Arts and Entertainment

Islewilde, a do-it-yourself festival, is back for its 18th edition

Kids cavort at a recent Islewilde, held in Agren Park.  - File Photo
Kids cavort at a recent Islewilde, held in Agren Park.
— image credit: File Photo

Islewilde, a free, family-friendly festival that bills itself as a “scrappy, do-it-ourselves, let’s-put-on-a-show kind of affair,” will kick off on Saturday, Aug. 14, with daily workshops in mask making, costume creation, circus skills, puppetry and lantern building.

The workshops will culminate in public performances and other events scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20 and 21.

Islander Doug Skove, who produces the festival, has enlisted Thaddeus Jurczynski to be the art director of Islewilde this year.

“I’m really jazzed about him leading the workshops,” Skove said. “He’s one of these very creative, mechanical guys who puts together such interesting things.”

Islewilde was founded by UMO Ensemble in 1992. Four years later, ensemble members handed the festival off to other community members, and Skove became involved in 1997.

Skove said Islewilde is different from most other mainstream arts events on Vashon, and that the festival’s 2010 theme — “Blood from a Stone: a Parasite Adventure” — reflects the spirit and off-the-grid nature of the event.

That theme, he said, is a reference to Islewilde’s bare-bones funding and tradition of making art from discards and found objects.

“Since 1992, this arts festival has been delivering incredibly edgy, many times frayed, but always passionate and sometimes life-altering performances and experiences for the folks who decide to participate,” Skove said.

Islewilde’s workshops will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday through Thursday, Aug. 14 to 19, in a forested area and meadow on Old Mill Road. For directions and information about camping, visit Islewilde’s annual lantern walk will take place at dusk (around 9 p.m.) on Friday, Aug. 20, and the festival’s public pageant will happen at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21. For more information, call Doug Skove at 463-1947.

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