The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Brianna Wray
The Times 

Art Squared Weekend Joins Artists and Collectors

Waitsburg Artists represent


October 3, 2019

Lane Gwinn

Waitsburg art lover Joe Patrick experienced the joy of finding that special piece when he found an art square that brought back memories of TV's Laugh-In.

One of the most unifying qualities of art is that every viewer has an opinion. Our opinions are determined by all manner of factors and preferences, but once established those artworks speak to us. Once the conversation is open, it never quits.

Typically this connection is made in quiet, reverent museum halls, but at ArtSquared, the connections are made much more quickly. And the quest to bring home a prized piece is boisterous, with collectors circling their quarry.

In 6" x 6" ArtWalla artists used multitudinous media to create their imagery. Every genre was represented from letterpress by Anne Haley, ceramic carvings by Irene A Lawson, photographic reproductions by Charly Bloomquist, to more traditional oil and acrylic painted landscapes and portraits. Some whimsical, some sombre.

Every piece is priced at $36, making art accessible to those with tighter budgets. Yet, by combining multiple pieces, art aficionados can quickly and easily establish a gallery wall of favorites.

Approximately 675 people attended the opening night festivities held Friday, Sept. 27.

Though overall attendance is not officially tallied, program coordinators reported a steady flow of people throughout the weekend.

Opening attendees were able to taste a selection of Cavu Cellars wines whilst previewing over a thousand art filled squares. At seven, the action commenced.

As the music sounded, collectors made a mad dash for their favorites.

In addition to the main event gallery, the Cavu gallery salon was packed with a well curated selection of both two and three dimensional works by ArtWalla members. Each participating artist was offered the opportunity to submit one larger format piece at their chosen price point.

Portraits and landscapes of all sizes flowed seamlessly with ceramic works contrasted the squares in the next room.

Waitsburg artist Bill Rodgers' gallery submission was chosen for the People's Choice Award. These pieces will be on display until October 27. The CAVU gallery is open seven days a week from 11:00 - 5:00 p.m.

According to ArtWalla Board member and ArtSquared Co-President Tricia Harding, the event was fruitful. Seventy one percent of the artwork sold on opening night, "which is the highest percentage in the seven years of the event," Harding said.

"This years ArtSquared event was our most successful as the artists continue to raise the bar on the quality and breadth of the artwork," Harding continues, "We had many new artists who brought exciting new interpretations of what can be done with a 6"x6" canvas and the crowd was a true cross section of ages and cultures coming both from the valley and from out of town. We look forward to using the proceeds to support arts organizations and individual artists in their artistic pursuits."

There were 25 artists who donated all of their 6"x6" sales which goes back into ArtWalla's grants. $6,500 was raised from these artists which is 45% of the net proceeds that will go toward ArtWalla's continuing mission of supporting arts in the Walla Walla Valley.

"The arts have always had a foothold in the Walla Walla Valley and as ArtSquared completes its seventh iteration I am continually impressed at momentum, enthusiasm, and support that the community brings to this event," said ArtSquared Co-President Rachel Smith, "ArtSquared provides an accessible platform for artists and patrons at differing levels to participate in a singular event that truly exemplifies the ArtWalla motto of Art for All."

A new addition to the ArtSquared tradition is the 11th Hour Sale to be held Friday, October 4th, from 4:30-7:00pm.

This sale features over one hundred never before seen 6" x 6" squares still priced at $36. All artists participating in the 11th Hour Sale have generously donated an eleventh 6x6 square and 100% of the proceeds from sales to support ArtWalla's Education Grants.

ArtWalla's Arts Education Grants seek to enrich artistic vitality and artistic opportunities within our valley. Their goal is simple: to serve as a catalyst, fostering opportunities for artists and non-profit arts and culture organizations to enhance their skills and programs.

ArtWalla offers two different grants each year, The Dan Dunn Memorial Grant which is for individual artists in any disciple and the Arts Build Community Grants for arts and culture organizations and educational institutions who provide arts education and programming for our communities.

The Walla Walla valley has a unique artistic and creative scene. ArtWalla recognizes that funding is necessary for growth in support of new programs and individual educational opportunities. To that end, ArtWalla prioritizes funding from our membership dues and annual fundraisers to provide grants for these efforts. In essence, the community and artists are supporting the importance of funding to grow and enhance our vibrant art scene.

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