Adults, teens and children 5 and older are invited to make luminarias at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center this evening. (Sarah Jane/Port Angeles Fine Arts Center)

Adults, teens and children 5 and older are invited to make luminarias at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center this evening. (Sarah Jane/Port Angeles Fine Arts Center)

Illuminating activities open at PAFAC

Wintertide continues through end of December

PORT ANGELES — Now that lighted sculptures are installed around the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, the staff invites the public to a few more activities, starting with a luminaria-making workshop from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today.

The drop-in session, supplies provided, will be in the center at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd. The cost is $5 per luminaria, and Gallery and Program Director Sarah Jane is encouraging visitors to make several to decorate for the season.

The center is in the midst of Wintertide, a monthlong series of creatively lighted activities.

Last Saturday brought a sculpture, “Tempest-tost,” by Boise artist Katherine Shaughnessy, to the PAFAC’s rooftop along with lighted creations by three local artists: “Heart Is Home” by Adrianna Santiago, “Mondrian Tower” by Michael Mills and “In just the right light, from just the right angle” by Lance Snider. All four sculptures will stay on display close to the gallery in Webster’s Woods until Jan. 10.

At today’s luminaria workshop, children 5 and older, teens and grownups can try their hands at cutout designs and use colorful paint pens and cellophane cutouts, Jane said.

These luminarias will be weatherproof — once they’re dry. They will need a couple of days for that, and will be available for pickup during the “Fire in the Night” winter solstice celebration Saturday evening or any time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday.

The “Fire” event, free to the public, starts at 6 p.m. with warm drinks inside the center. Guests can also make glow-in-the-dark solstice crowns because, Jane quipped, any good party gets even better with lighthearted headwear.

“Then, right at 8 p.m., we’ll gather and walk down to the Webster’s Woods meadow together, with our flashlights and crowns,” Jane said.

Beside the steel “Nest Sacrifice” sculpture there, “We’ll listen to a brief reading, then turn off everyone’s lights to spend a couple minutes together soaking in the dark, dark night.

“At 8:19, the exact moment of solstice,” Jane promised, she and Mark Fessler, the artist who made “Nest,” will light a fire in the top basket of it. Much like a candle-lighting, this is a one-time event just for solstice night, Jane noted.

“Nest” is one of a series of sculptures Fessler has designed for such lightings over the years. After displaying this piece at locations around Western Washington, he brought it to the PAFAC’s Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park some two decades ago. He noted that after it’s briefly lit aflame, the steel structure below remains unaffected.

After this finale, the solstice observers will walk back up together, Jane added, perhaps reflecting on the occasion as a time of regeneration and renewal.

To find out more about these public events at the center, visit its Holiday Makers’ Market, which opens in the gallery at 10 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. The marketplace of local artists’ gifts stays open until 7 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Art lovers also can find out about becoming members of the center at 360-457-3532 and PAFAC.org.

The cost is $5 per luminaria. Visitors are encouraged to make several to decorate for the season. (Sarah Jane/Port Angeles Fine Arts Center)

The cost is $5 per luminaria. Visitors are encouraged to make several to decorate for the season. (Sarah Jane/Port Angeles Fine Arts Center)

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