The Festival invites the public to see artists in action in the Working Studios Area north of the food court. The area will be active all 3 days of the Festival from 10 – 4. Working Studios features an inspiring group of artists demonstrating a variety of traditional, contemporary and folk art forms. This year’s lineup has nationally recognized masters of the craft.
Sand Sculpting – following the heels of last year’s popular Steamroller Block Printing (printmaking meets heavy equipment), this year’s highlight is SAND SCULPTING. This is beach castles on steroids! Nationally recognized sculptor, Bert Adams, will spend the weekend creating larger-than-life sculpture out of sand. Bert is the founder of Sand in the City – a non-profit that organizes sand sculpting competitions across the country. That effort keeps him so busy that he rarely gets the opportunity to come to an event and just sculpt!
Art Portal Installation – Port Townsend artist Gloria Lamson, Bailey Cunningham & Jill McDougal lead a participatory installation project in which thoughts, quotes or prayers will be printed on colorful fabric, tied onto a metal arch – and released into the sea air for the weekend.
Basketry – Katherine Lewis is one of a handful of artists in the US who grow their own willow, from which she weaves traditional baskets. As you’ll see, everything is done by hand and each basket in unique – and made to last a lifetime. Katherine has the honor of having several baskets on display at the Smithsonian Museum.
Blacksmithing – Anacortes’ own Paul Thorne has made a career as an architectural smith and instructor. He’s more than happy to give you a short history lesson about the importance of blacksmithing in the development of civilization – and show you how he can take a molten lump of hot metal and pound it into both functional pieces and fine art.
Woodworking – the Northwest Washington Wood Turners and Northwest Corner Woodworkers Association create beautiful, functional pieces out of local and exotic woods. From log to beautiful art piece, they know all the tricks to bring wood to life.
Plein Air Painting – Salish Sea Plein Air painters will set up easels in the area and paint on the spot – capturing the look and feel of the moment.
PIANO-cortes – Pianos will be decorated for year two of our PIANO-cortes project. After the Festival, the 3 painted pianos will be placed at downtown locations for the public to use through Labor Day weekend. This year’s painters include a group of Anacortes High School students, artist Carla Seaton and a local team including Beth Smith, Molly Johnson & Wyndham Jackson.
Chainsaw Carving – Master Carver Steve Backus has been carving for 40 years – and is one of a long line of family members who have helped define this craft. He organizes chainsaw boot camps, contests – and demonstrates at rendezvous’ and state fairs.
2017 Festival Mural
Sean Dietrich will paint the 11th annual Festival mural. The mural project is installed along the Tommy Thompson Trail and represents a variety of perspectives and style. This year’s mural, which is a figure with a nautical twist, will detour and find its way to the side of the Fidalgo Danceworks building on 3rd Street. Sean is an Anacortes artist with a broad background as a book illustrator and mural painter. He has live-painted at over 4,000 events nationwide.