Sunday, September 11, 2011

A fun night in Madison Park

The opening of the Second Annual Madison Park Art Walk on Friday night was one of those occasions when everything just worked.  The weather was perfect, the art good-to-great, and the music infectious. Anyone experiencing the show, even the most curmudgeonly among us, would certainly have seconded the proposition that Madison Park is one fabulous village by the lake.

The kickoff for Art Walk was a packed reception at Starbucks.  The event brought out an array of neighborhood types, a good selection of out-of-the-area art lovers, and the occasional passerby who was swept in, wondering what all the excitement was about.  The venue seemed much more hopping than it did during the first Art Walk last year.  The attraction of the event may have been heightened by the fact that each of the participating artists was allowed to have one piece on display at Starbucks this year (those artworks, incidentally, will remain there through the end of the month). The wine and beer flowed freely--as did the art lovers, who proceeded from Starbucks to visit the 28 locations hosting artist installations. The tide began rolling at Ann Marie Lingerie, flowed down E. Madison Street, and washed ashore at Roppa Bella, around the corner on 43rd.  

The art of Brooke Westlund at Park Deli

There were multiple musicians performing during the evening, with Sambatuque making things festive at the triangle park in front of Bing's, where spontaneous dancing broke out and continued into the night.

But music was not the only lively thing during Art Walk.  The art itself was often interesting, diverse, and fun to see in unlikely settings.  

The art of Lene Sangster & Julia Waldeck at Cactus!

There are clearly a lot of talented and creative people living in the general vicinity. Approximately 30 artists from the Park and surrounding neighborhoods made the cut for this year's show.  In addition to the more established artists, grade-school artists (from McGilvra, St. Joseph, and Epiphany Schools), teen artists (including some from Coyote Central), and "resident" artists from Park Shore, also had their works on display at various venues.

The art of McGilvra's students at Red Wagon Toys

One of the best things about the evening was the ability to interact with the artists and learn about their art. Another positive aspect was seeing so many neighbors and friends enjoying the connection to community that Art Walk exemplifies.

Artists Margo Spellman and Barbara Ireland

We are unabashed fans of this sort of thing, so perhaps we're just prejudiced.  Nevertheless, we doubt that very many (if any) participants left Friday's Art Walk opening wishing they had done something else with their evening.

Art Walk, sponsored by the Madison Park Business Association, could not happen but for the dedicated work of volunteers and the generous contributions of the artists, individuals, and neighborhood businesses such as Key Bank. This year the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods also provided funding.

Art Walk continues through the end of the month, so you still have time to visit or revisit some impressive displays.  More details are available here.  All of the art, by the way, is for sale, with 100% of the proceeds going to the artists.

[Top photo: the art of Maria Root at Martha Harris Flowers & Gifts.  Photo of Margo Spellman and Barbara Ireland courtesy of Dick Lehman.]


  1. Agreed, it was a great time.

  2. ....except for one of the artists at the Hardware Store, who I see is donating 100% of their proceeds to the family of Michael Wang a local photographer/bike commuter, who was killed by a hit and run driver a few weeks back. The story was all over the news. A fund has been established to help aid his wife and two young children.

  3. Yes I agree, I haven't had so much fun in Madison Park in years. And the continued display of art in so many places around the Park continues to enliven our eyes so we appreciate the beauty and folks in our world more. The Art Walk and other Arts activities are terrific neighborhood building events, sources of joy and a deeper kind of sense of place and security than any kind of 'Homeland Security' directive could ever even touch.


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