Annual celebration to showcase local artists and businesses


A street musician duo takes part in the 2016 Pullman ArtWalk by performing livemusic downtown.

CHRIS ARNESON, Evergreen columnist

Calling all Dali devotees, Warhol worshippers and Monet-maniacs; the Pullman ArtWalk is coming to town this week.

The eighth annual ArtWalk, put on by the Pullman Arts Commission, will kick off Thursday with Preschool Art Story time at the Neill Public Library, Library Director Joanna Bailey said. People of all ages are welcome at this event as long as they have an optimistic attitude, a penchant for craftsmanship and at least three months of finger painting experience (OK, I made that last one up).

The festival will continue at 3:30 p.m. at Neill Public Library as the Appaloosa Lace Guild puts on an exclusive bobbin lace workshop, Bailey said. Participants needn’t have previous bobbin lace making know-how and supplies are free of charge, according to the Pullman Arts Commission’s Facebook page.

Friday’s events for the Pullman ArtWalk will tip off with the Mayor’s Art Award presented at 5:30 p.m. in the Regional Theatre of the Palouse. (RTOP). Spoiler alert: this year’s winner has been announced as Rajeswari Soundararajan, the artistic director of Sudiksha Center for Classical Arts of India in Pullman, according to the Pullman Chamber of Commerce website. The beneficiary of the musical performance for this year’s art walk is Pullman Education Foundation.

The festivities will go on with a Cabaret Music Performance at 6 p.m. at the RTOP Theatre. Don’t bolt for the doors after the concert however, as you have the chance to ask questions and chat with your favorite artists at the official meet and greet following the event at 6:30 p.m.

This event will be a social mixer with food and adult beverages as well as a chance to talk with the artists, Bailey said.

Saturday is the longest and perhaps most notable of the three-day ArtWalk from 4 – 8 p.m., as the main events of the artists and merchants will take place throughout downtown. Go for a jaunt through the streets of downtown Pullman as you take in the beautiful pieces of work, and maybe purchase something to give back to the local art scene.

Stop by the Taco Del Mar Plaza during this time for the only opportunity on the Palouse to learn how to blow glass from an expert. After you finish glassblowing, make sure to check out the amazing photography emphasizing the Palouse as its muse, which Bailey said will be the highlight of this year’s Pullman ArtWalk.

Bailey told me the ArtWalk came into existence as a way of marketing local talent in conjunction with commercial businesses in celebrating the arts and serving the economic vitality of the area. The ArtWalk will showcase 31 artists and 23 businesses.

The Neill Public Library will host a crafts studio for the kids also beginning at 4 p.m. Take the opportunity to spark your child’s creativity and imagination, as they could possibly be interested in a career in this field. Or neglect them in an attempt to turn your offspring into the reincarnation of Jackson Pollock or the next great tortured artist.

So take an hour or two this Thursday through Saturday to show appreciation for the arts in downtown Pullman. Because if you don’t, these fine artists will fall even deeper into financial debt, entombing them like a mountain of van Gogh ears.