Art in Bloom

From Memorial Day through the end of September, communities all across the country put up tents in parks, turn thoroughfares into walking streets and encourage artists of all disciplines to show their work.  A summer day is perfect for strolling tent to tent appreciating the talents of artists from painters to sculptures to weavers to carvers to jewelers – and some things you probably never thought could be art.

Here are just a few links to some annual art festivals both around the Puget Sound and around the country.  This is by no means a complete list – locally or nationally!  Search the internet for an art fair near you or in a city were you will be visiting.  Admission is usually FREE.  Typically there is a stage for local musical artists and even if you don’t buy art for your home or office, there are always vendors selling cold drinks, ice cream and other tasty treats.

Around Seattle: (only a sampling – there are dozens)
Edmonds Arts Festival:  Mid-June (put on your calendar for next year)
Summer Art Festival:  Gig Harbor July 16 & 17
Alki Art Fair:  July 23 and 24
Bellevue Festival of the Arts:  July 29-31st
Anacortes Arts Festival:  August 5-7th

Other destinations:  (Just a taste – there are literally thousands!)
Park City, Utah:  August 5-7th on historic Main Street
Dallas, Texas:  Memorial Day weekend (plan for next year)
Aspen Arts Festival:  July 23 & 24
Atlanta Arts Festival:  September 17-18th
Steamboat Springs, CO Arts Festival:  August 18th-21st
San Diego – Art Walk on the Bay:  September 10th & 11th
Kansas City – Country Club Plaza Art Fair:  September 23, 24 & 25th

Rather than an annual event, some popular artist communities offer weekly events such as Santa Barbara, California.  Every Sunday and designated holidays you can stroll along the beach and enjoy the work of local artists, often meeting the artist themselves.

Warmer communities offer art fairs and festivals throughout the fall, winter and early spring so be sure to do an internet search if you will be visiting Palm Springs, Miami or Scottsdale from January through March.

In areas where there are clusters of art galleries, they often will hold art walk events.  The galleries are open special hours, usually have artists in house to meet visitors and offer snacks and wine as you stroll from gallery to gallery.  In Seattle, the galleries in Pioneer Square jointly participate in “First Thursday”.

Portland, Maine does theirs on “First Friday”, Portland, Oregon does one each “First Thursday”.  Again, do an internet search for your community or any place you are planning to visit using the name of the town + the words “art walk”.

Even if you aren’t the type to visit art museums as you travel, you will likely find these more casual, largely outdoor festivals fun and lively.  Try one in your own city and if you like it, you may want to try to catch ones in other cities you visit.

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