PORT ANGELES — The Market Art project returns to the Port Angeles Farmers Market this weekend — and onward through December — with the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts hosting the free activity.
For this Saturday’s project, titled “Together We Soar,” youngsters and adults are invited to learn the art of origami and make simple, multicolored paper cranes. All supplies will be provided free for market-goers to either use on site or take home in kits, said JFFA administrative manager Kari Chance.
“We’ll have 100 kits to give out,” she said, adding that she and her crew can make more on demand.
The Port Angeles Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. under The Gateway pavilion at Front and Lincoln streets. All safety protocols — masks, socially distanced work tables and hand-sanitizing stations — are in place.
With support from D.A. Davidson, a longtime sponsor of JFFA, the Market Art crew will have ample crane-folding kits suited for younger children and for teens and adults. Chance saw the need for kits for smaller hands when her son Lucas, 7, did a test run.
The kits will have paper in several colors as well as origami instructions. Participants can pick them up at the farmers market or, if they can’t make it there Saturday, they can stop in next week for a kit from the JFFA office just inside the Chase Bank lobby, 101 W. Front St.
Artists can then keep one or two of their finished cranes and return one to JFFA’s drop box, also inside Chase Bank.
Chance was delighted to announce plans for the cranes that come back in. In October a “Together We Soar” installation of them, all assembled, will fill the front window at Port Book and News, 104 E. First St.
That display will be close by another JFFA project: the “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” wings at First and Laurel streets. Made of some 250 paper feathers painted by local kids and adults, they’re in the window of the former Maurice’s store beside the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain. The wings, installed in early August, are still on display.
The feathers and wings were JFFA’s first Market Art project; then came a cloth mask-decorating activity last month. Participants made about 150 masks, either at the market or at home with their free kits.
As for this Saturday, “I’ve been folding up a storm. I think I’ve made 30 or 40 cranes, just to prepare,” said Chance, who first learned origami when she was a pupil at Port Angeles’ Franklin Elementary School. Chance still sees her teacher from back then, Hester Hill, around town.
Henry Wendel, 10, is a current Franklin student who partook in the “Birds of a Feather” project.
“I really liked putting all the different colors together,” he said, adding, “I’ve never made a paper crane in my life, but I’ve been interested in origami. It’s pretty cool.”
Online school has just started for the fifth-grader; he called it “kind of stressful.” He finds enjoyment in art — especially cartooning, his favorite form.
Chance and JFFA Executive Director Kayla Oakes have Market Art projects planned through the end of the year: Oct. 24 will have a Dia de los Muertos theme, Nov. 14 will feature gratitude journals and Dec. 12 will give participants a chance to make tile coasters for holiday gifts.
“It’s been a hit, and the highlight of my summer,” Chance said of Market Art so far. JFFA’s staff and board dreamed up the idea after the summer Discovery Arts Camp had to be canceled.
The title “Together We Soar” was chosen, she said, for its focus on community, and because cranes symbolize freedom, good fortune and grace.
“When we were envisioning this series,” Chance added, “we knew that we need a boost of resilience, a boost of happiness.”
Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.