Fremont, I'm sorry, but I have to say I'm disappointed in you. Why are you the only neighbourhood in Seattle that seems to be completely unaware that it has an art walk? I see the signs, and I can follow the Art Walk map, but it's just past 6, and every single business is closed with the exception of restaurants, bars, and the few spaces showing art.
This is not the case in other sections of Seattle that host art walks. Businesses stay open late (well, at least until 8 or 9) on art walk nights, both to draw in potential customers and to support their local art scene. Fremont certainly has its fair share of grafitti art murals and quirky landmarks (such as the Troll, the Lenin statue, and the Rocket), but it's art walk night, and the streets are all but deserted. I am, however, on a mission to view art, so determination wins out over disappointment.
|"Fremont" mural on 36th St.|
Frame Up knows how to do the art walk with style. They have a delicious spread of crackers, cheese, fruit, and sparkling cider in addition to custom printed Art Walk Maps that include all thirteen of the art spaces along the Fremont Art Walk.
|Helaine Ettinger @ Frame Up Studios|
My next stop is Portage Bay Goods. I'm excited to see Matthew Inman, the creator of "The Oatmeal," a hilarious online comic that includes social commentary, farce, parody, and an abundance of randomness. As soon as I walk in the door, I understand why there are no people on the streets; they're all here! The artist is in with his newest book 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, and the line to meet him encircles the entire interior of the shop.
The atmosphere at Portage Bay is exactly what would happen if you crossed Archie McPhees with Papyrus and then gave it a distinctive Seattle flair. Hand-pieced fabric wallets made by local artists are displayed side by side with brilliantly sarcastic greeting cards, and mustache-covered mugs vie for shelf space with retro-inspired magnets and stickers. Matthew Inmann and "The Oatmeal" fit right in.
|Matthew Inman @ Portage Bay|
|"The Oatmeal" @ Portage Bay|
|Jan Tervonen @ Fremont Jewelry Design|
|Jacob Little @ Fremont Jewelry Design|
|Juliet Salvato @ Pel'Meni's|
|Graffiti mural inside Pel'Meni's|
Perhaps, if I'm being honest with myself, one of the main reasons I came back to the Fremont Art Walk this month was for Pie. These perfectly hand-sized pastries have taken up residence in a happy corner of the part of my brain that controls my food cravings, and I believe they have every intention of staying. Their featured artist hasn't changed since last month, but Deborah Faas' vintage poster-style paintings still fit the Pie setting well.
Support your local art scene! Cheers.