It was a gala night to remember. Just walking up to the Saxman Community Center, there was a buzz of excitement from each person making their way inside. Right when I entered, not only was I greeted with warmth, but also the smiles of the welcoming table, manned by Board Members of the Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council. It was the first station in which next year’s potential Wearable Arts Show theme was gathered. Beyond that, there were more than a few tables in the lobby, one of which really caught my eye. R.D. Fractal Art boasted an intricate aesthetic involving burning wood and filling the burns with colored epoxy. The end product was as unique as all the artists in the fair.
As I moved into the gym, I witnessed a multitude of vendors and their artwork, all of which were lovingly shown in carefully placed tables. From Grace Freeman and her original artwork and clothing, to John Warnock’s incredible handmade wooden bowls, the entire gym was full to the brim of attendees fully appreciating everything the community had to offer. Filtering through the chattering of visitors, the soft music of the local band set the mood for browsing the communal goods. I’d taken a sample of ‘Sweater Weather’ tea from Wildfire & Sage Wellness and instantly fell in love with it. I walked away with their only bag of it, hoarding it like a greedy dragon as I snuck back into the lobby. There, I gleefully looked over the original mocktails, and I wasn’t the only one doing so. I happily took a delicious drink with me as I ascended the stair to the booths on the second floor.
It was upstairs that I found a multitude of digital artists, which is becoming an incredible medium in the art world. I was particularly taken with Geek Street Art, Jemaica Murphy, and Flyyoungfellow Art by Eian Parks, all of which immediately caught my eye in both medium and content. Right alongside Salty Starfish Creations’ clever oyster ornaments and Janalee’s Photo Site, there were fresh donuts from Jellyfish Donuts, one of the newer businesses in Ketchikan. Of course, I had to stop by Booth #51 where the Ketchikan Area Arts & Humanities Council was, just to put a suggestion in the Wearable Arts Show theme drawing. Not only was the theme-picking an attraction, but the booth sold tickets for numerous winter events, Blueberry Arts Festival t-shirts, and memberships to the Arts Council.
The evening began to pass, but the giddiness of both patron and vendor alike that came with the Winter Arts Faire didn’t wane in the slightest, foreshadowing an incredible weekend for the arts!
- K-Town's Roving Art Observer