On the first Friday of each month, the Wenatchee downtown area does not quiet down at five pm, but instead, becomes alive with pedestrians making their way from one art gallery to another.
TheFriday ArtWalk is nearly a decade-old tradition in town. It is the night whennew works of art, be it sculptures, paintings or artisan items, are put ondisplay at the participating galleries and businesses. The Wenatchee ValleyMuseum and Cultural Center and the Wenatchee Valley College also stay openuntil 8 pm on First Fridays.
Thereis no entrance fee to any of the venues on First Friday and to make the eveningeven better, most places serve free food and sell wine to the visitors.
Locatedat 102 N Columbia, next to the Conference Center and the Railroad restaurant,the gallery is easily accessible with plenty of parking nearby also a goodvenue to either start or end the route.
TwoRivers displays the works of various artists, treating the visitors towatercolor, oil and acrylic paintings as well as clay, bronze and woodsculptures and jewelry. The maze-like space is a popular spot for artists andfriends of the arts to gather and chat while browsing the new collections.
TheBookshoppe on 11 Palouse St. is not only a second-hand bookstore but sells jewelry,incense and other small items. Look for the store going downhill from WenatcheeAvenue towards Columbia Street.
Theyalso organize open-mic evenings for poetry readings and welcome many kinds ofart. A visit there may take a while as the small rooms full of books extend farinto the heart of the building, demanding attention.
Younever know what you might find in this interesting little store on 3 N.Wenatchee Avenue. Besides the art of the month on display, there is much tocatch one’s interest. Maybe some crystals to energize yourself?
LemoloCafé & Deli
TheDeli on 114 N. Wenatchee Avenue is known for its generous salads and delicioussandwiches. Many art lovers end up having their dinner at Lemolo while enjoyingthe paintings on the walls. The colorful chairs and the whimsical décor at therestaurant add to the creative atmosphere. They have a row of seats facing thestreet, creating the perfect spot for people-watching on the busy ArtWalknight.
WenatcheeValley Chamber of Commerce
TheChamber stays open late on ArtWalk evenings, offering the possibility for winetasting and meeting friends and artists. The large glass windows open the viewto the street, almost directly across from Lemolo Café, and inside, the rows ofwines tempt one to have a taste or two.
Whilesipping a drink and enjoying the art, you may be treated to live music, aswell. The friendly staff will be happy to answer questions regarding the winesor Wenatchee overall. You may leave the Chamber ready with a plan for theweekend.
WenatcheeValley Museum & Cultural Center
TheMuseum on 127 South Mission Street opens its doors for free on ArtWalkevenings. You can expect to see or experience more than the permanent displaysat the Museum; maybe art by local students, a visiting exhibition or a night ofgood food.
TheCollege is somewhat outside the downtown area, but well worth the visit. Checkwith Link Transit for free bus transportation, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boththe MAC Gallery (1300 Fifth Street) and the Robert Graves Gallery (Sexton Hall,Ninth Avenue entrance) are great venues for displaying art. The galleries areusually well-attended on ArtWalk evenings. And, as with all the othergalleries, the artists are present and happy to chat with visitors.
The café on 17 N. Wenatchee Avenue has its brick walls available for new works of art every month. They keep the coffee and other refreshments flowing for those who come to enjoy the display. The well-lit space and ample wall-space are perfect for showing off paintings.
DesignerFloors is an artistic business in itself, offering creative solutions forflooring. They are also regular facilitators of art displays of other kinds, beit paintings, sculptures or live music. Stop by to see the current works ondisplay and maybe pick up some inspiration to add new touches to your home.
CollapseContemporary Art Gallery
TheCollapse gallery, situated on 115 S. Wenatchee Avenue, is one of the newer onesin town, but well attended every time. It is a true art gallery withlight-colored walls and spotlights to best bring out the art on display. Theyoften have live music on the premises during ArtWalk to make the occasion evenmore enjoyable.
TumbleweedShop & Studio
Thissmall business on the slope of 105 Palouse St., uphill from Wenatchee Avenue,is surprisingly full of hand-made items, some purely art and others usable. Youmay find a beautiful piece of pottery or a leather wallet to purchase, as wellas clothing and jewelry. Don’t let the small doorway fool you; there is plentyto see inside.
Wenatchee’spublic transportation company, Link Transit, participates in First Fridays byoffering free rides to some of the venues. Please contact Selina Danko for moreinformation.
FirstFridays are family-friendly and just friendly, period. Meet old friends andmake new ones, talk to the artists and connect with Wenatchee. You will go homesmiling.