Art Port Townsend festival begins with show opening Thursday

Dozens of original art pieces submitted by artists from throughout the Pacific Northwest will be on display this month at Northwind Arts Center, 701 Water St., as part of 2016 Art Port Townsend art festival.

PORT TOWNSEND — Dozens of original art pieces submitted by artists from throughout the Pacific Northwest will be on display this month at Northwind Arts Center, 701 Water St., as part of the 2016 Art Port Townsend art festival.

The display — part of the 18th Annual Juried Art Show: Expressions Northwest — will be revealed to the public at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, and remain open during regular business hours through Aug. 28.

The Art Port Townsend 18th Annual Artist Studio Tour, held in conjunction with the art show, will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 27 and 28.

Other events are planned throughout the month.

Both events are free and open to the public.

For the juried art show, “we have 65 artists from the Northwest and there are 84 pieces in the show,” said Jeanette Best, Northwind Arts Center board chair.

“They were chosen by our juror, Patricia Watkinson, from over 300 pieces that were submitted.”

Watkinson is an art and museum consultant, based in Seattle who recently served as the interim director of the Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, according to

She has curated numerous art exhibitions on all forms of the arts and crafts and has written about contemporary art, chiefly of the Pacific Northwest.

“We feel that it is very valuable to bring what our distinguished juror considers to be the best art of the Northwest to Port Townsend,” Best said.

“It is more or less an inclusive body of work” that includes paintings, photography and other artwork, she said.

Participating artists come from British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, Best said.

It is important to celebrate arts and artists in Port Townsend, Best said.

“Artists are such an integral part of our community,” she said.

“It is really great to be acknowledging the [local] artists and the artists of the surrounding area this way.”

Best invites the public to come and view the artwork.

“For the person who wishes to contemplate a piece, it can get their imagination going,” she said.

“It can be peaceful, it can be thought provoking. It goes the whole gamut of what people can see or bring from the piece of art.”

Artist Studio Tour

The Artist Studio Tour is a festival of the visual arts featuring an open studio tour of local artists, according to

As the final event of the annual art festival, the tour highlight the studios of artists in the greater Port Townsend area.

During the tour, professional artists working in oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, woodworking, fabric arts, glass and a variety of mixed media will open their studios for demonstrations and display of their work.

“We have 32 artists in their studios” participating this year, Best said.

“Our emphasis here is on education so that you can go and see how the artists work in their studio and their process rather than just seeing a work of art.”

Brochures with the art studio listings and maps are available at Northwind Arts Center.

Ekphrastic Write-In

Another aspect of the arts festival is the Ekphrastic Write-In at Northwind Arts Center.

Poets are invited to respond to the art beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9. Host Bill Mawhinney will be there until 8:30 p.m.

A public reading of the works is planned at 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at the gallery.

For more information, contact Mawhinney at 360-302-1159.

Schedule of events:

•Aug. 4 — 11:30 a.m. — Exhibition opens.

•Aug. 5 — 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Awards ceremony and reception.

•Aug. 6 — 1 p.m. — Watkinson lecture.

•Aug. 6 — 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Open for Port Townsend Gallery Walk.

•Aug. 9 — 7 p.m. — Ekphrastic Write-In.

•Aug. 25 — 7 p.m. — Poets’ Reaction to the juried show.

•Aug. 27 and 28 — 10 a.m to 4 p.m. — Artist Studio Tour.

•Aug. 28 — 5:30 p.m. — Exhibition closes.

The show is presented by the Northwind Arts Center, Port Townsend Arts Commission and Washington State Arts Commission.

The art center is open Thursday through Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit or call 360-379-1086.


Features Editor Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or [email protected]

Jeanette Best, board chair and director of Art Port Townsend at the Northwind Gallery in Port Townsend, looks at how a 24-by-36 acrylic painting titled “Point Wilson” by Victoria artist Jim McFarland will look on the wall. The piece, one of 84 works by 55 artists from Canada, Montana, Washington and Oregon, were juried into the 18th annual Art Port Townsend show, which opens Thursday and runs through the 28th. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)

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