Redmond Town Center hosts annual arts festival

On July 7-9, Redmond Town Center hosted its eighth annual Arts Festival. The Redmond Art Festival featured over 90 selected artists, with talent ranging from clothing design and jewelry to crafting sculptures.

The festival also presented live bands, concessions, a community project and many more attributes.

Venues for Artists in the Local Area Eastside is a non-profit arts organization founded in 2010 by Jessica Kravitz and John Lambert and is based in Redmond, Washington. Their vision is to create “a thriving art venue enabling the showcasing of artwork for artists on the Eastside community of Seattle, Washington, as well as invigorating the cultural scene of this community,” and their mission is to “[connect] artists to artists, artists to the community, and the community to art.”

“I think the community benefits from a lot of different events like this because it exposes people to a lot of different forms of art by just walking through and seeing the different styles and mediums,” said Laurel Blaine, a vendor who took her injured mother’s place in the fair last weekend.

She explained that her mother sells her handmade seed and trade bead work in the arts fair, along with some fiber art work that she has been practicing for about twenty years. “Art, whether decorative or practical, can be applied and may introduce somebody to a style or aesthetic that they wouldn’t have sought out without having just walked by,” said Blaine. “Everyone is supporting everyone. It’s not about competition, it’s about community and being inspired by different work.”

Another vendor, Maggie Ho, explained that she is “selling [her] Chinese art, and also promoting Chinese art in the community.” Ho has been partaking in the festival for two years, but practicing her art for five. “I think this festival will give me the chance to really open the eyes of the community and more expose them to Chinese art and culture,” she said.

“Everything [in my booth] is handmade by me,” vendor Pam Kloot explained. “This is my ninth year selling my products and my third year in the festival. The art committee finally put the event on Derby Day, which I think is better because that is our main event for Redmond. It brings more people into town and gives everybody something to do,” she said.

“I’ve been coming to this festival for four years now,” said Redmond local Jared Wheeler. “I love seeing it grow in both material and attendance as time goes on. I get a real sense of community here and I love to have the opportunity to support local artists,” he explained.