and in Gilman Village.

In rain or shine, regional artists set up temporary shows in downtown businesses and on street corners for the evening.

On Friday, Museo Art Academy opens a new studio, 111 Front St. N. The location offers more exposure for the organization.

“Now we are on the corner at street level in this amazing 100-year-old building that is a historic icon. We have wide sidewalks for demonstrations, we are in the middle of all the action,” Marci Knutsen, owner and director, said in a news release.

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Issaquah City Council sets goals for 2012

May 17, 2011

Leaders pick downtown parking, economic development as 2012 focus

Solving parking headaches in downtown Issaquah is a top priority for city leaders next year.

The ongoing problem emerged as the No. 1 goal May 14 as City Council members set goals for 2012.

The city intends to examine possible solutions, because parking is often difficult in the historic downtown corridor during ArtWalk and other summertime events.

The council opted to revisit the longtime headache for downtown merchants and consumers. The city conducted other downtown parking studies in the past.

Other priorities included a continued focus on economic development, offering additional city information online, and discussing possible arrangements for the aging Julius Boehm Pool and cash-strapped Lake Sammamish State Park.

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DownTown Issaquah Association ArtWalk / May 6, 2011

May 11, 2011

DownTown Issaquah Association needs ArtWalk volunteers

May 5, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. May 5, 2011

ArtWalk returns to downtown Issaquah Friday, and organizers need some help to set up, coordinate and clean up.

The spring and summer event, presented by the DownTown Issaquah Association, starts at 5 p.m. The planning for event starts Friday morning, and the DownTown Issaquah Association needs volunteers starting at 11 a.m.

ArtWalk wraps at 8 p.m., and volunteers can help pack up the event until early June.

Email Community Relations Manager Tanya Alter at community@downtownissaquah.com to sign up for a time slot. The open slots include:

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Set up art venues with balloons
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Set up downtown Issaquah banners on light posts
  • 2 p.m. — Pass out maps to businesses
  • 3 p.m. — Help artists carry items into businesses in Gilman Village and downtown
  • 5-6:30 p.m. — Information booth at the Hailstone Feed Store
  • 5-6:30 p.m. — Information booth at Gilman Village
  • 6:30-8 p.m. — Information booth at the Hailstone Feed Store
  • 6:30-8 p.m. — Information booth at Gilman Village
  • 8 p.m. — Cleanup

ArtWalk participants include galleries, restaurants and shops along the downtown corridor and in Gilman Village.

 

ArtWalk returns for 10th season

May 3, 2011

Pedestrians pause to admire art displayed at the former UP Front Gallery during ArtWalk last year. The gallery has since relocated down the street. File

The DownTown Issaquah Association’s 10th annual ArtWalk season kicks off May 6. The popular event, the first Friday of every month through September, invites visitors to meet local business owners, enjoy free music, watch artists in action, and shop and dine in downtown Issaquah after normal business hours.

ArtWalk draws hundreds of visitors to traditional art destinations such as artEAST’s Art Center and the newly expanded Museo Art and Design School on Front Street. In addition, nontraditional locations open their doors to the event throughout downtown Issaquah and Gilman Village.

Typically, the event ran from 5-9 p.m. in the past. But by popular request, that has changed.

“The event now runs from 5-8 p.m. with a soft close at 8,” said Annique Bennett, cultural events coordinator for the DownTown Issaquah Association. “Those with signs out front of their businesses can now pull them in and go home at 8, or they can choose to stay open as long as they want to.”

For May, artEAST opens a new exhibit, “150 Feet of Art,” at Up Front Art. More than 100 pieces of art on one-square-foot canvases will be displayed and available for purchase during the monthlong auction.

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