One of the more active areas of the Festival is the Working Studios Area north of the Food Court and family dining area. This area gives the public a chance to see the process of art-making and opportunity to interact with working artists. There are a number of exciting highlights this year.
A group of twenty-two Skagit Valley artists, led by Natalie Niblack, are creating block prints relating to the theme “Earth Matters.” The artwork is carved into linoleum plates, which are then inked and printed onto fabric with the help of a steamroller. You can see the printing process from start to finish – and even have the chance to try your hand at creating a block of your own with the help of artist Kathleen Faulkner (sorry, but your art will not be printed with the steamroller).
Other Working Studio highlights include 3D chalk painting with Ron Pattern. Ron is a Ferndale artist who translates his vision to concrete and asphalt using special chalk. Making it 3-dimensional takes it to another level! Look for Marius Hibbard demonstrating the art of marbling (think of antiquated Italian papers), local blacksmith Paul Thorne who loves to teach and newcomer Dan Olsen who will doing portrait painting. Mix in Plein Air Painters, and the whole area is alive with active creativity!
Last but not least, Luuk Honey (yes that’s his real name) will be doing the Festival mural for the Tommy Thompson Trail Mural Project. Luuk is artist, musician and coffee shop owner – young and enthusiastic.