Annual Pullman ArtWalk highlights local talent

New street fair will bring performing arts activities for all ages, food vendors



Henry Stinson, a local artist who has a painting studio in Pullman, holds some of his oil on canvas paintings that will be featured at the Neill Public Library during the ArtWalk.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER, Evergreen reporter

The ninth annual Pullman ArtWalk kicks off today and will showcase the talented artwork of people within the community.

“There is no other arts festival in the Pullman community that celebrates local art like this,” Joanna Bailey, interim chair of the Pullman Arts Commission, said. “This year, with the addition of performing arts, we’re celebrating an even deeper spectrum of art than before.”

In celebration of Pullman’s 130th birthday, a street fair has been added to the ArtWalk to give community members access to several different kinds of performing arts, interactive activities for all ages and a relaxing environment to enjoy local food vendors.

Dozens of local artists will have their art displayed in 27 different businesses throughout Pullman. Receptions will also be held intermittently so the artists themselves can discuss their work with community members.

However, these local artists are not required to have a certain skill level. The festival is open to all abilities, skill levels and ages, Bailey said.

“You don’t have to be a professional artist to be a part of this festival. Art happens,” Bailey said. “Whether you’re a brand-new artist or a professional, we want to bring your talent up to the surface. We want to nurture the next generation of artists.”

Lori Lewis has provided administrative support to the ArtWalk for the past five years and agrees that getting younger members of the community involved is her favorite part of the festival.

“Art is important to personal growth,” Lewis said. “As someone who raised a child with special needs, I think having them involved in the arts was a big help in making them successful as an adult, which is why I love to be involved in it now.”

Bailey attended a presentation put on by a few WSU students a few weeks ago and learned about what they think would make downtown better.

“The college students want more community and music events,” Bailey said. “They wanted affordable American and ethnic food. ArtWalk hits all their requests. They’d be exposed to different kinds of culture and art all without spending a dime.”

The ArtWalk will span from Thursday through Saturday throughout downtown Pullman.

ArtWalk events will begin 5:45 p.m. Thursday when two utility boxes are wrapped in art work made by Pullman High School senior Emily Armstrong and local artist Danica Thurber at Pine Street Plaza.

“Just because something is utilitarian doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty, and doesn’t mean it can’t be a source of community pride,” Bailey said.

A meet-and-greet for vendors, artists and community members will follow the presentation at 6:30 p.m. at the Regional Theatre of the Palouse.

The street fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday on Olsen Street. Several performers will take the main stage including Paradox at 3 p.m. and The Cherry Sisters Revival at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m. the Mayor’s Art Award presentation will honor Gail Siegel of WSU Performing Arts.

Other events for all ages will take place throughout the weekend, including open art studios for both kids and adults. Admission is free and open to the public.

“I love seeing the community come together to celebrate itself. It’s a festival by the community, for the community,” Bailey said. “It’s such a feel-good way to honor the talent and honor what makes Pullman such a great place to live.”