First Friday Art Walk
I went to my second First Friday Art Walk in downtown Wenatchee this last month to check out our burgeoning local art scene and snap a few photos. It was a beautiful and warm June evening that brought out everyone young and mature to connect and converse over a mutual interest of art. As an art admirer I really enjoyed the visual experience of beautiful paintings, steel sculptures, pop art, artisan craft goods, and 3D media displayed in local art galleries, cafe’s and museums. I was delighted by the addition of new pop-culture art studio and lounge, The RadarStation, that has captured a following of artist types and hipsters. Giving Wenatchee a unique new venue to meet up with friends. It was a fun experience and I would definitely go again….and again!
First Fridays Art Walk is a free self-guided art walking tour, a long-running nationwide event designed to support an artistic community through promotion of the Arts featuring a different artist each month in local art galleries, museums, and businesses displaying an ever-changing aray of art exhibits in all media from the valley’s local artists.
Wenatchee Valley Museum along with several local galleries spearheaded the beginning of Wenatchee’s First Friday Art Walk scene about 8 years ago. And they have been going strong on First Friday’s ever since. You can also enjoy a rotating gallery of featured exhibits during museum hours Tues – Sat from 10am – 4pm.
Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center, 127 S Mission St, Wenatchee, WA 98801, (509) 888-6240
‘An arts hub featuring personally curated exhibits showcasing works in the pop-surrealism and lowbrow movement, culling from artists all over the country but with a focus on local talent. RadarStation draws a crowd when they screen cult classics, independent films, and oddball movies in the theater’. – RadarStation
I was delighted by the addition of new pop-culture art studio and lounge, The RadarStation, giving Wenatchee a unique new venue to meet up with friends among their featured exhibits. The Radarstation is an art lounge, fast becoming a favorite place for the local artsy hipsters to congregate for a little poetry, an indie movie, or to simply enjoy an ice cold glass of beer, cider or wine in their new bar and lounge area with a quirky and sultry vibe. Art featured here is anything but the norm. Then again, art is never normal! I’ll be looking forward to checking this place out again for art, music and a beverage!
RadarStation, 115 S Wenatchee Ave. Wenatchee WA , 509-860-3750
First Friday Art Walk is a great way to experience and support the wide variety of artistic talent in town as well as a chance to meet up with friends, family or have a long overdue date night doing something different and fun. Two Rivers Gallery is a not-for-profit art gallery operated by local artists to make diverse and original art and art education accessible and affordable to the general public. Two Rivers Gallery is an art co-operative gallery formed in 2009 and is operated by its members.
FEATURED ARTIST ABOVE: Jane Walter Bousman, standing among her paintings, was the featured June artist at Two Rivers Gallery
Two Rivers Gallery, 102 N Columbia St., Wenatchee, WA 98801, (509) 888-9504
You’ll even find a few boutiques participating on any given First Friday featuring artisans of art, jewelry, skincare and hand-crafted gift items that may be carried in their store or as a one-time appearance. It’s nice to meet and chat with the artists and help support their efforts.
Recently at Tumbleweed Bead Shop First Friday, I enjoyed meeting Vagabond Leatherworks artist/owner, Wade Worthington. Wade started leatherworking in 2012 as a hobby to make journals for friends and family and just kept going from there. I swoon over his beautiful hand-made leather journals and sketchbooks that can be personalized with stamped initials. What a beautiful journal to write down life’s notes and artistic sketches.
Mela Coffee Co. has always been a supporter of local artists since it opened in 2007, delighting many patrons with an ever-changing gallery of art over the years. Not only is Mela Coffee Co. a local favorite meeting spot for business types, hipsters, and Mom coffee dates, it’s also a revolving gallery of eye candy beautifully displayed on Mela’s historic brick walls for your enjoyment. Lemolo, a local favorite pizza spot, has been featuring a revolving gallery of local artists for years as well. Their food is wholesome, hearty, and locally grown too.
ARTIST SHOWN ABOVE: With a love of art and textiles, local artist Cory Pearson expresses himself by drawing inspiration and materials from local thrift stores to create three-dimensional art that will intrique you and invoke a conversation. Cory’s art will be on display at Mela Coffee thru the month of June and you can see some of his work at Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center.
Along the First Friday route is the Wenatchee Chamber Tasting Room providing us with local wines, beer and ciders to discover and enjoy while you rest your feet from your walking art tour. If you have any questions about the Wenatchee Valley and surrounding communities while you are visiting downtown, this is the info hub to visit.
JUNE RECEPTION ABOVE: “The Art of Beer Making”, featuring newly formed Wenatchee Brewers Row, a handful of breweries located along Columbia street district producing fresh local ingredients into ice cold liquid gold. Badger Mountain Brewing Co. was representing Brewers Row and sampling their own beer at Chamber Tasting Room.
Wenatchee Chamber Tasting Room, 137 North Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801, 509-662-2116
A beautiful gallery on the WVC campus that exhibits an amazing collection of art produced by students and guest artists from the region. I was not able to make it in time to view the exhibit on this particular First Friday, but I can enjoy anytime during gallery hours Monday-Friday, 9-5 pm. Located in the music & art center on campus.
The MAC Gallery hosts a yearly series of high quality and thought provoking exhibitions of contemporary art by faculty, exceptional students, and invited professional guest artists from around the region. The carefully curated exhibitions and associated events enhance the instruction of the art department and work toward WVC’s mission to provide important cultural opportunities for the community.
MAC Gallery on Wenatchee Valley College campus, 1300 Fifth Street, Wenatchee, WA 98801, (509) 682-6800
NOT part of the Art Walk, but just as much a gallery as any, the bronze sculptures along the Apple Capital Loop Trail and within the downtown Wenatchee business district are a sight to see. There are 88 sculptures to admire and get a selfie with. Providing public art and education programs through sculpture exhibits and sales.
A handful of bronze sculptures displayed along the Capital Loop Trail, as part of the Art on the Avenues, are available for purchase. You can get more information on the program and sculpture purchases at Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce, (509) 662-2116.
REMEMBER! FIRST FRIDAY’S OF EVERY MONTH
What: First Friday Art Walk
When: First Friday of Every Month, 5 – 8 pm
Where: Downtown Wenatchee, various businesses
Wenatchee First Fridays Facebook page for more info