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Arts Alive! offers eye-catching visual arts

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By Sara Miller

Last week, we took a look at the performing arts events scheduled for Evergreen’s inaugural Arts Alive! week. This week, we’ll focus on the visual arts events that make up this week-long celebration of arts and culture in our mountain community.

The week kicks off Friday, July 16, with Evergreen’s traditional Last Friday Gallery Walk taking place two weeks early. The local galleries will be open on Friday and Saturday evenings from 4 to 7 p.m. offering refreshments and a chance to peruse all of their latest artwork.

Many of the galleries are offering special receptions and events throughout the week to celebrate Arts Alive! Evergreen Fine Art is offering free demonstrations by pastel artist Marjie Eakin-Petty from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, July 16-17.

The Evergreen Gallery is highlighting six different artists with receptions on July 16-18 and July 23-25. The artists, Katie Brassell, Meryl Sabeff, Arlyss Grosz, Carol Fennell, Maria Valladarez and Gerri Calpin, work in a diverse range of media ranging from jewelry to clay to fused glass to acrylic paint. Visit their website at www.evergreengallery.com for more details on the individual receptions.

During the second weekend, Mirada Fine Art Gallery in Indian Hills will feature “The Exotic World of Marcela Panasiti” from 6 to 9 p.m. July 24. Panasiti is an Argentina-born artist who creates adobe mural works inspired by the colors and landscapes of her Southwestern home.

The largest gathering of artists during Arts Alive! will take place on July 17 and 18 in the form of Evergreen’s annual festival, Summerfest, on the Buchanan Park athletic fields. Sponsored by the Center for the Arts Evergreen, Summerfest features nationally recognized fine arts and craft vendors specializing in all artistic media.

Summerfest has expanded this year to include some new offerings. In addition to booths housing more than 100 nationally recognized artists, visitors can see fine art produced right here in Evergreen. Food and drink vendors will provide refreshments, and visitors can enjoy a vast lineup of musical acts throughout the weekend. Families can visit the Global Children’s Village, featuring representatives from local international nonprofits who will provide interactive indigenous arts and crafts activities and educational games for the kids.

Visitors to Summerfest can also sign up for guided tours of Art for the Mountain Community’s Sculpture Walk, whose works dot the landscape throughout downtown and the surrounding areas. Tour buses will depart from Buchanan Rec Center at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The tours will be led by artists who will share information about what inspired their work.

On Wednesday, July 21, the local women’s group Artists With Altitude will present an exhibition and demonstration of plein air painting in Heritage Grove near the Hiwan Homestead Museum. This event runs from 2:30 to 7 p.m. and precedes the old-fashioned Victorian Lawn Party at the Hiwan Museum later that evening.

The Artists With Altitude exhibition is also a wonderful warmup to the Center for the Arts Evergreen’s summer event, “Paint, Sculpt, ‘Shoot Out,’” scheduled for July 24. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., downtown Evergreen will be bustling with local artists capturing the local landscape and events as they unfold. Pausing behind an easel, visitors just might witness the creation of an award-winning work that will be part of the Paint, Sculpt, Shoot juried show taking place in September at the Center for the Arts Evergreen.

All of these artistic events will be intertwined with music, theater and dance to make Arts Alive! a week you won’t want to miss in Evergreen. For more information and a complete listing of Arts Alive! Evergreen events, visit www.artsaliveevergreen.org.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.