By Reeve Washburn, Art Walk Coordinator
There’s more Art Walk to love in 2020! Please welcome the Admiral Junction as your latest stroll-able, sip-and-nibble-able Art Walk neighborhood. As of January 1, the West Seattle Art Walk is officially managed by both the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) and the Admiral Neighborhood Association (ANA), bringing more exhibiting businesses and restaurants, bars and cafes with Art Walk Specials to Art Lovers in West Seattle and beyond!
What prompted this expansion? The Art Walk had gotten too wonderfully big, deserving of more local activation. The West Seattle Arts Council was also interested in sharing the same benefits that businesses in the Junction were experiencing from the increased second-Thursday foot traffic, synergy with other arts and events such as The Art of Music and Summerfest, and increased exposure for emerging artists interested in exhibiting their work in West Seattle.
In the fall of 2019, the WSJA made the case for an Art Walk expansion to the neighborhood associations in Admiral, Fauntleroy, Alki, Morgan and Delridge. Admiral was the first to sign on, and others are not far behind! WSJA is also thrilled to have Sofia Velling, currently serving as the Membership and Outreach position for the ANA, as our newest Art Walk Coordinator. Sofia has developed a starting line-up of four businesses hosting artists, and a restaurant and winery offering Art Walk specials – see our newly redesigned Walking Map to plan your visit on Thursday, January 9! Maps will also be available at any participating Art Walk business, or use the Google Map in our preview post for the January 9 event.
We caught up with Sofia about her experience joining the Art Walk:
What moved you to volunteer to lead the Admiral Junction Art Walk? In September 2019, the board of the ANA unanimously decided to take on the project of bringing the Art Walk up to the Admiral District. We saw it as a great opportunity to bring a fun and active event into our community, while also being able to promote the fabulous businesses in the area. ANA had been looking for more ways to partner with the local businesses for a while, and when the Art Walk presented itself, we knew we couldn’t pass it up. Through this process we have been working to create a comprehensive list of all the businesses in the Admiral District to continue our communication and relationships with them. Rob Braby, who has taken on the Business Outreach position with the ANA, has helped out significantly with this!
What has the reception been among the businesses you have contacted? The reception has generally been very positive! In addition to the businesses that have signed up for this first quarter, many other businesses have expressed interest, so we feel hopeful for the continued growth of the Art Walk in the Admiral District.
How has the process of joining the Art Walk been for you? The process of joining the Art Walk has been so easy! The Art Walk team has supported us along the way, and seamlessly incorporated us into their tried and true system. We can’t wait for other neighborhoods to join as well!
The Art Walk now extends from North Admiral to beautiful downtown Arbor Heights, making it a true West Seattle experience. We hope you will come out this Thursday, January 9, or any other second Thursday, to support the Arts and our local businesses, to reconnect with neighbors and to meet new friends.
Read more Business Spotlights on our West Seattle Art Walk blog: Inner Alchemy, The Office of Rebecca Mitsui, Northwest Art & Frame, Wild Rose’s, West Seattle Garden Tour + Capers Home, Canna West Seattle + Culture Shop, West Seattle Art Nest, John L. Scott West Seattle, The Building, Mural Alley Unveiling, and Brace Point Pottery and Gallery.