By Reeve Washburn, Art Walk Coordinator
Now there’s even more Art Walk to love in 2020! Please welcome the Morgan Junction as your latest stroll-able, sip-and-nibble-able Art Walk neighborhood. As of April 1, the West Seattle Art Walk is officially managed by three organizations – the Morgan Community Association (MoCA), the Admiral Neighborhood Association (ANA), as well as the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) – bringing even more exhibiting businesses and restaurants, bars and cafes with Art Walk Specials to Art Lovers in West Seattle!
In the fall of 2019, WSJA pitched the Art Walk expansion to five neighborhood associations, to share the same economic benefits and community spirit focussed on the Alaska Junction throughout West Seattle. First Admiral Junction, then Morgan Junction signed on, and the WSJA is thrilled to have the team of Tamsen Spengler and Marie Flake, currently serving as co-coordinators for MoCA, as our newest Art Walk Coordinators. Tamsen and Marie have brought on board six new businesses, in addition to the three that were already in the neighborhood: three hosting artists, two offering Art Walk specials for humans (and pets!), and one business doing both. Plan your next visit with our updated Walking Maps available at any participating business, or use the Google Map in each preview post we publish.*
*Please note: West Seattle Art Walk for April 9 is a VIRTUAL experience, online only! See post for more information, and stay tuned for details as April 9 approaches.
We caught up with Tamsen and Marie about their experiences joining the Art Walk:
What moved you to volunteer to lead the Morgan Junction Art Walk?
Tamsen: I love my community and would like to see more businesses establish themselves and flourish here. Everyone loves art. If Art Walk can increase residents’ knowledge and use of our businesses, I hope it would inspire new businesses to locate here.
Marie: I love to foster opportunities for people to interact and engage with each other in an easy and comfortable way. I believe this helps build and strengthen the sense of community. I saw a chance to get to know business owners myself and offer them the chance to connect with each other, art, and the public – and visa versa.
What has the reception been among the businesses you have contacted?
Tamsen: Everyone I contacted in the Morgan Junction was excited about the idea of holding the Art Walk. There was some uncertainty about their commitment of staff time after hours, and now, about the lockdown. But we will get through it.
Marie: I heard from a number of business owners that they had been looking for a way to connect and just didn’t know how. They were eager to participate, hear what neighboring businesses were doing, and to learn about MoCA.
How has the process of joining the Art Walk been for you?
Tamsen: I have felt welcomed and supported by the West Seattle Art Walk folks. It is a challenge to put yourself out there as an ambassador, but having their support has made it possible for me to stay positive and hopeful.
Marie: Our friends in the Alaska Junction that organize West Seattle Art Walk have a well-oiled machine that makes it easy to participate and recruit businesses. The organizers are very supportive of business and arts and sensitive to changing needs – like moving to a “virtual” format as the city moved into a stay-home approach to social distancing. Well done!
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 for the next “live” Art Walk (to be confirmed for May or when it’s safe to congregate) 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, Brace Point Pottery and Gallery and Admiral Junction Art Walk.