Thursday, February 20, 2014

Art in Downtown Yakima

This weekend I went for a walk downtown. I went for lunch but I also went to see the Windows Alive project. There's some pretty nice displays in those windows on the north side of Yakima Ave between 3rd and 4th Streets.

Sandi Drury's display window

I don't know all of the artists and there wasn't much biographical information about them, but the works were strong and they were set up well. I participated in a similar project in my hometown in Wisconsin but the windows set up for the artworks were parts of stores that operating. The Yakima version puts works in windows of business that have closed or were never open (to my knowledge). The lack of competing visual information meant that the Yakima Windows Alive project puts the art front and center and the focus and arrangement apparently can be controlled by the artist. Even the partial walls on which 2D work was hung were well made walls with minimal visual distraction.

display for work by Mike Ritch

Thought Windows Alive doesn't have a strong online presence (and I can't seem to find many pictures), it appears to be going strong. This is the second group of works and I have heard that there will be another call for artists in spring or summer.

Mike Ritch

Though this will disappoint my photographer friends, I didn't bring a camera with me on my walk. I had to go back the next day for pictures and only took a few. You'll have to go down yourself to see the show. The weather is pretty nice here in Yakima (sorry to my Midwestern and Eastern friends), so take some time this week or next weekend and go for a walk. There are even some shops and restaurants downtown that we sometimes forget about.

Lindsey Merrell

On my walk I also saw the Liberty Bottle chandeliers put up by Allied Arts. They were apparently painted by Naches Elementary students. The focus may not have been on the sound exactly, but they were blowing in the wind and making noise when I was down there.

 chandeliers blowing in the wind

I have been hearing or seeing a little about Allied Arts doing some "Art Scene" stuff downtown but I didn't realize what was actually going on until I got down there. Now that Allied Arts is building-less I get the impression they are "creating a new identity" for themselves. It should be interesting to keep an eye on their transition. I hope they increase their online presence so the Yakima arts community can stay informed.
Some chandeliers on North First

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