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

Body Painting – Face and body painter and International instructor Dutch Bihary will spend the weekend creating effects on living canvases.  Dutch has worked in films doing makeup and special effects and as a contestant on the first season of Skin Wars, a competition elimination reality TV series.   He offers master classes and workshops, beginner boot camps, week-long seminars and long term specialized tuition based academy courses.

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.

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 using lathes, hand tools and carving techniques.

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.

Ceramics – A group from Cascade Clay Artists NW will show various techniques for working with clay – including wheel throwing and hand working.

PIANO-cortes – Pianos will be decorated for year three of our PIANO-cortes project.   After the Festival, the 2 painted pianos will be placed at downtown locations for the public to use through Labor Day weekend.  This year’s painters include Bob Hogan and Rebecca Maloy.  Both of these artists have created their own designs and are already working on their pianos.  Come see them put their finishing designs on the pianos during the Festival.

2018 Festival Mural

Skagit artist Kris Ekstrand will paint the 13th annual Festival mural.  The mural project is installed along the Tommy Thompson Trail and represents a variety of perspectives and style.   Kris resides in Bow, where her work is inspired by the coming together of farmland and water.   She uses drawing, painting and printmaking techniques in her work.