White Center Art Walk: Building a tradition

(artist Leo Schmidt during the White Center Art Walk)
Story and photos by Mary Sheely
Reporting for White Center Now/West Seattle Blog

Neighboring West Seattle has a monthly Art Walk tradition, every second Thursday – and White Center is working on one too, every third Saturday.

Saturday night during this month’s White Center Art Walk, Damien Jurado played live at Full Tilt Ice Cream, Dubsea Coffee featured the art of Joerael Elliot along with a spoken word and open mic performance by youth from Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, student photos from New Start High School graced the walls of Big Al Brewing – these are by Kat Cabrera:

And student paintings were on display at the Salvadorean Bakery.

Shelli Park, chair of the White Center for the Arts board of directors, admits that the rain and holiday week reduced Art Walk attendance somewhat, but she has high hopes for future events, which take place the third Saturday of the month year-round.

“Our goal is to have more local businesses participating to be representative of the entire community,” Park says. “What they will provide will be poetry, music, whatever resonates with their community.” (We photographed her with her daughter at Proletariat Pizza, which also participated, with photos by Alexander King.)

Park says that the goal of the White Center Art Walk is twofold: “To help local artists and to help the businesses. We don’t want the people who are already here to be shut out because of the inevitable gentrification. We want them to be part of it: the diversity, the food, the color, and the culture.”

Learn more about future programs, including art programs and upcoming film workshops for local students – and watch for a preview of next month’s White Center Art Walk! – at the White Center for the Arts website.

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