Artists who have been around the block shine in new show

Chris Beck (Kathleen Webster Photo)

Chris Beck (Kathleen Webster Photo)

Save the dates for Festival 25: Catch Us While You Can, a month-long celebration of art and music created by local artists who have shaped the island art scene for 25 years or more.

Presented by Open Space for Arts & Community, the exhibition will launch during First Friday festivities at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Open Space. More than 70 island visual artists, including painters, sculptors, print-makers, potters and photographers will exhibit, showing an artwork from the past along with a current one. Some of the pieces will be for sale, but other artworks will only be there to be ogled, spark memories and provide a roadmap to see how the past might lead to the future of the arts on the island.

The gala opening will feature live music from island favorites, including the Portage Fill Big Band, Kat Eggleston and other island stalwart musicians, including guitar god Jason Lollar, who will play with his band, One More Mile. There will be room to dance, feast on complimentary appetizers and libations and hobnob with a veritable who’s who of influential elder artists in attendance. Sponsors of the show include Vashon Island Visual Artists (VIVA), Vashon Events and 4Culture, which has supported the show with a grant.

Christine Beck, longtime arts advocate, potter and organizer, described Festival 25 as a collaborative arts event she has envisioned for years.

“Talented artists and passionate musicians who have contributed to our island’s reputation as an arts haven deserve to be honored, and we want to invite our community to join in this celebration,” she said.

But Beck also stressed that Festival 25 is more than just a blast from the past. “Knowing where we have been will hopefully inspire our artists for the future,” she said.

Festival 25 will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September except for Sept. 14, 15 and 16. There will also be free concerts and four artist salons, led by island artists, during the run of the show. More information will be shared soon, organizers said.

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