Some people have this idea of art as an elitist hobby, they think that people qualified to comment on art must have studied for years in Paris and Rome, or painted landscapes since before they could walk, or have an embossed piece of paper from a fancy art school like Cornish. Those people are wrong. Art is for all humans. We are all artists, we are all tapped into the energy of the universe, and our talents just depend on how much we nurture this connection and practice it’s expression. We are all sculptors, and musicians, and dancers; we just choose to spend our time in one way or another.
Why don’t you choose to explore your not-so-inner artist this week at the first Thursday Seattle Art Walk in Pioneer Square. What I absolutely love about this art walk is it’s inclusive nature; from 6PM to 8PM, not only do all the galleries in the area open their doors to all, but Occidental Park provides a home for any artist in Seattle to come and display their work. All you need to do to show your work in the Seattle Art Walk is a business license and a few bucks to sign up for the space rental. This makes the event more accessible to all, honoring the idea that art isn’t just for rich people who stand around in stark galleries nodding their heads and murmuring words like “nonchalant” and “emotive”. Not that the fancy galleries aren’t open to everyone, but there are more than a few of us Seattleites who can’t pay thousands of dollars for a piece of art. I know when I walk into a gallery like the Benham Gallery or the Jeffery Moose Gallery, though their pieces will hopefully spark my brain and make me reconsider the definition of the word ‘art’, there is no way I am walking out with a piece of work to hang on my wall. Most of you will agree with me, and that’ why ‘art’ gets the elitist wrap stuck to it. When I walk up to an open-air art market, however, I get excited: maybe I will discover a great new artist finger-painting on cardboard and struggling to pay rent with their creativity, or find a handmade piece of jewelry from a local, or watch someone carving a wooden totem with a chainsaw.
It is this spirit of universality that makes the Seattle Art Walk so inspiring and so Seattle; this art-loving city supports the creative efforts of all, be they in stark, well-lit gallery spaces or on the street next to a park bench. Come out this month to the Seattle Art Walk, it’s free and for the enjoyment of all artists- that’s YOU. For two hours stroll around, have some coffee at Tully’s or a beer at The Central Saloon, meet the artists who are showcasing their wares, enjoy the street performers, and maybe even get inspired to go home and pick up that paintbrush you once put down.