Working Studios

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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 their craft.

Highlights include


Graffiti – Anacortes tattoo artist Leo Salazar will lead a demonstration of Graffiti painting this year.  Accompanying him will be Erik Gonzalez, an artist involved with Urbanists – an urban art collective of graffiti artists.  Graffiti ranges from written words to elaborate art paintings, usually done on walls in public settings.   The stylized painting is most commonly done with spray paints.

Stone Sculpture – Skagit sculptor Tracy Powell will be chipping away at stone, demonstrating traditional hand carving techniques.   Tracy’s background is primarily in stone, but he also carved the cedar Maiden of Deception Pass at Rosario Beach outside Anacortes.

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.


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 using lathes, hand tools and carving techniques.

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.

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.

Native Wood Carving – Master Carver, Bill Bailey and Beaver Lodge Carvers from the Samish Indian Nation will be demonstrating traditional native carving in cedar.

Marbling – We are happy to welcome back Anacortes artist Marius Hibbard who will demonstrate the ancient craft of marbling.  Using water, paint and ink, he builds and floats the designs that are transferred to paper, fabric and other materials.   He welcomes audience participation.

Chalk Painting – Anacortes artist Betsy Diamond and her son Scott will be reproducing favorite cartoon characters in chalk on the pavement.  Betsy hails from Orange County, California – where she participated in many chalk festivals.

PIANO-cortes – Pianos will be decorated for year four of our PIANO-cortes project.   After the Festival, the painted pianos will be placed at downtown locations for the public to use through Labor Day weekend.  This year’s painters include Anacortes High School senior Alli Schuh and painters from the Salish Sea Plein Air Painters.  Come see them put their designs on the pianos during the Festival – and feel free to tinkle the ivory!

2019 Festival Mural

Anacortes artist Alfred Currier will paint the 14th annual Festival mural.  It will be final mural in the Tommy Thompson Mural Project displayed along a portion of the Tommy Thompson Trail.   A graduate of the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Alfred Currier’s works can be found in numerous private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Currier is known for his colorful impasto oil paintings of the migrant farm workers of the Skagit Valley. He maintains his studio and residence in Anacortes.