It was all very apropos of Index. There was sunshine; there was rain; there was even a little bit of thunder but nothing deterred folks from enjoying the Index Arts Festival on Saturday.
And once the thundershowers had made their point, the sun came out for the rest of the day.
The festival took place on August 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in Doolittle Park. A broad spectrum of art was presented including oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, leatherwork, written word, spoken word, woodwork, ceramics, plants, silk scarves and much more. The traditional, artist-centric festival featured artists as young as 14 years old and from as far away as Oregon.
“We had about 40 vendors,” said Index Arts Festival Chairperson Judy Davis. “It was a lot of fun.”
A wide variety of hand-crafted jewelry was available including gemstone pieces made by Silversmith Karin Martin of Dove Designs, intricate origami jewelry created by Marta Cunha of GROW Washington in Sultan, beadwork by Cheryl Woodruff of Imagine Design in Tigard, Ore., crystal and copper pieces created by Kathy Cotterill of Haywire Ridge Jewelry and many others.
Live music was performed, weather permitting, all throughout the day and the festival continued even after the artists packed up their wares. Once Sean “Spare Rib” Horst and his band the Bluegrass Sauce started playing, adults and kids alike kicked up their heels and danced the night away.
“The day ended up great,” said Davis. “We had a wonderful time! The young kids were out dancing; the parents were dancing; the grandparents were dancing… It was just a blast.”
Davis was also excited about the number of young artists who participated in this year’s festival. One of the goals of the arts festival’s board of directors is to raise money to encourage and support students in the Sky Valley area to develop and pursue their artistic goals.
The youngest vendor, 14-year-old Mia Stratman from Skykomish, showcased a few of her brightly-colored acrylic paintings, as well as her original prints and greeting cards which she typically crafts with colored pencils and ink pens. Stratman, who has been drawing ever since she can remember, began marketing her work in 2010.
“I get a lot of inspiration from bright colors and the stuff around me,” said Stratman, who enjoys drawing people she knows and rendering them in “Mia Stratman style.” Her whimsical work features family members and the people closest to her.
Her 9-year-old sister, her 4-year-old cousin and her good friend, Camry Zaffram, are often highlighted in her art.
Stratman will be attending Sultan High School in September and will be serving as the freshman class secretary. She was honored with the Super Skyhawk award in June at Sultan Middle School, an award given for academic excellence as well as exemplary school spirit.
She looks forward to continuing to hone her skills and eventually wants to become a professional artist.
“I definitely know that I’m going to do something with art,” said Stratman.
Stratman has an online Etsy store called Poppy and Clementine, and also sells her work at the Skykomish Deli and the Skykomish candy shop Toot Sweet.
For 17-year-old Lan Britton of Gold Bar, the Index Arts Festival was her first formal show. The young artist has been avidly drawing all her life and recently decided to try her hand at painting. Britton’s showcased work featured dramatic and rich colors with elements of fantasy.
“I’m much better at drawing than I am at painting but I wanted to try something new,” said Britton.
Britton works at the Wallace Falls Café in Gold Bar, which now serves both American and Vietnamese food. The restaurant, which has been open since May of this year, is owned by her mother.
Patrick Woods, one of the original Index Arts Festival organizers, dazzled the crowd with a live painting demonstration. Woods paints with both hands while listening to music on headphones, and incorporates movement into his process.
Food was provided at the festival by Bella Balducci’s Mediterranean cuisine of Monroe, and Kellie Whitcomb made fresh smoothies out of apples, kale, coconut water and fresh fruit with a hint of cinnamon. Whitcomb, who owns and operates Catering by Kellie & Co., specializes in providing healthy meals and snacks. She also provides consultations and will teach folks how to engage in healthier eating.
Local authors were also presented, including mystery writer Lisa Stowe from Index, and Susan Schreyer, a mystery writer from Snohomish. Christine Pattillo’s autobiographical work “I Am We” was also available, which is a memoir about Pattillo’s experiences with multiple personality disorder.
Pattillo lives in Everett with her husband, Christopher.
The artists packed up at approximately 6 p.m., and the celebration continued in the park until around midnight.
“It was a wonderful day,” said Davis. “The whole town loved it!”